Global Social Work

Social workers in diverse fields of practice, including health care, child welfare, mental health, schools and criminal justice, are facing greater professional demands within the context of global interdependence. The International Commission of the Council on Social Work Education has declared that one of the purposes of social work education is to prepare social workers to recognize the global context of social work practice. The mission statement of the University of Utah College of Social Work affirms the goals of CSWE, stating that the College contributes …”to enhance individual, family, community and global well-being…”

In order to operationalize this professional mandate, the College has developed a strategic plan to promote global education and scholarship. The Global Social Work Concentration contributes to this plan by providing a course of study for MSW students comprised of internationally focused courses, field placements and elective courses, including opportunities to study abroad and conduct independent study/research in a selected area of international interest. The Global Social Work Concentration offers flexibility for those students who may want to complete more than one Concentration.

The purpose of the Global Social Work Concentration is to enhance student preparation for professional social work practice within the context of global interdependence, international social work practice abroad and practice with multi-cultural populations in the United States.

Graduates of this concentration are able to:

  • Define globalization in relation to social work theory and practice.
  • Define global social work issues faced by individuals, families, and communities around the world.
  • Understand the roles played by key United Nations programs, international social work federations and non-governmental organizations in contributing to human rights and social development.
  • Illustrate the application of social work values, ethics and practice to the development of strategies for global change related to key social issues including poverty, gender inequality, health, mental health, ethnic conflict, violence, migration/immigration and child welfare.
  • Demonstrate skills in implementing evidence informed interventions aimed at creating sustainable social development and conflict resolution.
  • Utilize intercultural communication skills and culturally informed practices with vulnerable populations.
  • Articulate how social work values, skills and knowledge about social work practices abroad are applicable to local, regional and international social development goals and programs.
  • Understand global systemic oppression and how to promote social justice.
  • Demonstrate skills in working with interdisciplinary teams and developing community partnerships to address global issues.

Global Social Work Concentration Program of Study Guide

Types of Global Practicum Placements: Schools, community-based programs serving the resettlement, acculturation, health and/or mental health needs of refugees and immigrants, social services agencies abroad (possible by special arrangement).

For more information, please contact:
Trinh Mai, LCSW
Chair, Global Social Work Concentration
Trinh.mai@socwk.utah.edu
801-581-4529, Room 312

Ruth Gerritsen-McKane, PhD, MSW
Director, BSW Field Education & Undergraduate Global Social Work Education
Ruth.Gerritsen-McKane@socwk.utah.edu
801-585-3162

Delva Hommes
Project Coordinator, Global Social Work
delva.hommes@socwk.utah.edu
801-581-4239