The Dalton State College Bachelor of Social Work Program offers a social work degree based on the purpose of the social work profession, which is to promote human and community well being. Guided by a person in environmental construct, a global perspective, a respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, social work’s purpose is carried out through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions which limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons.
Grounded in the values and ethical principles of social work, the DSC BSW program seeks to provide the people of the Northwest Georgia region with culturally-competent, well-trained, professional generalist social workers who have special preparation to work with the Appalachian rural population and the immigrant and native Georgian Latino population, the largest at-risk populations of the region.
The DSC Bachelor of Social Work Program is built upon the values of service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry, which are among the core values of social work. These values underpin the explicit and implicit curriculum and frame the profession’s commitment to respect for all people and the quest for social and economic justice.
Our program goals are derived from our mission statement and provide delineation for our mission in 12 different arenas. We are proud to say that our unique community has a strong influence upon the existence of six of our goals (numbers 2, 5, 10, 11, 12 and 13). Specifically, the BSW program at DSC seeks to:
- Prepare generalist social workers to enter practice under professional supervision in the fields of social services, health care, and mental health.
- Prepare generalist social workers with the cultural competence skills needed to practice with the largest diversity groups of the Northwest Georgia area: Appalachian, African American, and Hispanic/Latino individuals and families, including special preparation for work with recently-arrived Hispanic/Latino families through attainment of at least a third-year college level of Spanish language fluency and in-depth cultural knowledge.
- Prepare generalist social workers to apply social work theories and interventions using the “person-in-environment” and “ecological, multilevel systems” perspectives across practice settings.
- Prepare generalist social workers to intervene effectively in a variety of human and social problem areas and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.
- Prepare generalist social workers with the skills necessary to enter the social welfare system as child welfare workers in various roles, for example, as entry-level employees in the Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) prepared to work with families troubled by the issues of child abuse and neglect.
- Address the critical shortage of social workers in child welfare.
- Prepare generalist social workers to understand current social policies impacting clients and to advocate for desired changes at all levels of society and government.
- Prepare generalist social workers to understand and utilize the ethical standards of the profession embodied in the code of ethics of the National Association of Social Work (NASW) and to practice within the values of the social work profession.
- Prepare generalist social workers to compete successfully for admission to accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) programs in Georgia and throughout the United States if they desire more advanced preparation.
- Facilitate the entry of nontraditional students into the social work profession by offering the BSW degree program in formats designed to allow nontraditional students, particularly employed persons and persons from oppressed groups, the opportunity to work toward a degree.
- Recruit faculty members who have in-depth knowledge of the needs of recent Latino immigrants and rural Appalachian persons and who personify the highest ethical, academic, and professional practice standards in order to develop a culture of excellence for social work faculty, staff, and students.
- Develop strong linkages and feedback processes with the social work practice community through an active Professional Advisory Board, a professional-to-student mentoring program, a continuing education program, and an international education program which encourages participation by both practitioners and students.
- Strengthen the social service delivery system of the Northwest Georgia region by engaging social service agencies in the social work educational process of field instruction, by offering a continuing education program determined by agency needs, and by involving outstanding agency administrators in the School of Social Works Professional Advisory Board.