Students studying social work develop a strong sense of equality and social justice, through the development of strategies for dealing sensitively with people as well as the analysis of social policies and administrative practices that affect the lives of those in diverse populations. Students learn how economic, social, political, and legislative contexts shape individual and societal problems.
Students study the history and development of social welfare in Canadian society as well as elsewhere. They study various social policies, values and ethics, and issues related to the delivery of social services. This includes agency mandates, inter-relationships amongst various agencies, and professional practice issues.
Students also gain a survey of social justice, law, the legal system, and the legal processes that impact social work practice. This includes studies into child welfare, mental health, human rights, poverty, and restorative justice. Students learn various skills such as dispute resolution, advocacy, mediation, investigation, evidence-giving, and report writing.
Students can focus on a particular area of social work such as child welfare or indigenous social work, where they learn about specific issues to these social groups including discrimination, the educational system, parental rights, abuse, and the various laws governing these sensitive groups.
All social work programs involve a practicum where students get to test, develop, and integrate their accumulated knowledge and skills. This involves community-based field education, integrative seminars, workshops, and seminars related to practice learning, and individual consultations with field education coordinators. Students work closely with their coordinator to find and plan their placement which can take place in a wide range of government or community organizations.