New York - New York University-School of Social Work

One Washington Square North

Consistent with our view that the purpose of social work involves the alleviation of human suffering as well as the restoration, maintenance, and enhancement of coping, the primary mission of the New York University Shirley M. Ehrenkranz School of Social Work is the education of committed professionals for direct social work practice with individuals, families, groups and communities in a complex urban environment. The School aims to prepare students to become skilled social work practitioners who perform a variety of practice interventive strategies, including linking people with needed resources, advocacy and working for the promotion of effective, humane service delivery systems and social policies.

Inherent in the Schools conception of direct practice is an appreciation of the cultural, social, psychological, psychodynamic and biological needs and experiences of individuals, families, groups and communities; a priority on client self-determination; a respect for clients' strengths and capacity to change; and a commitment to advocacy and social justice, which encompasses concern about all forms of economic and social oppression.

The School's mission pertains not only to its students but also to its faculty and the School's relationship to the profession, the community and the University. It includes a commitment to contribute to the profession through teaching, scholarly writing, and the development and testing of knowledge related to social work practice; to develop competent and accountable social workers who will contribute to the generation of practice knowledge; and to provide leadership in addressing social problems and inequitable social policies affecting individuals, families and communities.

The School's specific emphasis on educating professionals for direct practice reflects New York University's central purpose of serving the needs of the urban community as expressed in the motto, "A Private University in the Public Service." A growing interest of both the University and the School is in using our expertise in collaborations with international social workers and social work institutions. The location of the Ehrenkranz School of Social Work in a vital community in the heart of New York City provides unique opportunities for students to learn and implement interventions with highly diverse client populations, including refugees and immigrants.

The School's mission also reflects its longstanding role in the New York metropolitan area. It is recognized by social agencies, social work practitioners, and educators for training direct practitioners for work in a wide variety of settings and with diverse client populations. The School has close ties to the vast array of service delivery settings in the City and its surrounding communities, and it frequently provides consultation and continuing education to a wide range of social agencies and community groups.

The following values inform the focus of the School's MSW program in the teaching of direct practice with individuals, families and groups:

1. An identification with the historical commitments, values, and ethics of the social work profession;

2. A perspective that integrates both micro and macro interventive strategies;

3. A commitment to a broad knowledge base that includes contemporary psychodynamic, psychological, sociological and cultural theories and research findings;

4. An emphasis on helping students to develop sensitivity to, knowledge about and respect for client diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic class, age, religious and spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation, and physical ability;

5. A focus on the development of disciplined self-awareness and critical thinking about theories and intervention strategies;

6. A conviction that students have an ongoing responsibility to advance their knowledge and skills through continuing education, the use of research findings and the pursuit of scientific research and practice evaluation;

7. An emphasis on enabling students to utilize emerging bodies of knowledge, with respect to advocacy, social justice and the identification of new areas of client, organizational and community need;

8. A commitment to helping students recognize the benefits of maintaining ties to the profession and contributing to it through participation and advocacy in its associations