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School of Social Work and Human Services

Mission, Goals, and Principles

Mission Statement

The UFV Social Work degree programs prepare students for social work practice reflecting principles of social justice, equality, and respect for diversity. The programs address the structural barriers that prevent people from reaching their full potential. With a commitment to lifelong learning and a critical analysis of oppression, graduates will have the knowledge, skills, and professional social work values necessary to work collaboratively with individuals, families, groups, and communities in diverse and cross-cultural environments. The programs contribute to the knowledge base of social work through partnerships and collaborative research with professional and local communities.


  1. Social work education is a critical process that respects diverse sources and forms of knowledge while encouraging dissent. We are committed to scholarship including debate on social work and social welfare, with particular attention to how social problems come to be defined and addressed.
  2. All individuals, families, groups, and communities are entitled to be treated with respect, with justice, and without discrimination. To that end, we seek to provide equitable educational opportunities and participation of those groups experiencing systemic oppression. Valuing our community base, we seek to promote social change.
  3. We encourage the use of evidence-based practice and contribution to the knowledge base of social work.


  1. To prepare students at the undergraduate level as generalist or child welfare practitioners, and at the graduate level as advanced practitioners, by providing an education that meets standards established by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE).
  2. To respect the self-determination of Indigenous peoples and be committed to working in partnership with Stó:lō communities in curriculum development and delivery.
  3. To place a strong emphasis on the integration of anti-oppressive practice at all levels of intervention, with a commitment to cross-cultural practice.
  4. To promote social work education and partnerships that respect ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity.
  5. To contribute to social work knowledge development through research, the promotion of scholarly activities, and collaborative community work.
  6. To work in partnership with communities, professional associations, and other UFV faculties and disciplines to increase awareness of the social work profession and to promote social change and social justice.
  7. To promote and support faculty and students in social work education at the international level, with a commitment to partnerships and collaboration with schools of social work to further teaching, learning, research, and field education opportunities.
  8. To support and encourage student participation in the professional association as well as in the governance of the School.
  9. To graduate self-reflective practitioners who integrate theory, research, and practice in their pursuit of continued professional growth. We do this by encouraging a teaching/learning environment predicated on adult education principles and encouraging lifelong learning.


Upon successful completion of their program, both undergraduate and graduate students will be able to:

  • Articulate a critical understanding of social work theory, social problems, and policy initiatives and processes.
  • Demonstrate values consistent with the social work profession and model ethical practice.
  • Identify a range of social work theories, perspectives, and intervention models, and engage in systematic evaluation of their own professional practice.
  • Apply the use of self and identify the ways in which attitudes, values, belief, and experiences influence social work practice.
  • Identify how human development is shaped by cultural contexts and practice in a culturally appropriate manner.
  • Promote policies and social work practices that improve social conditions.
  • Develop practice that promotes social justice.
  • Articulate the role of research and evaluation in social work practice, methodologies, approaches, and skills and integrate a scientific and evaluative approach to practice.
  • Use critical thinking skills for analysis and evaluation of social work knowledge, skills, and values.
  • Articulate a strong sense of professional identity.
  • Become self-directed and life-long learners.
  • At the undergraduate level, demonstrate a range of generalist social work intervention skills at the individual, family, group, community, and social policy levels.
  • At the graduate level, demonstrate advanced competence in social work practice and research.
  • At the graduate level, develop a core professional knowledge base for advanced social work assessment and intervention.