University of Southern Indiana

CSWE Accreditation

The University of Southern Indiana's Bachelor of Social Work program and Master of Social Work program are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Ten Core Competencies of Social Work Practice

1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.

Social Workers:

a) advocate for client access to the services of social work;
b) practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development;
c) attend to professional roles and boundaries;
d) demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication;
e) engage in career-long learning; and
f) use supervision and consultation.

2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.

Social Workers:

a) recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice;
b) make ethical decisions by applying standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles;
c) tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts; and
d) apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.

3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.

Social Workers:

a) distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom;
b) analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation; and
c) demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.

4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.

Social workers:

a) recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power;
b) gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups;
c) recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences; and
d) view themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.

5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.

Social workers:

a) understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination;
b) advocate for human rights and social and economic justice; and
c) engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.

Social workers:

a) use practice experience e to inform scientific inquiry; and
b) use research evidence to inform practice.

7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.

Social workers:

a) utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation ; and
b) critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.

8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.

Social workers:

a) analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being; and
b) collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.

9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.

Social workers :

a) continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services; and
b) provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services.

10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.


Social workers:

a) substantively and effectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities;
b) use empathy and other interpersonal skills; and
c) develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes


Social workers:

a) collect, organize, and interpret client data;
b) assess client strengths and limitations;
c) develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives; and
d) select appropriate intervention strategies.


Social workers:

a) Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals;
b) Implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities;
c) Help clients resolve problems;
d) Negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients; and
e) Facilitate transitions and endings.


Social workers:

a) Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions.  

Contact Dr. Iris Phillips
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