Council on Social Work Education (cswe), Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (epas), Statement on Requirements of the Content Area

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School of Social Work, University of Texas at Arlington

SOCW 5306: Generalist Macro Practice

Instructor: Larry Watson, PhD, LCSW

Office Number: Social Work A-101C

Office Telephone: 817-272-1106

Email Address:

Office Hours: T 10-12, Th 10-12

Time and Place of Class: Th.6-8:50 Social Work A-218

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS), Statement on Requirements of the Content Area

4.5 Social Work Practice: Social work practice content is anchored in the purposes of the social work profession and focuses on strengths, capacities, and resources of client systems in relation to their broader environments. Students learn practice content that encompasses knowledge and skills to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. This content includes engaging clients in an appropriate working relationship, identifying issues, problems, needs, resources, and assets; collecting and assessing information; and planning for service delivery. It includes using communication skills, supervision, and consultation. Practice content also includes identifying, analyzing, and implementing empirically based interventions designed to achieve client goals; applying empirical knowledge 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.

Catalogue Description

Examines generalist community and administrative practice roles, the perspectives of strengths, empowerment, and evidence-based practice along with the values of social justice, diversity, and participation. Specific attention is given to designing intervention programs that address community needs.

Expanded Description of 5306 Course Content

Because most social work practice takes place within organizations in the context of one or more communities, understanding and intervening at the organizational and community levels are essential for effective social work. This course builds on a liberal arts base, including skill in written communication and knowledge of human psychology, sociology, and political science. It builds on the historical, contextual, value, and ethical base developed in the Profession of Social Work/Introduction to Social Work courses. It expands the “person in environment” perspective by considering the environment as a focus for practice. It applies ecological systems theory and generic social work process to communities and organizations. It also examines generalist community and administrative practice roles, and the perspectives of strengths, empowerment, and evidence-based practice, along with the values of social justice, diversity, and participation. Specific attention is given to assessing community assets and needs.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Apply ecological systems theory to communities and organizations.

2. Relate the development of macro practice to the general history of social work

3. Describe typical roles a macro generalist social worker assumes, e.g., advocate, planner, activist, collaborator, supervisor, leader, and manager.

4. Demonstrate generalist macro practice intervention skills involved in building relationships, establishing a vision/mission, assessing needs and capacities.

5. Demonstrate the importance of using the strengths/capacities, empowerment, and evidence based practice principles to guide practice.

6. Assess macro practice interventions and their relationship to the values of social and economic justice, stakeholder participation, empowerment, and diversity.


Generalist Macro Practice is required of all MSW students.

Required Textbooks and Other Course Materials

Netting, F.E., Kettner, P.M., & McMurtry, S.L. (2008). Social work macro practice. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Other course materials are on on-line reserve with the UTA Library.

Descriptions of major assignments with due dates

(Numbers behind the assignments indicate the learning objective achieved)

1. Understanding the generalist social work process. Students will compare a community/agency-based approach to an individually-based approach for all stages of the social work process for a social problem. [3, 4, 5, 6] The paper is to be 6-8 pages.

Due 9/24

2. Community Assessment -Understanding community strengths and needs. Students will work individually to assess a community’s strengths and needs related to a social problem. [1, 2, 4, 5, 6] See Attached Guidelilnes. The paper is to be 6-8 pages. You will present your work to the class near the end of the semester.

Due 11/12: Community Assessment Papers

3. Professional presentation. Students will present community assessments to the class, using PowerPoint [1,4,5] Presentation should be appx. 20 minutes.

Due: 11/12 through 12/3 (as scheduled)

4. Attendance/Participation. See statement below. [1-6]

Grading Policy



Understanding the generic social work process paper


Understanding community strengths and needs paper


Professional presentation




Grade Points

A 100 - 90

B 89 -80

C 79 -70

D 69 - 60

F 59 and below

Guidelines for All Written Work. Grading criteria for written work include: thoroughness, logical development of points, clarity of written expression, application of theory/ readings from the course and from independent research, and appropriateness of the product to the assignment given. Each sentence or part of a sentence must be entirely in the student's own words (paraphrased), unless a direct quotation is indicated by the use of quotation marks and page numbers. All sources of words or ideas must be attributed by citation. Failure to do so constitutes failure to meet the assignment and may be plagiarism. Unless prior permission is granted, late work is penalized 1 letter grade per week or part thereof (e.g. an "A" paper earns at best a "B+"). Always keep a copy of your work. Papers will be returned only to the student, a person designated by the student, or by mail in a stamped envelope provided by the student.

All written assignments must be submitted using the APA (American Psychological Association) guidelines. All papers must be double-spaced and use a 12-point font. Students’ writing should be clear, concise, well organized and suitably formatted. It is recommended that students seek guidance and editorial assistance from their peers and/or the university English Writing Center (Room 411 Central Library, 817-272-2601). Students are advised to maintain back-up copies of all assignments.

Methods of Instruction and Course Format

The role of the instructor in this course is varied, including lecturer, facilitator, consultant and resource person to students. Modes of instruction include: presentation of material by the instructor, students, and possibly others; class exercises, videotapes; and class discussion. Though group discussion and thoughtful questions, students have the opportunity to shape the class and contribute to its quality. In order for this to occur, attendance and preparation are necessary, and participation is expected. Meaningful class participation is one of the requirements of university education. It demands that assigned readings be completed and thought about before class. Participation includes attendance, thoughtful questions, participation in class exercises, constructive interaction with other class members and instructor, and contributions to discussion. More than 1 absence or missed portions of classes during the course will adversely affect the student’s participation grade.

Course Outline/Topics and Readings

1. Introduction and course overview (8/27/09)

Topics: Introduction, review previous practice content, syllabus, course pack, glossary, web, role of questions in determining pace of class, library resources, etc. Review assignments and grading.

2. Historical development of macro practice: 1850-present (9/3/09)

Topics: UTA SSW conceptualization of macro generalist practice (accountability, evidence-based practice, ethical practice, self awareness, contingency based analysis, theoretical challenges, and values). Social movements that gave rise to social work (mental hygiene, public health, child saving, labor, COS, settlement house); social work organizations and macro practitioners; public role in administration of social welfare; macro practice trends in each decade, contemporary state of macro practice.

Text: Netting, Kettner & McMurtry, ch 1 & 2

Reading: Johnson, Y.M. (1999). Indirect work: Social work's uncelebrated strength. Social Work, 44 (4), 323-34.

Video: The Heart of Bassett Place: W. Gertrude Brown and the Wheatley House. Historical case study of community practice in an African-American community. CWC V1190

3. Generalist macro practice, change processes, intro to macro practice roles and levels of intervention (9/10/09)

Topics: Roles introduced include planner, community developer, leaser manager, and evaluator. Intervention levels covered are global, societal, national, regional, state, metropolitan, city, neighborhood, agency, and program levels.

Text: Netting, Kettner & McMurtry, ch 3

Reading: Koerin, B. (2003). The settlement house tradition: Current trends and future concerns. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 30 (2), 53-68.

Exercise: Students will compare a community/agency-based approach to an individually-based approach for all stages of the social work process for a social problem. You will also write a paper on this topic.

Video: The Democratic Promise: Saul Alinsky and his Legacy (50 min.).

4. Generalist macro practice, theories, values, and ethics (9/17/09)

Topics: Ecological systems theory; Social work values of social and economic justice, democratic participation, and diversity; Perspectives of empowerment, strengths/capacities, evidence based practice, and win/win.

Text: Netting, Kettner & McMurtry, ch 4

Reading: Arizmendi, L.G. & Ortiz, L. (2004). Neighborhood and community organizing in Colonias: A case study in the development and use of Promotoras. Journal of Community Practice, 12 (1/2), 23-35. See at:

Video: Clip from Eyes on the Prize, Episode 1: The Montgomery Bus Boycott

5. The community as client and identifying social conditions as problems, strengths, and/or opportunities (9/24/09)

Topics: Functions of community in modern society, sources of community dysfunction, the mezzo level of social systems, neighborhoods. Social conditions, social problem identification, the politics of problem identification, multicultural perspectives on social problem definition, barriers to services, service statistics, writing needs and capacity statements. Using Google Maps and Google Earth.

Text: Netting, Kettner & McMurtry, ch 5

Due: Generalist Social Work Process Paper

Exercise (distributed): Community Drive Around

Video: The Times of Harvey Milk

Reading: Kettner, P. M., Moroney, R. M. & Martin, L. L. (2008). Designing and managing programs. (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Ch, 3 “Understanding social problems.”

6. Assessing social conditions and communities (10/1/09)

Topics: Approaches to community assessment, primary and secondary data sources, data collection methods (e.g., observation, document analysis, surveys, public forums, interviews, focus groups), types and sources of information (e.g., baseline data for planning and evaluation data sources for assessment), views of need (normative, perceived, expressed, relative).

Resource person: John Dillard, Social Work librarian

Reading: Netting, Kettner & McMurtry, ch 6

Mulroy, E.A. (2008). Community needs assessment. In Enclyclopedia of social work, 20th edition, vol. 1, pp. 385-387. Washington: NASW Press/Oxford.

Also see WEB links at end of syllabus.

Video: Clip from Building communities from the inside out: A path toward finding and mobilizing community assets. With McKnight and Kretzman, CWS V1086

7. Intervening in social conditions: action, development, & planning approaches (10/8/09)

Topics: More detailed treatment of the roles of planner, developer, organizer, activist, advocate. Overview or the Industrial Area’s Foundation, ACORN, Foundation for Community Empowerment, and other community change forces.

Text: Netting, Kettner & McMurtry, ch 7

Reading: Weil, M.O. & Gamble, D.N. (1995). Community practice models. In Encyclopedia of social work, 19th ed., pp. 577-594. Washington: NASW Press/Oxford.

Exercise (discussed): Community Drive Around

8. The organization as client (10/15/09)

Topics: Introduction to organization theory and the organizational structure of the social services system, including service delivery, standard-setting, advocacy, coalitions, and funding organizations, and their vertical and horizontal relationships.

Text: Netting, Kettner & McMurtry, ch 8

9. Organizational change process, practice roles, intervention levels (10/22/09)

Topics: Roles introduced include program developer, administrator, manager, supervisor, and evaluator. Organizational structure and the roles of agency boards.

Text: Netting, Kettner & McMurtry, ch 9

Reading: Tropman, J.E. (2003). Ch 2. Managing agenda organization (pp. 15-22). In Making meetings work. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.

Video: Running Good Meetings (12 minutes). CWC V1102.

10. Assessing organizations and administrative practice overview (10/29/09)

Topics: More detailed treatment of the roles of organizational developer, supervisor, administrator, evaluator, and manager of personnel, funds, and information. Setting goals and objectives, process and outcome objectives, financial management, budgets, program evaluation, performance evaluation.

Text: Netting, Kettner & McMurtry, ch 10

11. Societal and political practice (11/5/09)

Topics: links between macro practice and social policy practice, macro social work at the international level, and legislative practice and the UTA internship program.

Text: Netting, Kettner & McMurtry, ch 11

Hoefer, R. & Jordan, C. (2008). Missing links in evidence-based practice for macro social work. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 5(3/4), 1-20. See at:

Video: Policy affects practice: Students/practitioners affect policy by Influencing State Policy (20 min.)

12. Student presentations of community assessments (11/12/09)

13. Student presentations of community assessments (11/19/09)

14. THANKSGIVING (11/26/09)

15. Integration and synthesis, issues, course review (12/3/09)

Topics: Remaining or missed student presentations/issues & ethics of practice, developing an individual framework, course review.

Scheduled: Student evaluation of the course

Attendance Policy

Attendance and participation are expected. Please discuss any planned absence with the instructor and notify the instructor by e-mail of any emergency absence. More than one absence during the course will affect the student’s participation grade.

Drop Policy

Refer to university drop policy.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The University of Texas at Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of federal equal opportunity legislation; reference Public Law 92-112 - The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. With the passage of federal legislation entitled Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens.

As a faculty member, I am required by law to provide "reasonable accommodations" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Student responsibility primarily rests with informing faculty of their need for accommodation and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels. Information regarding specific diagnostic criteria and policies for obtaining academic accommodations can be found at Also, you may visit the Office for Students with Disabilities in room 102 of University Hall or call them at (817) 272-3364.

Academic Integrity

It is the philosophy of The University of Texas at Arlington that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University.

"Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." (Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Series 50101, Section 2.2)

Student Support Services Available

The University of Texas at Arlington supports a variety of student success programs to help you connect with the University and achieve academic success. These programs include learning assistance, developmental education, advising and mentoring, admission and transition, and federally funded programs. Students requiring assistance academically, personally, or socially should contact the Office of Student Success Programs at 817-272-6107 for more information and appropriate referrals.

E-Culture Policy

The University of Texas at Arlington has adopted the University email address as an official means of communication with students. Through the use of email, UT-Arlington is able to provide students with relevant and timely information, designed to facilitate student success. In particular, important information concerning registration, financial aid, payment of bills, and graduation may be sent to students through email.

All students are assigned an email account and information about activating and using it is available at New students (first semester at UTA) are able to activate their email account 24 hours after registering for courses. There is no additional charge to students for using this account, and it remains active as long as a student is enrolled at UT-Arlington. Students are responsible for checking their email regularly.

Grade Grievance Policy

Refer to catalog.


Boettcher, R. E. & Nagy, J. N. (2003). A workbook for practice in human service organizations. Mason, Ohio: Thomson Learning Custom Publishing.

Brody, R., (2006). Effective managing human service organizations (3nd). Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage

Brown, Michael J. (2006) Building Powerful Community Organizations: A Personal Guide to Creating Groups That Can Solve Problems and Change the World, Boston: Long Haul Press

Brueggemann, W. G. (2006). The practice of macro social work, (3nd Ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Thomson Learning.

Churchman, A. & Sadan, E. (Eds.). (2003). Participation: Your way to make a difference. Tel Aviv: Hakibutz Hameuhad Publishing house. (In Hebrew). Tel Aviv: Hakibutz Hameuhad.

Fauri, D.P., Wenet, S.P. & Netting, F.E. (2000). Cases in macro social work practice. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Fisher, R. & Fabricant, M. (2002). Settlement houses under siege: The struggle to sustain community organization in New York City. New York: Columbia University Press.

Hardina, D. (2002). Analytical skills for community organization practice. New York: Columbia University Press.

Kirst-Ashman, K.K. & Hull, G.H. (2006). Generalist practice with organizations and communities. 3rd edition. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2006). Macro skills workbook (3nd ed.). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Lohmann, R. A. & Lohmann, N. (2002). Social administration. New York: Columbia University Press.

Long, D. D., Tice, C. J., & Morrison, J.D., (2006). Macro social work practice: A strengths perspective. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole

Murphy, P. W., & Cunningham, J. V. (2003). Organizing for community controlled development: Renewing civil society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Netting, E. F. and O’Connor, M. K. (2003). Organization practice: A social worker’s guide to understanding human services. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Patti, R. (2007). Handbook of human service management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rubin, Herbert J., & Rubin, Irene (2007). Community organizing and development (4th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill

Sadan, E. (2004). Empowerment and community planning: Theory and practice. (English translation e-book available on-line at

Weil, M. (Ed.). (2005). Handbook of Community Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Witkin, B.R., & Altschuld, J. W. (1995). Planning and conducting needs assessment: A practical guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

WEB links re: needs assessment


You will submit an assessment of a community system. Be sure to include referenced material from the required social work text. The paper should reflect appropriate American Psychological Association’s (APA) Publication Manual style. The minimum length is 6 pages, typed and double-spaced. Select a city, town or community with which you are familiar. If possible, avoid large cities, but be sure that the area you choose is large enough to allow you to gather the information required.

Description of Community Characteristics

City or town name, geographical location and description

Demographic information: population, ethnicity, socioeconomic factors, age distribution, etc.

Economic base of the community; major employers in industry, government, and business

Methods of city government, political affiliation of current community leaders

Recreational, work, and residential areas in the city and its immediate environment

City’s major social institutions; schools, churches, civic groups, hospitals, human service agencies and criminal justice system locations.

Description of Community Issues and Concerns

Major social problems in the city

Significant social tensions and value conflicts among the city’s citizens

Interview at least two vulnerable or oppressed residents and get their perspectives

Mechanisms of discrimination and oppression that impact the city’s vulnerable residents; include human service agency or governmental policies that maintain oppression of these vulnerable individual.

Description of Community Resources

Resources available to the residents of the city

Social services resources

Societal institutions and organizations that are significant sources of strength and pride to segments of the community, and to the community as a whole

Gaps in resources, or problems with existing resources (such as inaccessibility)

Assessment of the Community Strengths and Weaknesses

Based on data collected, assess strengths and weaknesses of the community in terms of the adequacy of the community in meeting the needs of its residents; use the knowledge of human needs and social systems you have learned in the Human Behavior and the Social Environment courses.

Discuss two change strategies you think are urgently needed by the community, to address one problem you identified in Section II.

Describe actions that a social worker might take to bring about these planned change strategies.


Complete a “Drive About” for 30 minutes with another member of the class – Pick a neighborhood or community that you are NOT familiar with.  Drive up and down the streets of a defined area... You might pick an area in the community where you're doing your field internship or work. (It's helpful to get a map of the area to direct your route)

This exercise MUST be completed in pairs or triads with your classmates. Record your observations,  experiences and what you learned from observing the condition of the streets, sidewalks, curbs (or are there any?). Note any parks, churches, cemeteries, if houses are kept up or run down, landscaping, etc.  Have your partner/passenger take notes on the observations. .

INCLUDE a conversation with any neighborhood residents AND at least 2 of the following types of businesses:  pawn broker, tattoo artist, garbage truck driver, dry cleaning clerk, retail sales clerk, movie rental clerk, etc.  Tell them you want to find out more about the community - Ask them about how they would describe the community and the customers they serve.

Present a summary of your experiences to the class.




Recognition of a problem and establishment of the need for change

Information Gathering

Assessment and Development of

case theory and plan for change

Intervention and Change Effort

Evaluation and Termination


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