Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Foundation Courses

SOWK 380: Assessment of Client Concerns in Context

Credit Hours



Senior status, Social Work majors only. "C" or higher in the following courses: SOWK 200, SOWK 201 or 307, SOWK 370, SOWK 305, and SOWK 350. Corequisite SOWK 301.


The aim of this course is to teach students to conduct a strengths-based and contextual assessment of client concerns. Students will learn to conduct a culturally informed biopsychosocial spiritual assessment in which they gather information about presenting concerns from the perspective of clients and collateral sources. As part of this process, students will learn to both critique and use the DSM-5, ICD-10, and other diagnostic models to conceptualize client concerns, communicate with other professionals, and critically examine research related to presenting concerns. Course content will be considered through an anti-racist, anti-oppressive lens, exploring the ways in which diagnostic systems have been used to oppress historically marginalized groups and individuals, including the implications of this context for specific client systems. Students will also be introduced to medications used to treat mental health conditions and the role of social workers in discussing medications with clients as part of a client's treatment team.

SOWK 380 Syllabus