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Social Work Certificate Programs

Skills for Human Service Personnel 

Designed for individuals already working in the human service field, the program will provide participants with the requisite social work skills and competencies necessary to effectively serve a wide variety of clients. Sessions meet approximately every other week for two-and-a-half to three hours each, featuring mini-lectures, experiential exercises, and class discussions. Certificates of completion and Continuing Education Units will be issues to participants upon successful completion of the program.

Introduction to Foundations of Social Work and Values and Ethics

The purpose of this session is to prepare paraprofessional caseworkers with an understanding of the person in the context of his or her environment, and sensitize participants to the various micro and macro forces impacting the lives of their clients. Values and ethics for human service workers (using NASW Code of Ethics) will be reviewed to include issues of confidentiality, services, importance of human relationships, dignity, and worth of human beings.


The Helping Relationship

This session will enable participants to differentiate between a helping relationship and a friendship. What is "helping" and how we "help" will be discussed. 


Skills for Engaging Clients

This session will emphasize the importance of engaging with clients from a culturally sensitive perspective. Collaborative relationship building will also be discussed.


Basic Interviewing Skills

This session will teach participants the skills for talking with clients, including attending skills, questioning skills, paraphrasing, and noting and reflecting feelings.


Dealing with Reluctant Clients

Participants will gain skills for working with clients who have trouble engaging in the helping process.


Working with Client Strengths and Resources

This session will teach and provide participants with a strength-based perspective for working with clients. Participants will learn how to interview for client strengths and how to use strengths to facilitate the helping process, as well as identifying client and environmental resources.


Self-Disclosure and Professional Boundaries

This session will focus on issues of self-disclosure and setting and maintaining appropriate boundaries while addressing ethical conflicts from a decision-making framework.


Effective Client Advocacy

This session will focus on requisite skills for working in agencies with multidisciplinary teams. Participants will gain a better understanding of their roles and contributions as client advocates while maintaining collegial relationships.


Safety Issues for Home Visits and Terminating with Clients

This session will begin by addressing some of the important safety practices that workers should consider when working with clients in their homes. The termination process will also be discussed, including topics such as transferring cases to colleagues, client requests for continued contact, and worker feelings about endings.

This session will also feature a class completion exercise and the awarding of certificates.