SW 894 A Fall Semester Learning Agreement

Student Name                                    Agency
Field Instructor                                Liaison

Directions for LEARNING AGREEMENT: The student completes the
information at the top of this form. The student and the field instructor then
agree on one activity per Social Work Practice Behavior and enter that
activity into the space provided. The student and the field instructor then
print the form and sign in the designated spaces. The student submits this
document to the field liaison.

COMPETENCY 1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct
oneself accordingly. Social workers serve as representatives of the profession,
its mission, and its core values. They know the profession’s history. Social
workers commit themselves to the profession’s enhancement and to their own
professional conduct and growth. The social work student will:

Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.    describe current role/s of the social work professional in the agency (read
      job descriptions and interview workers).

b.     demonstrate professional demeanor (behavior, appearance and
       communication in representing the agency).

c.     maintain client confidentiality, professional roles and boundaries (read and
       adhere to agency policies).

d.     utilize professional supervision and consultation (take an active role in the
       teaching/learning process ~ establish learning objectives and be prepared
       for supervision).

e.     articulate the agency’s history, purpose and mission (services offered and
       populations served).

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COMPETENCY 2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide
professional practice. Social workers have an obligation to conduct
themselves ethically and to engage in ethical decision-making. Social workers
are knowledgeable about the value base of the profession, its ethical standards,
and relevant law. The social work student will:

Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.    read and demonstrate an understanding of the NASW Code of Professional Values and
      Ethics1 (available online at and the international Federation of
      Social Workers and International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics Statement2.

b.     make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code to
       client and systems.

c.     explain how social work values guide practice with vulnerable and/or
       oppressed client populations (identify a social work value and discuss how
       it impacts an agency service or policy).

COMPETENCY 3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate
professional judgments. Social workers are knowledgeable about the
principles of logic, scientific inquiry and reasoned discernment. They use critical
thinking augmented by creativity and curiosity. Critical thinking also requires
synthesis and communication of relevant information. The social work student

Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.    apply course content to the practice setting (intervention theories, policy
      analysis models, research methodologies).

b.     demonstrate purposeful oral and written communication in working with
       clients and systems (clear, concise and meaningful communication that
       demonstrates professional understanding and judgment).

COMPETENCY 4. Engage diversity and difference in practice. Social
workers understand how diversity characterizes and shapes the human
experience and is critical to the formation of identity. The dimensions of diversity
are understood as the intersectionality of multiple factors including age, class,
color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression,

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immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.
Social workers appreciate that, as a consequence of difference, a person’s life
experiences may include oppression, poverty, marginalization and alienation as
well as privilege, power and acclaim. The social work student will:

Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.    communicate the importance of difference in shaping life experiences.

b.     utilize diversity sensitive interviewing skills (demonstrate consideration for
       age, color, gender, handicapper status, height, marital status, national
       origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran
       status, or weight.

c.     recognize and describe the extent to which a particular group’s values and
       structures may oppress marginalize, alienate, or enhance the privilege
       and power of clients and systems.

COMPETENCY 5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
Each person, regardless of position in society, has basic human rights, such as
freedom, safety, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care and
education. Social workers recognize the global interconnections of oppression
and are knowledgeable about theories of justice and strategies to promote
human and civil rights. Social work incorporates social justice practices in
organizations, institutions and society to ensure that these basic human rights
are distributed equitably and without prejudice. The social work student will:

Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.    describe the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination
      related to the clients and systems of the agency (as presented within
      classroom content).

b.     differentiate case and cause advocacy regarding human rights, social and
       economic justice (identify clients, systems and situations where
       oppression and discrimination exist).

COMPETENCY 6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-
informed research. Social workers use practice experience to inform research,
employ evidence-based interventions, evaluate their own practice and use
research findings to improve practice, policy and social service delivery. Social

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workers comprehend quantitative and qualitative research and understand
scientific ethical approaches to building knowledge. The social work student will:

Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.    use research evidence to inform practice (describe the evidence-based
      practices appropriate for use with clients and systems).

b.     identify the agency’s need for knowledge building (use the internet and
       other resources to research current topics that could positively impact
       the agency’s program or policy development).

COMPETENCY 7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social
environment. Social workers are knowledgeable about human behavior across
the life course, the range of social systems in which people live and the ways
social systems promote or deter people in maintaining or achieving health and
well being. Social workers apply theories and knowledge from the liberal arts to
understand biological, social, cultural, psychological and spiritual development.
The social work student will:

Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.    demonstrate an understanding of major social work theoretical
      frameworks (e.g., person-in environment, systems, strength-based
      orientation, etc.) to guide the process of assessment, intervention and
      evaluation (review theoretical frameworks as related to agency services).

b.     articulate the connection between developmental stages and appropriate
       intervention (identify unique needs across the life span).

COMPETENCY 8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and
economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services. Social
work practitioners understand that policy affects service delivery, and they
actively engage in policy practice. Social workers know the history and current
structures of social policies and services; the role of policy in service delivery;
and the role of practice in policy development. The social work student will:

Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.    demonstrate an understanding of social policies (describe the important
      social policies learned in the classroom as relevant to agency services).

b.     identify how particular policies influences practice.

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c.    identify the role of practice in policy development.

COMPETENCY 9. Respond to contexts that shape practice. Social workers
are informed, resourceful and proactive in responding to evolving organizational,
community and societal contexts at all levels of practice. Social workers
recognize that the context of practice is dynamic and use knowledge and skill to
respond proactively. The social work student will:

Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.    reflect upon the meaning of change in your life and the lives of your clients.

b.    identify organizational change that impacts clients and systems (funding,
      accreditation, policy changes, etc.)

COMPETENCY 10. Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations
and communities. Professional practice involves the dynamics and interactive
processes of engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation at multiple
levels. Social workers have the knowledge and skills to practice with individuals,
families, groups, organizations and communities. Practice knowledge includes
identifying, analyzing and implementing evidence-based interventions designed
to achieve client goals; using research and technological advances; evaluating
program outcomes and practice effectiveness; developing analyzing, advocating,
and providing leadership for policies and services; and promoting social and
economic justice. The social work student will:
Engagement Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.      recognize and distinguish between verbal and non-verbal communication
        as expressed by clients, colleagues, etc.

b.    identify the special engagement needs of diverse clients across
      systems and the life span.

 Assessment Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.    collect, organize and interpret client and system data from a variety of
      sources (client, collateral contacts, written records, assessment instrument
      results, etc.).

b.    assess strengths and challenges of clients and systems in working toward
      case conceptualization.

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c.    develop mutually agreed-upon client and system goals.

Intervention Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.     identify major social work interventions to help clients and systems solve

b.    initiate culturally sensitive and developmentally appropriate actions to
      achieve client/system goals.

c.    consider prevention strategies as an integral part of the intervention

Evaluation Social Work Practice Behaviors:
a.    assess personal and professional strengths and challenges.

b.    remain open to self-reflection and feedback.


Student Signature _________________________________________________

Field Instructor Signature ___________________________________________

Liaison Signature__________________________________________________

Date Received By Liaison_________________
 National Association of social Workers (approved 1996, revised 1999). Code of
       Ethics for Social Workers. Washington, DC: NASW.
 International Federation of Social Workers and International Association of
       Schools of Social Work. (2004). Ethics in social work, Statement of
       principles. Retrieved January 2, 2008 from

                               Revised August 2011

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