In 2008 The Council on Social Work Education introduced new standards that each social work program is required to integrate into their curriculums. The newly created Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS), includes ten core competencies that are to be introduced in the foundation curriculum and then reinforced in the advanced curriculum. Since our program is due for reaccreditation in 2012, we have been undergoing a self study that involves incorporation of the new standards.
The 2008EPAS introduces a competency-based model for educating Graduate Social Work students. The previous EPAS (2001) was designed around content to be inputted into the curriculum, whereas the 2008EPAS has its focus as being “outcomes” to be demonstrated in measurable practice behaviors associated with each of the ten core competencies.
The ten core competencies include:
- Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
- Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
- Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
- Engage diversity and difference in practice
- Advance human rights and social and economic justice
- Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research
- Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
- Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services
- Respond to contexts that shape practice
- Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
The 2008EPAS requires that each program assess the core competencies as demonstrated through measureable practice behaviors. Bellow please see the operational definition of each foundation and advanced competency, and their associated practice behaviors: