Social Work Core Competencies and Practice Behaviors

Social Work Core Competencies and Practice Behaviors


Social workers continually strive to increase their professional knowledge and competencies and apply them in addressing the client’s problems. Social work competencies are measurable practise behaviours that are comprised of knowledge, attitudes, and skills. The table below shows ten core social work competencies and their associated practice behaviours reflected in their levels of study. These competencies and practice behaviours will be used for assessing and evaluating students’ professional development.








Competency
Practice Behaviors
Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
Demonstrate professional demeanour in behaviour;
Adhere to social work values and principles;
Engage in career-long learning;
Advocate for client access to the services of social work;
Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development;
Attend to professional roles and boundaries;
Demonstrate professional demeanor in behaviour, appearance, and communication;
Engage in career-long learning; and
Use supervision and consultation.
Apply social work Ethical principles to guide professional practice**
Make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics;
Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice;
Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice;
Communicate the understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences;
Use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations;
Use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behaviour;
Tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts; and
Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.
Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
Recognize and appreciates client’s culture;
Apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in practice at the micro and mezzo levels; and
Apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies.
Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice
Use social work values and principles to advocate for client’s rights;
Advocate for social work services; and
Engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice.
Engage in Practice informed Research and Research-informed Practice
Collect client biodata information;
Assess client needs and problems;
Assist collecting data;
Categorize and classify the client’s information; and
Administer data collection method under supervision.
Engage in Policy Practice
Understand and implement social welfare policy;
Understand how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services; and
Collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective implementation of organization policy.
Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Engage clients using appropriate interventions;
Attend the needs of clients using the elementary knowledge;
Use social work skills, values and method to engage clients;
Apply knowledge of human behaviour and the social environment, person-in-environment to engage with clients;
Use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies.
Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Use social work skills to assess client’s problems;
Collect, organize, and interpret client data;
identify client strengths and limitations;
Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives; and Select appropriate intervention strategies;
Select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients.
Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Use social work methods to intervene client’s problems;
Initiates actions to achieve organizational goals;
Implements an intervention plan to enhance client capacities; Helps clients resolve problems; and
Negotiates, mediates, and advocates on behalf of clients.
Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
Select and use appropriate methods for evaluation of outcomes;
Apply knowledge of human behaviour and the social environment to evaluate services;
Understand the intervention plan; and
Use evaluation findings to improve service plan.
Source
Field Practicum Manual for Certificate and Diploma in Social Work; Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Tanzania.
**The Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) has set forth the following 9 practice competencies that guide field internship learning. (other 09 except 02)

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