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SOCIAL WORK MACRO THEORY AND PRACTICE

SW 4020 (3 credit hours)
Location:
_______________, (SW4020-902, CRN #20421)
Day and Time: Tuesday, 8:30 am – 11:15 am
Instructor:
Susan Titus, MSW
Contact:
susan.titus@wayne.edu (preferred contact)
Phone:
313-259-1135 (home phone)
Office Hours: By appointment
COURSE DESCRIPTION
Emphasizes knowledge, theory and practice related to service delivery and change within organizations,
neighborhoods, and communities.
COURSE COMPETENCIES AND PRACTICE BEHAVIORS
2.1.1 Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly
Practice Behaviors:
Advocate for the client access to the services of social work; practice Personal reflection and selfcorrection to assure continual professional development; attend to professional roles and boundaries;
demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance and communication; engage in Career
long learning; use supervision and consultation
2.1.3 Apply Critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
Practice Behaviors:
Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research based
knowledge, and practice wisdom; analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention and
evaluation; demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals,
families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues
2.1.5 Advance human rights and social and economic justice
Practice Behaviors:
Advocate for human rights and social justice; Engage in practice that advance social and
economic justice
2.1.6 Engage in research- informed practice and practice informed research
Practice Behaviors:

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Use research evidence to inform practice; Use practice to inform scientific inquiry
2.1.9 Respond to contexts that shape practice
Practice Behaviors:
Continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and
technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services; Provide
leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the
quality of social service
2.1.10 Engage, assess, intervene and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations and
communities
Practice Behaviors:
(a)
Engagement: Substantively and affectively prepare for action with individuals, families,
groups, organizations and communities; use empathy and other interpersonal skills; Develop a
mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes
(b)
Assessment: Collect, organize, and interpret client data; assess client strengths and
limitations; develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives ; select appropriate
intervention strategies
(c)
Intervention: Initiate actions to achieve organizational goals; implement prevention
interventions that enhance client capacities; help clients resolve problems; negotiate, mediate, and
advocate for clients; facilitate transitions and endings
(d)
Evaluation: Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions
11 Analyze the impact of the urban context on a range of client systems, including practice
implications
Practice Behaviors:
Examine the distinct characteristics of the urban context and apply the analysis to social work
practice
TEXTS AND REQUIRED MATERIAL
Netting, E., Kettner, P. Kettner, P., McMurtry S & Thomas, M. (2012). Social Work Macro Practice (5th
ed.) Allyn/Bacon
A Community Builder’s Toolkit – posted online
NASW Code of Ethics
Additional articles or reading materials may be handed out in class or posted online.

PERFORMANCE CRITERIA:
Students are to demonstrate comprehension of the course content and acquisition of knowledge and skill

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through a variety of assignments. Students are expected to develop competence in oral and written
communication skills. Papers which do not adhere to the college-level standards for scholarly writing will
be marked down. Students are also expected to use APA style of referencing including: organization in
the presentation of ideas; correct use of grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, heading,
subheadings, quotations, and; avoid bias in language.
Attendance & Participation: Students are expected to attend and participate in all classes Attendance is
responsibility of all students. One absence will be allowed without penalty. One point will be deducted
from the final points for the second and third absence. For the fourth and subsequent absences, three
points will be deducted for each absence. Please use allowed absences and low point absences wisely
since there will be no exceptions to this policy. Please notify the instructor in advance of any absences by
email.
It is the student’s responsibility to attend on time, and if late, to notify the instructor to assure that your
attendance has been noted. Students are responsible for obtaining copies of handouts and notes from their
peers for classes they do not attend. If there is a barrier that is preventing regular attendance, class
participation, or group participation, tell the professor and your teammates as soon as it is evident. If you
are not in class you cannot participate, so missing classes or being habitually late will affect the
attendance/participation grade. Lateness is considered arriving 10 minutes after the class is scheduled to
begin, leaving class early or returning from break late. Class will begin at the set time for the class.

While weather and traffic may create problems, one lateness will be allowed without penalty; the
second and third lateness’ will result in a deduction of ½ point; any additional lateness will result
in a deduction of 1 point from the final grade. Lateness is considered arriving 10 minutes after
the class is scheduled to begin, leaving class early or returning from break late.
Active participation is expected and will enhance class and project group discussions and make
possible the exploration and exchange of ideas that are critical in this course. Participation
includes all forms of verbal and non-verbal behavior, such as being attentive when others are
talking, asking questions, contributing your thoughts to the discussion and sharing reasons why
you agree or disagree with different ideas, offering new and different perspectives that are
relevant to the discussion, and practicing supportive and active listening.
Note: I do not expect all students to agree with the different perspectives that will be presented
by the student and instructor. In fact, effective social work practice and advocacy depend on the
ability to understand and explore viewpoints that are different than your own on a given social,
practice, or policy issue. Therefore, if you find yourself disagreeing with what is being said, I
expect you to raise your concern, ask questions, and offer different ideas to advance the
discussion.

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GRADING AND ASSIGNMENTS
Assignment

Points

Organizational analysis
Community Analysis

125
133

Percen
t
42
45

Part 1: Understanding the Community
Part 2: Assessment & Intervention in a Community Problem
Tests/Quizzes/Reflections
Presentation: Community Assessment plan
TOTAL

Benchmark Assignment

15
25
298

5
8
100

Course Competency
2.1.1, 2.1.3(a, b, c), 2.1.11
2.1.5a,b
2.1.6a, b 2.1.9b, 2.1.10a
2.1.11
2.1.3
2.1.10-c

Community Analysis Paper Part 2

Students will conduct a community analysis which includes assessments of a community problem and
intervention plan. Students will also administer a survey to at least 20 community members and will
analyze and discuss interventions and action plans to address problems
Grading Policy:
Students may pass the course with a grade of D but must maintain a C average during the junior and
senior year. (See Undergraduate Bulletin, Wayne State University http://www.bulletins.wayne.edu/ubkoutput/index.html)
Grade distribution:
100-95 A

94.9-90 A-

89.9-87 B+

86.9-83 B

82.9-80 B-

79.9-77 C+

79.9-77 C+

76.9-73 C

72.9-70 C-

69.9-67 D+

66.9-63 D

62.9-60 D-

Assignment Policies:
Assignment Due Dates/Late Papers. Papers must be posted online by 11:59 pm on the due date. Any
required attachments should be posted at the same time the paper is posted or, may be handed in at the
beginning of class on the date due. Late papers will automatically lose 5 points, and at instructor’s
discretion, may lose up to 5 additional points for each calendar day they are late. Please notify the
instructor in advance of the due date if you expect your paper to be late. It is perfectly acceptable to turn
papers in early. The instructor should be notified of unavoidable issues in advance by email which may
(or will) prevent compliance with assignment due date, or class attendance.

In-class Quizzes/Reflections. Quizzes or reflective writing prompts will be administered in class and are

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designed to take no more than 15-30 minutes to complete. At the end of the allotted time they will be
collected. There is no make-up for this in-class work. You must be in class on the day they are
administered to receive credit. The quizzes and writings are not announced ahead of time and may be
administered at any point during the semester.
The quizzes or reflective writings will be based on the readings due that day, or on concepts and other
material discussed that day or previously. Formal references/APA format will not be required for these
assignments as the emphasis here is communicating your own critical reflections and thoughts.
The reflective writing or quiz will be graded based on how well the student demonstrates critical and
reflective thinking in addressing the questions, and how effectively course content is connected to their
answers.
ORGANIZATION OF THE COURSE
This course focuses on social work theory and methods relevant for social work practice with
organizations and communities (macro systems). It builds upon the knowledge, skills and values learned
in prior courses and within the course focuses on content relevant to the context in which macro practice
occurs, i.e. neighborhoods and communities, organization, and the legislative arena. Students develop an
understanding of the reciprocal relationships people have with the larger social systems in which they live
and how social systems of varying size can promote or deter human functioning. Students learn and
practice skills in assessing and intervening (e.g., building power and human resources, planning,
managing resources, marketing, developing organizations, taking action and evaluating change) in large
systems, especially those who have been oppressed, to promote social and economic justice.
The format will be varied and will include the use of lectures, discussion, problem-solving exercises and
films or videos. Interactive discussions with an experiential basis will be encouraged.
ROLE OF THE STUDENT AND INSTRUCTOR
See University Statement of Obligation of Students and Faculty Members of the teaching - learning
process http://www.bulletins.wayne.edu/fib/fib2d.html
PLAGIARISM/ACADEMIC HONESTY
All students are expected to submit their own original work. The presentation of another’s words as your
own without giving credit to the source is regarded as plagiarism. Plagiarism is the same as lying and
stealing. Any work that is submitted in this class and found to contain portions that are plagiarized will
receive a ZERO.
Wayne State University defines plagiarism as taking and using another’s words or ideas as one’s own. The
Code of Conduct further explains:
Plagiarism may also take a variety of forms that are indicative of different levels of
culpability.
 Using quotes or phrases from a source without citing or crediting the source.
Students may do this by cutting and pasting material from web sites.

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Paraphrasing or summarizing the work of another without citing or crediting the
source.
 Directly copying the work of another without citing or crediting the source.
 Purchasing or copying papers produced by others.
http://clas.wayne.edu/Multimedia/CRJ/files/CheatingWebverisonupdatedMay2009b.pdf
For further information and guidance for avoiding academic misconduct, see brochure on academic
integrity prepared for students and faculty at: http://clas.wayne.edu/Multimedia/CRJ/files/Faculty
%20%26%20Student%20Resources.pdf
Academic Integrity Policy for all papers:
1. You must cite sources from the Internet or any other form of electronic media used in your
work. Any paper or other materials suspected of plagiarism will receive "O".
2. APA FORMAT: All papers written in the School of Social Work require APA format. You may
purchase the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6 th edition), or you
may visit the website listed below: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
3. WIKIPEDIA WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AS A RELIABLE SOURCE
WSU STUDENT RESOURCES
Students with disabilities: http://studentdisability.wayne.edu/rights.php.
Academic integrity and student code of conduct: http://doso.wayne.edu/assets/codeofconduct.pdf.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Wayne State: http://www.caps.wayne.edu/

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COURSE LEARNING UNITS
Unit
Content
Assignment
Module 1: Role of Social Work Macro Practice; Understanding Populations and Problems
Homework: Begin the journal
about your experiences and your
client's experiences in your
I
Introduction to the course and each other. Review
placement agency, as well as
syllabus.
your questions and conclusions.
See pp. 17-26 in the text for
examples. You will need this for
the organizational analysis.
Development of the Profession:
Introduction to Macro Practice and Historical Roots of
II
Macro Practice
Text: Preface, Chapters 1 & 2
 Understanding trends and context
 Video: Richard Wilkinson Wealth Gap
Text: Chapters 3 & 4

III

Frameworks for Understanding Problems &
Populations
 Appreciating a long-term, systemic approach to
change
 Video: Holding Ground

Module 2: Understanding and Assessing Organizations
IV
Frameworks for Understanding Organizations

A Community Builder’s Toolkit;
posted on BB
Homework for Session IV:
Bring Organizational Chart and
most recent complete Annual
Report from your placement

Text: Chapter 7
Text: Chapter 8

V

Frameworks for Assessing Organizations
 SWOT Analysis Worksheet

Homework for Session VI:
Complete SWOT Analysis with
your field supervisor's input and
bring it to class. Outline on BB.

Module 3: Understanding and Assessing Communities

2/19 &
21

Frameworks for Understanding Communities
 Interview & Survey Workshop
 Video: Deforce

Text: Chapter 5
Homework for Session VII:
Construct draft of interview &
survey questions and consent
form.

VII

Frameworks for Assessing Communities

Text: Chapter 6

VI

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 Video: Toni Griffin & Teddy Cruz
2/26 &
 Community Report Card and Approaches to
28
Change Worksheet
Module 4: Developing Change Strategies and Planning for Action

VIII

IX

Community Context and Organizational Behavior
Building Support for the Proposed Change
 Video: Dave Eggers
 Action Roadmap Worksheet

Community Context and Organizational Behavior
Selecting Appropriate Strategies and Tactics
 Video: Gary Slutkin
 Theory of Change & Logic Model Workshop

Text: Chapter 9
Organizational Analysis Due:
post on Blackboard before
midnight on the class day.
Homework for Session IX:
Fill out action roadmap
worksheet for your community
challenge
Text: Chapter 10
Homework for Session XI:
Draft Logic Model addressing
community problem you
identified. Information on Logic
Models are posted on BB.

Module 5: Implementing Change and Evaluating Results
RELAX AND TAKE A
BREATH

Spring Break

X

XI

XII

XIII

Rational Planning & Prescriptive Approaches to
Change
Planning, Implementing, Monitoring and Evaluating The
Community Intervention
 Presentation skills workshop
 Student consults (need to sign up before class)
Putting it all together: Racial Disproportionality Case
Study
 Video: Bryan Stephenson
Putting it all together: What does Community Change
Look Like?
 Video: We Are Not Ghosts
 Video: Gaining Ground
Presentations of the Community Needs Assessment &
Intervention Plan

XIV
Presentations continue; SET Evaluations and Wrap-up
The Syllabus may be revised by the instructor to meet class needs.

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Text: Chapter 11

Community Assessment Part 1
Due: post on Blackboard by
midnight

Community Assessment Part 2
Due: post on Blackboard by
midnight

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS FOR COURSE ASSIGNMENTS
A. Organizational Analysis
This paper should be 10-12 pages in length. It should be typed, double space, with standard margins and
approximately 250 words per page. Use subheadings to separate the different sections of the analysis, and
include an introduction and conclusion; an executive summary is not necessary. The paper must include
ten citations from at least five different sources (professional journals, interviews, textbook). You must
follow APA guidelines for citations and references.
Select a human service organization to analyze. You should in most situations choose your field agency. If
you choose a different organization please discuss it with the instructor. Be sure to be specific in your
comments and observations, and use examples to support your comments.
1. Organization and Services: Name and describe the work of the organization. Specify the type
of agency (public, nonprofit, for profit).
2. Mission and Goals: What is the stated mission of the organization? What are the official and
operative goals of the organization and how were they determined? How does the organization
address its multiple goals? Has goal displacement occurred in the organization? If so, describe
what influences impacted the displacement and if not, what influences prevented goal
displacement? How do these influences affect the organization as a whole and service delivery
to its target populations?
3. Organizational Structure and Staffing: Attach an organizational chart to your paper that
shows the relationships among staff and programs. Using theoretical concepts from the
textbook and other scholarly sources, address the following:
a. How does your organization’s structure influence the distribution of power and control
in the organization?
b. Discuss the lines of authority and approaches of management used in your agency and
how management approaches effect the functioning of employees and clients.
c. Discuss the extent of diversity at different levels within the organization. What
positions are held by women, people of color, gay and lesbian persons or persons’ with
disabilities? Discuss special issues that persons in the minority may face in the
organization.
4. Internal and External Environment: Relationship with Community: Attach a SWOT
analysis and describe the relationships between the organization’s internal environment and the
shifting macro environment in which it operates, using the SWOT framework of internal
strengths/weaknesses and external opportunities/threats. Using theoretical concepts from the
textbook and other scholarly sources, address the following:

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a.

How does the organization achieve legitimization in its external environment?

b. Where do its clients come from?
c. What is the organization’s relationship with other organizations in its environment?
d. How is the agency funded?
5. Theoretical construct of organization: Based on what you have learned about your
organization through the above descriptions and analysis, identify an organizational theory(ies)
that best describes the organization in terms of its overall functioning, management structure,
decision-making practices, and organizational culture. Explain why you choose this theory and
how does the theory help an outsider understand the agency?
6. Recommendation: Using the information you gained through the SWOT analysis, your journal
and other sources about the major strengths and weakness of your agency/organization, what
specific problems have you identified, and what recommendations would you make to increase
effectiveness and decrease those problems? Assess how realistic your recommendations are
considering the internal and external environment of the organization. What organizational
resistance to change might get in the way, and how would you propose to deal with this
resistance?
7. Attach the following as appendices to the paper: You may refer to these documents in your
paper.
a) Your Journal, assigned in the first class session. You may want to quote from your
journal, either the work that you completed or the conclusions that you have reached about this
issues that face the clients.
b) The SWOT Analysis
c) The Organizational Chart: if the agency does not provide one, then create one. If
you are in a very large agency, the chart should include the overall organization, with a chart of
the specific unit where you are located. Indicate the gender of persons on the chart, and note those
persons who have disabilities.

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Rubric
Attribute/
Criteria

Organization
Description
____/25

Analytical &
Theoretical
Perspective
____/35

Organizational Analysis 125 points available
Excellent = 125

Competent = 100

Developing = 80

Demonstrates exemplary understanding
of organization & how it operates:
Programs and services described in
detail
Agency’s ability to meet its mission
& goals, including goal displacement
thoroughly discussed
Organizational structure, diversity
and lines of authority are discussed
in theoretical context
Organizational chart attached

Demonstrates competent level of
understanding of organization & how it
operates:
Programs and services described
Mission & goals, including goal
displacement discussed
Organizational structure, diversity
and lines of authority are discussed
but theoretical context unclear or
absent
Organizational chart missing or not
well developed
There is some connection of theory and
perspective in analysis of internal and
external environment of organization.
SWOT analysis attached but
incomplete or does not include input
from agency leader
Some organizational strengths &
weaknesses are described
Some external opportunities/threats
are mentioned, but may not include
relationship with community, target
population or other organizations
Rationale for identification of
organizational theory that aids
understanding of agency’s overall
structure and functioning is unclear

Demonstrates developing level of understanding
of organization & how it operates:
Programs and services mentioned briefly or
not at all
Mission & goals mentioned, but little or no
discussion of how well the organization is
meeting goals
Organizational structure, diversity and lines
of authority are not discussed within a
theoretical context
Organizational chart missing

There is a clear connection of theory and
perspective in analysis of internal and
external environment of organization.
Completed SWOT analysis attached
and includes input from agency
leader
Detailed analysis of organization’s
internal strengths/weaknesses,
Detailed analysis of organization’s
external opportunities/threats,
including relationship with
community, target population &
other organizations
Clear rationale for identification of
organizational theory that aids
understanding of agency’s overall

There is little or no connection of theory to the
analysis of internal and external environment of
organization.
SWOT analysis missing or incomplete
Organizational strengths & weaknesses are
not described
External opportunities/threats are not
discussed in any meaningful way
No identification of organizational theory to
aid understanding of agency’s overall
structure and functioning, or rationale for
choosing theory is unclear or not described

structure and functioning

Recommendation
& Conclusion
____/45

or not described

Identified problem is supported by the
research and information gathered during
the project and described in the analysis
Recommendation for resolving
problem is clear and realistic
Rationale for recommendation and
discussion of its feasibility is
thoroughly explained, including
strategies for overcoming resistance
to change
Conclusion to paper is concise and
an insightful summary of the
analysis

Identified problem is not well supported
by the research and information gathered
during the project
Recommendation for resolving
problem is vague or unclear
Rationale for recommendation and
discussion of its feasibility and
overcoming resistance is vague or
unclear
Conclusion to paper is either too
concise or does not provide a
meaningful summary of the analysis

No problem is identified or it is not supported by
the research and information gathered
Recommendation for resolving problem is
missing
Rationale for recommendation and
discussion of its feasibility and overcoming
resistance is missing
Conclusion to paper missing or does not
provide a meaningful summary of the
analysis

Paper is extremely well written and
organized in a coherent and logical way.
The flow of the analysis makes sense
and there is continuity from one
section to the next.
There are no spelling or grammatical
errors and terminology is clearly
defined.
References are used appropriately
and include at least 10 in-text
citations from at least 5 different
sources
APA format is followed
Subheadings and paragraphs are
used appropriately

Paper is generally well written and
organized in a coherent and logical way.
There is generally continuity from
one section to the next but overall
flow could be improved.
There are some spelling or
grammatical errors and occasional
awkward wording or sentence
structure.
References are not sourced properly
or do not meet assignment
requirements
APA format is followed for most part
Use of subheadings and paragraphs
could be improved

Paper is poorly organized or difficult to read
because it lacks clarity or conciseness
Paper is neither coherent or logical, and
lacks continuity from one section to the next
Technical terms are poorly defined or not
defined at all
Numerous spelling or grammatical errors
and awkward wording or sentence structure.
References are not sourced or do not meet
assignment requirements
APA format is not followed
No subheadings

Paper Structure

Organization/
Clarity
____/20

B. Community Analysis
Overview: The purpose of this assignment is to develop your understanding of a community and its
cultural diversity so you might better plan and develop interventions to address issues and problems
facing the community. The assignment focuses on the community in which you grew up or another
community of which you were a member. If you lived in a number of places during your younger years,
select the one with which you are most familiar. If you are uncertain regarding which community to
select, please consult the instructor.
Part 1 of the paper is your comparative analysis of the community you grew up in. Part 2 of the paper
expands the research you conducted in Part 1 to include interviews and surveys plus some additional
research that will help you understand your community at a deeper level and guide you towards an
appropriate community intervention that will positively impact a social problem currently experienced by
that community. Part 1 will be handed in as a draft for feedback from the instructor. After incorporating
the feedback into the next draft, Part 1 will be combined with Part 2 and handed in as one complete
document, together with all required attachments.
Format and Length: Parts 1 and 2 of this paper should be approximately 10-12 pages each, not including
any attachments or reference page. Keep in mind that this information is provided for guideline purposes
only, and that content is more important than the number of pages. In other words, the paper will be
graded based on the quality and detail of your analysis and your ability to think critically, to conduct
appropriate research into your subject matter, and to present a well-written, thoughtful, cohesive
document. It should be typed, double spaced, 11 or 12 point font with standard 1” margins and
approximately 250 words per page. Use subheadings to separate the different sections of the analysis,
number the pages, and include an introduction and conclusion.
References: The completed paper must include at least ten citations from at least five different sources
(professional journals, interviews, textbook). You must follow APA guidelines for citations and
references.
Note: Community can be defined in terms of an actual city or town, such as Detroit or Dearborn, or in
terms of neighborhood boundaries or zip codes, or in other geographic terms or boundaries that you may
choose. How you define the community you plan to examine will determine how you go about your
research into its characteristics and demographics. If you have questions, check with the instructor.
Part 1. Understanding your community
To begin your understanding of your community, gather statistics and data that describe your community
at two different points in time so that you have a basis for comparison. You should pick a 1-2 year period
that represents the more distant past (for example, when you were a child or teenager) and another point
in time that represents the present or very recent past (1-3 years ago). The data and statistics you gather
should cover the following information, which will provide the basis for your “then” and “now”
comparison and also inform your analysis in Part 2 of the assignment.

When you are finished with this initial round of research and information gathering, you should be able to
answer the following questions for each of the two time periods you are examining:

How many persons live in the city and/or in the town?

What are their cultural/racial characteristics?

What are their incomes, ages, political affiliations, etc.

What is the crime rate, unemployment rate, high school graduation rate, highest educational
achievement rate?

What is the primary industry (i.e. types of employment opportunities for residents) that supports
the economy of your community?

Census data are available online and in the documents section of the library. Many towns and cities also
have websites that provide key demographic information and statistics, both past and present. If your
community has a Chamber of Commerce you might write them or check their website for up-to-date
information.
You should draw from class readings, lectures, discussions, and also research additional library sources
that will help you understand and analyze your community. When describing facts or making assertions
about your community, be clear about where this information came from. Is it based on your own
personal observations and speculation (i.e. what you think is going on)? Interviews or discussions with
friends, relatives, neighbors, etc. (what others think is going on)? Or is it based on actual data from
reliable sources (what others have researched and investigated independently)? Use references and APA
citations where needed to clarify sources you are relying on for your information.
Note: Attach the Community Report Card to Part 1 of your paper, which grades your community
(now) on its level of functioning. Feel free to incorporate your interpretations of the report card grades
into your analysis.
The paper should follow this outline, and any facts or data used to describe or explain your points should
be properly sourced and referenced.
1. Community Description “Then” and “Now”: Using the data and information gathered
about your community, paint a picture of your community as it was when you were growing
up, and compare it with the community as it is now. What were some of the noteworthy
differences you discovered in your research, and what is the significance of those differences
in terms of your understanding of that community as a social worker?
2. Community Functioning “Then” and “Now”: Using concepts and theories from the
textbook, compare and contrast your community’s overall functioning “then” and “now,”
particularly in terms of: a) production, distribution and consumption; b) socialization; c)

social control; d) social participation; e) mutual support; f) defense; and g) communication.
How well did the community perform these functions for its members when you were young
and how have circumstances changed over time in terms of the community’s ability to
function and meet the needs of its members?
3. Analysis of Changes: What are the implications of the changes in your community in terms
of how they have impacted diverse and vulnerable populations at risk? What examples can
you describe that illustrate this impact?
4. Community Member Interactions: Analyze the current nature of interactions among
different sub-group populations (racial, economic, religious, age, etc.) in the community and
how that has changed from your earlier point in time. How are these current interactions
impacting the community’s relationships with other nearby neighborhoods and communities?
5. Community Perspectives: Using specific examples to illustrate how theoretical concepts can
enhance understanding of communities, describe your community from one of the following
theoretical perspectives:
a. Systems theory: If you use this theory, discuss how this theory applies to your
community in terms of community functioning, change and transition, approach to
conflict, and power and control.
b. Human or Population Ecology Theory: If you use this theory, discuss how this theory
applies to your community in terms of interactions of residents and utilization of
space, specifically the processes of competition vs. cooperation, centralization vs.
decentralization, concentration vs. dispersion, segregation vs. integration, and
succession vs. status quo.
c. Human Behavior Theory: If you use this theory, discuss how this theory applies to
your community in terms of interactions, values and ideologies, collective identity
and the ties that bind members of the community, and processes for addressing needs.
d. Power, Politics & Change Theories: If you use these theories, discuss how they apply
to your community in terms of power and dependency, conflict between the “haves”
and “have-nots”, and mobilization of resources to meet needs.
6. Individual Reflection: Consider how the community (its location, demographics, events,
changes) have contributed to who you are, including your ethnic or cultural identity as well as
your personal values and ethics.
Part 2. Community Assessment and Intervention Plan:
To complete Part 2 of your Community Assessment Project, you will first need to get out and talk to
people about their experiences and perceptions of your community. Only after you have gathered some

qualitative data from interviews and surveys will you be in a position to clearly identify a problem and
offer a solution and plan of action. As part of your community assessment, you need to:

Key Informant Interviews: Identify and interview at least three leaders in the community to
determine what they see as the primary problems facing the community. Community leaders
come in all shapes and sizes and it will be up to you to decide who to talk to and who has the
most knowledge about what is going on in the community and what it needs. Try to avoid elected
officials and focus instead on experienced and knowledgeable residents, which may include
neighborhood leaders, clergy or others. Discuss their perceptions of the problem. (information on
key informant interviews is posted on BB)

Surveys: Incorporating information you learned from the key informant interviews, develop a
survey tool to assess how community members view the community and administer the survey
to at least 20 members of the community. What do these members see as the primary problems
facing the community? Do they agree on their perceptions of the problem?
o

Prior to administration of the instrument, you must develop a brief consent form to
provide to those answering the survey. Provide both to the instructor for approval.

o

Try to select a cross section of people from diverse backgrounds (such as, for instance:
income level, family composition, employment, age, race, religion, ethnicity, etc).

Using the information gleaned from the surveys and interviews, as well as your own perceptions based on
your independent research into your community, describe the results of your community assessment,
covering the following points:
1. Interview and Survey Methodology: Describe the process you followed to gather the
qualitative data that helped inform your analysis. How did you decide who to interview? How
did you go about gathering the surveys? What barriers did you encounter and how did you
overcome them? What trends and patterns emerged in the information you learned from this
process and how did that change your perceptions of your community? If you were to do this
again, what might you do differently the next time?
Note: Attach a copy of your consent form, key informant interview questions, and the
survey questions to your paper. Create a brief chart or table summarizing your survey
results and attach that as well. These should all be attached as appendices, but referred
to in the paper.
2. Community Problem: Describe a particular social problem that your community is currently
experiencing and that you want to try to impact. Using data, scholarly sources and your own
research as evidence to support your analysis, discuss the probable etiology of the problem;
your opinion, but supported by literature and factual information.

3. Community Assets and Barriers: Discuss the elements and characteristics of the community
that make it vulnerable to this problem and create barriers to improvement. Incorporating
concepts from the textbook about community empowerment, strengths and resiliency, identify the
major institutions and systems that impact and support your community – schools, factories,
churches, public and private entities, health systems, natural support networks, voluntary and
self-help associations, etc. How are these institutions or systems contributing to or inhibiting the
community’s ability to address the problem you identified? Discuss the strengths of the
community that give it resilience and the potential for overcoming the problem.
Note: Design and attach an asset map of your community to your paper as an
appendice.
4. Population Affected by Problem: Building on the information provided in Part 1, provide
more focused demographic information regarding the population most affected by the problem
you have identified – e.g. race, gender, age, socio economic status.
Note: Complete and attach the Worksheet for Community Assessment as an appendice.
5Options for Change: Building on what you learned during your research and in the survey
responses from community members, discuss three possible actions that could be taken to address
the problem. Briefly discuss the pros and cons of each in terms of cost, feasibility, resources
needed, etc.
Note: Complete and attach the Approaches to Change Worksheet as an appendice.
6. Solution Proposal: Select one possible action that you think would positively impact your
problem, and develop a plan for action. Discuss community factors that would support this action
plan. Discuss community factors that would discourage this action plan.
7. Evaluation: Discuss a plan for evaluating the change effort. How would you know if you
have been successful? What criteria would you measure and what outcomes would you be
looking for?
Note: Complete and attach a Logic Model demonstrating how your proposed solution
would be implemented and evaluated. This is an appendice.
Criteria for Grading Community Assessment and Intervention Plan
____ The paper usess adequate sources of information and identifies the perspective and
limitations of data used.
____ The paper contains all of the requisite elements of the assignment presenting the
information gathered clearly and with appropriate emphasis, delineating findings and your
observations.

____ The paper provides an accurate, comprehensive picture of the community, its historical and
contemporary context and its current strengths and challenges.
____ The paper addresses a problem facing the community and recommends thoughtful, wellsupported strategies to address it.
____ The paper is well written, demonstrating basic master of sentence structure, with no
grammatical spelling or typing errors.
____ The paper incorporates concepts from course readings in its description and analyses and
cites sources appropriately.
____The paper uses the materials developed and provided in the appendices, referring to and
discussing the material appropriately.

Rubric:

Community Analysis- Community Assessment and Intervention Parts 1 & 2 133 points available

Attribute/
Criteria

Part 1: Then &
Now
____/20

Theoretical
Perspective
____/30

Excellent =133

Competent = 108

Developing =83

Comparative analysis then and now is
rich and inclusive
 Two distinct time periods were
compared
 Community clearly defined
 Census and/or other data used
effectively to establish demographics
and statistics
 Community functioning described in
adequate detail for both time periods,
using concepts from text
 Analysis of changes in community are
detailed and insightful and includes
interactions among community members
& with other communities
Theory and models are correctly
identified and discussed. There is a clear
demonstration of critical thinking
Part 1 analysis includes detailed and
insightful discussion of community
from specific theoretical perspective
Part 1 analysis includes detailed and
insightful personal reflection
Part 2 analysis utilizes theory, data
and research appropriately to support
analysis of problem, etiology, and

Comparative analysis then and now is
unclear or vague
 Difficult at times to tell what two
distinct time periods were compared
 Community not clearly defined
 Some census and/or other data used to
establish demographics and statistics
 Community functioning described for
both time periods, but not clearly related
to text concepts
 Changes in community are discussed,
but analysis could be more detailed or
clearer

Comparative analysis then and now is
missing or incoherent
 Two distinct time periods were not
compared
 Community not defined
 Census and/or other data not
effectively used to establish
demographics and statistics
 Community functioning not well
described for either time period, or not
connected to text concepts
 Changes in community are discussed,
but analysis could be more detailed or
clearer

Theory and models are identified and
discussed. Some critical thinking skills
are apparent.
Part 1 analysis includes some
discussion of community from
specific theoretical perspective
Part 1 analysis includes personal
reflection
Part 2 analysis utilizes some theory,
data and research to support
conclusions and recommendations

Theory and models are not properly
identified and discussed. Critical
thinking skills are not apparent.
Part 1 analysis includes little or no
discussion of community from
specific theoretical perspective
Part 1 analysis includes minimal or
no personal reflection
Part 2 analysis utilizes little or no
theory, data and research to support
conclusions and recommendations

Part 2: Research
& Problem
Analysis
____/25

Intervention Plan
____/35

Paper Structure
Organization/
Clarity

potential solutions
Student clearly demonstrates the
understanding of the purpose and process
of research and connecting theory to
practice
At least 3 lay leaders interviewed
At least 20 community members
surveyed
Results of research used to assess
community problem and formulate
solution
Assets and barriers thoroughly
discussed and analyzed
Community problem and population
affected by it are clearly described
Student has clearly demonstrated the
relationship between person and the
environment
3 possible community interventions
are clearly described
1 intervention is thoroughly
discussed, with a plan for action and
implementation
Community factors that would
support or inhibit the plan are clearly
laid out and analyzed
Plan for evaluating community
intervention is detailed and clear
Paper is coherently organized, the logic is
easy to follow.
All required assessment tools

Student demonstrates the understanding
of the purpose and process of research
and connecting theory to practice
Fewer than 3 lay leaders interviewed
Fewer than 20 community members
surveyed
Unclear how results of research were
used to assess community problem
and formulate solution
Some assets and barriers discussed
and analyzed
Community problem and impact on
population is unclear
Student has demonstrated the relationship
between person and the environment
3 possible community interventions
are mentioned
1 intervention presented with plan for
action and implementation
Some community factors impacting
plan are mentioned but not described
in detail
Plan for evaluating community
intervention is unclear or not well
thought through

Paper flows in a fairly logical manner.
Most required assessment tools
completed and attached

Student does not seem to understand the
purpose and process of research and
connecting theory to practice
Fewer than 2 lay leaders
interviewed
Fewer than 15 community members
surveyed
Results of research were not used to
assess community problem and
formulate solution
Assets and barriers not discussed or
analyzed
Discussion of community problem
and impact on population is missing
Student has not demonstrated the
relationship between person and the
environment
3 community interventions are not
described
1 intervention is mentioned, but
plan for action and implementation
unclear or not discussed
Community factors that would
support or inhibit the plan are not
mentioned
Plan for evaluating community
intervention is missing or unclear
Paper is poorly organized and difficult to
read.
Few required assessment tools

____/23

completed and attached
All required elements of analysis are
thoroughly and adequately addressed
Paper utilizes outside resources
appropriately and follows APA
format
Paper is coherent, organized well,
logical, & uses subheadings
Writing is clear and concise, with no
spelling or grammatical errors or
typos
Language is clear and terminology is
defined

Most required elements of analysis
are thoroughly and adequately
addressed
Some errors apparent in using
outside resources and following APA
format
Paper is reasonably coherent, but
may have awkward or unclear
passages, or no subheadings
Writing could be more concise, or
there are some spelling or
grammatical errors or typos
Language could be clearer or some
terminology not defined

3. Presentation Community: Assessment and Intervention Plan

completed or attached
Key required elements of analysis
are missing or incomplete
Serious errors in using outside
resources and following APA format
Paper is not coherent, and has
numerous awkward or unclear
passages
Numerous spelling or grammatical
errors or typos
Language unclear or terminology
not defined

20 points

Students will share their findings to the class in the form of a presentation. The presentation should be no longer than 10 minutes,
including time for questions and answers from the rest of the class. You may use a powerpoint format for your presentation but it is not
required. The presentation should include the following components:
a) Brief description of the community you chose, why you chose it, and a summary of your initial comparative analysis (Part 1 of
your paper);
b) Description of your survey and interview methods and summary of your findings;
c) Description of your community problem that you identified and who is most affected by it, and the community’s assets and
barriers that are impacting the ability to resolve or improve the problem
d) Solution options you considered and rationale for selecting the one you are recommending

e) Summary of your proposed intervention plan and how it would be evaluated.
Note: The use of charts or graphs to illustrate your points is encouraged (asset map, logic model, chart of survey responses, etc.)
Presentation Rubric
Attribute/
Criteria
Presentation
Skills
____/5

Presentation
Content
____/6
Knowledge &
Insight
____/9

Excellent =20
Audible in all parts of the classroom
Not reading from a script; appears
relaxed in front of group
Handles questions from class in
professional and informative manner

Competent = 15

Presents information in a logical
manner (verbal organization)
All required elements included

Audible in all parts of the classroom
for most part
Some reading from a script or some
nervousness apparent
Handles questions from class in
professional and informative manner
for most part
Information not presented in a logical
manner (verbal organization)
Some required elements missing

Demonstrates in depth knowledge
and understanding of the community
Information presented is informative,
clear, and accurate
Analysis is insightful and
demonstrates high level of critical
and reflective thinking
Conclusions and recommendations
are appropriate and relevant based on
student’s research

Demonstrates basic knowledge and
understanding of community
Information presented for the most
part is informative, clear, and
accurate
Analysis is insightful and
demonstrates some critical and
reflective thinking
Conclusions and recommendations
are appropriate and relevant

Developing =10
Not audible in all parts of the
classroom
Reading totally from a script or
nervousness detracting from
presentation
Difficulty handling questions from
class
Information presented in a
disorganized or unprepared manner
Required elements missing or
incomplete
Does not demonstrate in depth
knowledge and understanding of the
community
Information presented is not
informative, clear, or accurate
Analysis does not demonstrate
much critical or reflective thinking
Conclusions and recommendations
are unclear or not presented

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