Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

SOWK 509

Policies and Strategies of Community Intervention

As a course with foundation content in the Social Welfare Policy Sequence, this course focuses on providing an understanding of community as a major element in the social environment that influences an individual’s development and behavior. It builds on knowledge obtained in the Human Behavior and Social Environment courses by extending the concepts related to individuals and environments to communities and individual/community interactions. Further, it relates to liberal arts content on sociology and political science. Theoretical understandings of community that are explored include ecological systems and communitarian perspectives. At a basic level, community is viewed as the arena and source of major policy related issues that involve understanding the relationship among citizens, clients, consumer organizations, and community interests. Organizational theory and theories about community change and the tactics and strategies associated with these various understandings are also examined.

It is recognized that clinical practitioners will have to be conversant with how social systems and institutions affect individuals and organizations that comprise a community. This course will assist the student in understanding that: 1) relevant practice interventions require clinicians to be able to identify and work with the community as a context of practice and a possible object of intervention; 2) practitioners at times may work with different communities and organizations within the community as resources to promote changes and/or relationships that could positively affect clinical practice; and 3) an appreciation of difference, advocacy skill development, and an understanding of systems of oppression are all necessary components of a responsible clinical practice.