Free Online Course on Social Work Practice

The University of Michigan makes available to you free online course named as “Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Small Groups”. The course is aimed to teach you that how to assess and design appropriate intervention strategies for individuals, families, and small groups.

This free online course builds off of behavioral and social science theories to inform the practice concepts and skills presented. You will learn how to perform various social work roles (i.e. counselor/clinical social worker, group facilitator, mediator, and advocate), recognizing that these roles must adhere to social work values and ethics. The course will start on February 28, 2017.

Course At A Glance

  1. Length: 8 weeks
  2. Effort:  8-10 hours per week
  3. Subject: Social Sciences
  4. Institution: The University of Michigan
  5. Languages: English
  6. Price:  Free
  7. Certificate Available: Yes
  8. Session: The course will start on February 28, 2017

Providers Details

  • About University: The University of Michigan was founded in 1817 as one of the first public universities in the nation. The University, which is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has 260-degree programs in 19 schools and colleges offering a tremendous academic breadth and opportunity for discovery. Michigan has one of the largest alumni networks in the world with more than 540,000 living alumni.
  • Aim of University: The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.


No specific knowledge or education background is assumed.

About This Course

  • Benefits: This course integrates content on multiculturalism, diversity, and social justice issues. You will examine social work values and ethics, as well as issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, religion, and ability as these, relate to social work practice. The language of the course is English.
  • Importance of the Subject in Today’s Scenario: Social sciences, which include psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology, allow human beings to explore not only the world but their place in it. This type of broad understanding helps cultivate great leaders, according to social sciences proponents. The social sciences also better prepare people for careers in a variety of fields.

How to Join This Course

You should register yourself through the given link to join this free on-line course:

Course Format

Week 1: 

Integrative Themes that Guide Social Work Practice (Social Justice, Ecological Systems, Empowerment, Social-Cultural, Evidence-Informed)
The Mission of Social Work and Core Values
Using the Genogram to Uncover New Insights about Ourselves

Week 2: 

Engagement Skills and Relationship Building Skills
Stages of Change
Transference and Countertransference in Practice

Week 3: 

Professional Values, Ethics and Professional Use of Self
Assessment in Social Work with Individuals and Families

Week 4: 
Core Intervention Planning

Week 5:
CBT and Behavioral Approaches
Motivational Enhancement
DBT and Mindfulness Work

Week 6: 
Using Problem-Solving, Psychoeducational and Multisystemic Intervention Approaches
Case/Care Management Skills

Week 7: 
Working with Families – Models, Skills and Interventions
Working with Groups – Core Skills and Interventions

Week 8: 
Lifelong Learning and Professional Development
Review of Course

Why Take This Course

  • Advantage of Course: You will learn social work practice methods to restore, maintain and promote social functioning as it relates to individuals, families, and small groups. You will also learn how to assess risks, barriers, and plan, implement and monitor change strategies and evaluate techniques in order to demonstrate effectiveness.
  • Certificate: You can pursue a verified certificate for $199 to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain, you can add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students using a social work practice framework will be able to:

  • Describe and apply research-based knowledge and frameworks in social work practice with individuals, families and small groups and critique the strengths and weaknesses of these various frameworks.
  • Recognize the potential impact of race, gender, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, power and privilege on social work practice.
  • Carry out the roles of counselor/clinical social worker, client services manager, group facilitator mediator, and advocate in a culturally responsive manner by attending to social identities.
  • Demonstrate basic social work practice skills including active listening, empathic responding, critical/creative thinking, case recording, and contracting.
  • Operationalize the NASW (National Association of Social Workers) code of ethics and other ethical codes, and recognize value dilemmas that emerge in interpersonal practice.


Mary Ruffolo:  Mary is a Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan.

Suggested Reading

Social studies are important because it teaches students fundamental concepts of culture, economics and politics skills to groom them into educated, productive citizens. Social studies centers around understanding how the world works on a social level.

You Might Also Be Interested In

If you are interested you can also join “Global Social Change” free online course.


  • You will learn how to assess vulnerabilities and strengths in clients’ lives that relate to attributes (e.g. ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender {including gender identity and gender expression}, marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation) as well as situational and environmental factors relevant to the client’s social functioning.
  • If you pay for the certificate then you can receive an instructor-signed certificate with the institution’s logo to verify your achievement and increase your job prospects. You can add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn.

Detailed Information

For more information about the course, you can check the given link:!

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