Singapore University of Social Sciences

Contemporary Social Work Issues and Practice

Contemporary Social Work Issues and Practice (SWK511)


Contemporary Social Work Issues and Practice is intended to update students on contemporary theories and current research on social work practice. It extends advanced skills of working with individuals, families, groups and communities. Students will be able to integrate knowledge of human behaviour and culture context in assessment, planning and intervention and evaluation for advanced practice. Critical analysis of the impact of discrimination and diversity in practice will also be included. From time to time, specific issues and areas of social work practice, such as brief treatment, crisis intervention, solution-focused therapy, evidenced-based and competency-based practice will be highlighted in this course.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY REGULAR SEMESTER


  • Evolution of Social Work
  • Key Concepts in Contemporary Social Work
  • Situating the Professional in Contemporary Work
  • Ethics and values in Social Work
  • Anti-oppressive practice
  • Culturally competent practice
  • Cultural identity and practices
  • Competent care with populations
  • Multicultural social work practice
  • Social work and advocacy
  • Contemporary Social Issues for Singapore
  • Key Interventions for Social Issues in Singapore

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss current methods for generalist professional social work practice.
  • Assess client system using knowledge of human growth and behavior, gender, race/culture, social class, age, differing abilities, sexual orientation, and spirituality.
  • Design assessment and intervention skills appropriate to the practice theory in a various practice settings.
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the theory to social work practice with diverse client systems.
  • Appraise values, principles and ethical dilemmas that arise in social work practice.
  • Evaluate pertinent research findings to current models of practice with individuals, and families, groups and communities.
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