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Concentration-based Curriculum

The UConn School of Social Work is unique. Here, you have the opportunity to pursue a concentration in social work practice. You can choose an area of concentration: Community Organization, Individuals, Groups & Families, or Policy Practice. Within your chosen area of concentration, you will learn specific skills and practices as they apply in a variety of professional settings.

Click on a concentration below to learn more:

Community Organization

Community Organization (CORG) is the advanced practice method that combines direct service with advocacy, education, and social action to empower communities to work for change. It is a process that brings people together to collectively:

  • Enhance self-determination
  • Achieve greater equality
  • Shift in power relationships to benefit members of oppressed communities

Community organization social workers address political, social, and economic factors relating to issues of power, inequality, culture, values, and problem-solving by using a broad repertoire of social change skills.

Community organizers build community, create solidarities, and deliver services at the grassroots level to empower people working together to make their own changes, meet their own needs, and participate more fully in public life and the democratic process.

Community organization alumni have diverse careers in:

  • Community and neighborhood centers
  • Nonprofit and advocacy organizations
  • Social change coalitions
  • Government agencies
  • Universities
  • Labor unions
  • Congressional offices
  • Human rights organizations
  • International organizations

Individuals, Groups & Families

Practice with Individuals, Groups and Families (IGFP) is the advanced practice method through which individual clients, family and group members are helped to:

  • Improve the level of fit between personal and environmental strengths and limitations
  • Empower themselves personally and politically
  • Ensure their rights and entitlements
  • Maintain, restore or enhance their social functioning
  • Resolve life stressors as these arise

Practice with Individuals, Groups and Families teaches students knowledge and skills in mobilizing, sustaining and creating personal, interpersonal, and environmental resources.

IGF social workers are involved in preventive activity at practice and program levels, in both urban and rural settings.  

IGF social workers find career opportunities in:

  • Child welfare agencies
  • Schools
  • Youth, children, & family service agencies
  • Mental health clinics and hospitals
  • Health care settings
  • Criminal justice settings
  • Senior citizen centers and facilities
  • Community and neighborhood centers
  • Neighborhood development and citizen action programs

Policy Practice

Policy Practice (POPR) is the advanced practice concentration that prepares social workers to intervene at the levels of service delivery in organizations and government to improve laws, regulations, and policies affecting populations in vulnerable situations. Policy practice involves policy development and policy analysis, program design and implementation, and policy and legislative advocacy. This method of social work practice leads to social change of macro structures to increase equity, and reduce oppression and discrimination in policies and programs. Policy practice activities include:

  • Define the root causes of social problems on local, national and global levels
  • Conduct needs and community assessments
  • Use research methodologies, data and information in the policy-making process
  • Learn proposal grant writing
  • Develop, lead and implement policies and programs
  • Write legislative policy briefs

Policy Practice social workers engage in strategies that ensure participation of diverse and marginalized populations in assessing, planning and implementing interventions for social change within a range of public and private institutions, organizations, and client systems. A critical element of policy practice is the ability to leverage resources, influence social change by using a professional network and having an advance understanding of the social, economic, political factors and contexts that promote social welfare and legislative policies.

Policy Practice social workers find career opportunities in:

  • Public and private not-for-profit agencies
  • Government or legislative offices
  • United Nations and international NGOs
  • Peace Corps
  • Veteran Administration
  • Behavioral health and mental health settings
  • Court or criminal justice settings
  • Public education system
  • Reproductive rights organizations
  • Higher education