Social Work Practice in Community Organization, Management and Policy/Evaluation

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In this social science course we will discuss various methods, strategies and skills within macro social work practice, used to help identify and address needs on a larger scale. You will gain knowledge and skills in the areas of community organizing, management, and policy advocacy, and learn about the various roles social workers play within these areas. This course will provide an appreciation of the historical and contemporary importance of these social work methods and the relevance of these methods for diverse populations and identities.

We will focus on:

  • understanding the context of macro practice;
  • identifying community and organizational interventions to address social needs and problems;
  • organizing and building relationships within communities and organizations;
  • organization-based and community-based policy making, planning, and program development.

You will also learn concepts and practice skills involving assessment, problem solving and intervention planning at the macro level, and strategies to work effectively with communities and organizations. Content includes reflective practice and utilizing interpersonal skills in macro practice.

This course is part of the Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research MicroMasters Program offered by MichiganX.


Week 1: Introduction: The History and Components of Macro Practice

  • The values, history and components of macro practice
  • The challenges of macro practice in a multicultural society

Week 2: Advocacy as a Form of Social Action

  • Models of advocacy
  • Policy advocacy

Week 3: Models of Community Organization Practice and Their Implications

Understanding Communities: Their Problems & Their Populations

  • Defining the community
  • Different conceptualizations of community and their implications
  • Typologies of community organization
  • Empowerment theory and community organization practice

Week 4: Organizing and Mobilizing Communities

  • Roles of the organizer
  • Group skills in community work
  • Selecting appropriate strategies and tactics
  • Social capital and community mobilization

Week 5: Assessing Community Needs and Strengths

  • Constructing a community profile: Frameworks for community analysis
  • Conducting a community needs assessment
  • Asset mapping: Identifying community strengths

Week 6: Understanding Community-Based Organizations

  • The structure, mission & goals of nonprofit community-based organizations
  • Management theories
  • Decision-making, power, authority, and politics of nonprofit organizations

Week 7: Human Resources Management: Managing Staff in Organizations

  • Inter-Organizational Practice Visioning and Strategic Planning in Community-Based Organizations
  • Personnel Policies/Supervisory Roles and Functions
  • Staff Development
  • Assessing Organizations
  • Issues of power
  • Inter-organizational practice in multicultural communities

Week 8: Ethical and Legal Issues in Macro Practice

  • The meaning of ethics and ethical analysis in macro practice
  • Ethical issues in macro practice
  • Legal foundations of community-based nonprofit organizations
  • Program Development, Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation Social Policy and Community Practice
  • Policy development & implementation at the community level
  • Analyzing the community impact of social policies