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Programs of Study & Other Electives

Electives

The Crown Family School's Social Work, Social Policy and Social Administration (SW) program prepares you to be a leader in the fields of clinical social work and social administration practice. Our curriculum is flexible. The comprehensive and interdisciplinary nature of our two-year AM degree (equivalent to an MSW) translates into greater opportunities and choices in your future career. In addition to the core and required courses in the clinical social work and social work administration concentrations, students choose from a variety of electives each year. You may peruse our current offerings in our Course Catalog.

Crown Family School students also have the opportunity to apply to the Kiphart Scholars Program in Global Health & Social Development, the Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy (GPHAP), or to one of our Programs of Study. 

Programs of Study

Approximately forty percent of our students apply to and complete a Program of Study. These programs are faculty designed elective sequences that combine carefully selected courses and field placements geared toward a particular area of social work. Each Program of Study has prescribed requirements, either required courses or sets of courses from which you may choose. Importantly, each program combines course work with a related field experience to allow you to connect theoretical learning with the development of competencies in a particular area of practice. 

You must be accepted first to the Crown Family School and then by the individual Program of Study. First-year Crown Family School students can apply to the Kiphart Scholars Program in Global Health & Social Development during the fall quarter of their first year and to other Programs of Study during the winter of their first year.

Clinical Programs

Description

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental overdose took the lives of more than 702,000 individuals between 1999 and 2017. Unintentional overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States and the leading cause of death for people under age 50. Social workers are well-positioned to be able to recognize potential problems related to substance use, and support individuals and families with addressing their substance use concerns. CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL is an Illinois Certification Board (ICB) Accredited Advanced AODA Counselor Training Program (ATP), where clinical social work students have the opportunity to complete coursework and field education that will meet ICB’s certification of alcohol and drug counseling (CADC) exam requirements.

The goals of this sequence are:

  • To prepare students to provide trauma-informed services to people currently experiencing or at risk of developing problems related to their use of alcohol and other drugs.
  • To prepare students to provide substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery services in clinical and non-clinical settings.
  • To introduce students to a range of evidence-based approaches to the treatment of substance use disorders.
  • To introduce students to specialized approaches in addressing the recovery needs of specific populations,including individuals with co-occurring mental health conditions, women, LGBTQ individuals, older adults, and adolescents.

Rationale for Program

There is a shortage of qualified addiction professionals in our country, and Social workers with a CADC are desired as staff in a variety of clinical and non- clinical settings. Students who complete CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL’s AODA ATP are eligible to take the Illinois CADC examination upon graduation from CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL. While it is possible to obtain the coursework and supervised practice for the CADC after getting a master’s degree, the process usually takes about two additional years. (See the IAODAPCA Counselor Model athttp://www.iaodapca.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/AOD- Counselor-Model-July-12-2017.doc. Other states have a similar credential to the CADC for addiction counselors, though it may have a different name. While there is not widespread reciprocity, the requirements for certification are quite similar in other states.

Concentration(s) eligible

Clinical only

Required Courses 

(All of the required courses are offered as evening classes only.)

  • 40012 Clinical Interventions in Substance Use Disorders
  • 42001 Substance Use Practice
  • 42322 Child and Adolescent Substance Use

Other recommended courses:

  • 42500 Adult Psychopathology
  • 40532 Motivational Interviewing
  • 43800 Skills for Conducting Psychotherapy with Chronically Distressed Persons
  • 41500 The Practice of Group Work
  • 61822 Treating Complex Trauma: A Skills-based Approach
  • 65500 Harm Reduction at the Intersection of Policy, Program, & Clinical Practice

Other activities offered through the Program of Study

Students in this program will meet quarterly to learn from practitioners in the field as well as people with lived experience of substance use disorders.

Concentration Field Placement Considerations

Students interested in ICB certification are asked to select a placement that is Clinical-Chemical Dependence (CL-CD) or Clinical-Alcohol & Other Drugs/Addictions Training Program (CL-AODA/ATP). Typically, this placement will be in a SUD treatment setting, though other placements are included in the approved placements, including integrated dual disorder programming at community mental health agencies. When students apply to take the CADC exam, supervisors must document that students have completed at least 150 hours of supervised practice in 12 core areas, with no fewer than 10 hours in each area. Note for part-time students: ICB requires students to complete the majority of their field placement hours within three quarters, which will require increased weekly placement hours than what is normally scheduled for part-time students.

Concentration Field Seminar Considerations

None

Considerations for Advanced Standing and EEP students

The requirements for advanced standing students are the same as for other students. Since all of the required courses plus the recommended Adult Psychopathology course are offered in the evening, evening students are eligible for this program of study. 

Financial supports? 

None through the program of study specifically.

Benefits to Students in the Program of Study

Having a CADC in addition to an LSW increases employment options. The CADC is a recognized credential.

Selection criteria

The ATP is open to second-year students in the clinical concentration. Students must be interested in delivering substance use disorder treatment and recovery services with diverse populations across an array of settings. In order to be eligible for certification in Illinois, individuals must abide by the Illinois Certification Board Code of Ethics For Certified Alcohol and other Drug Abuse (AODA) Professionals (http://www.iaodapca.org/credentialing/counselor-2/) in addition to the NASW Code of Ethics.

Applications Due: Friday January 6,2023

Leadership for the Program of Study and contact information

Primary Faculty Coordinator: Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW CADC. 
Email: GZapata.Alma@gmail.com

Review and Reflection Time Frames

Course requirements are reviewed every year, with input from students, core faculty and the Deputy Dean for Curriculum. The Program will be reviewed for renewal by the Curriculum Policy Committee no later than December 1 2023. 

Description

The Contextual Behavioral Practices Program of Study (CBPPS) aims to educate students in the values, principles and skills that organize the behavior of practitioners using contextual behavioral approaches (CBA). To that end, students learn the fundamentals of a contextual behavioral approach that will enable them to engage effectively in a variety of empirically-validated, third-wave behavioral therapies, including Functional Analytical Psychotherapy (FAP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

Learning will occur via a variety of methods, including structured classes, brown bag dialogues, case consultations and specialized field placements (to be developed).

Rationale for the Program

The biomedical model of psychological distress has been the paradigm of choice in the field of mental health for the past forty years. Many psychological perspectives have attempted to accommodate and/or integrate it into their conceptualization of mental distress.

Nonetheless, the last four decades have been characterized by a lack of clinical innovation and poor mental health outcomes. Understandably, questions have begun to arise in regard to the utility and validity of this model. Rather than empower people, findings suggest that this model results in people acquiescing to the implied limitations of their mental illness and attenuated possibilities for their life. Particularly troublesome is when this model is utilized with person’s living in oppressive contexts.

They are persuaded to reframe validate reactions to intolerable conditions as signs and symptoms of a mental disorder. What is needed is an alternative model for understanding and addressing human suffering.

The POS offers students this alternative in the form of Relational Frame Theory—a theory grounded in a rigorous research program that has identified a set of basic psychological (language) processes that account for mental distress. It, in turn, provides the foundation for a set of empirically- supported practices considered the latest in innovation, disseminated globally and found effective across many cultures

Contextual behavioral practices are well suited for assisting persons who suffer due to exposure to invalidating environments (i.e., marginalized due to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or values). Student focus on empowering people to actively engage in pursuing meaningful lives rather dwell on painful pasts. To that end, people transition from living in reaction to their past and problems to reorganizing their behavior and life in response to their values and desired future.

Students practice taking a trans-diagnostic, functional approach to distress. They learn to assess it in relation to historical and current environmental factors, counter the impact of invalidating environments, and empower those they serve with the skills to advocate for themselves and their communities.

The POS situates CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL in the unique position of being the only graduate program in social work with a program of courses dedicated to teaching contextual behavioral approaches.

Concentration(s) eligible

Clinical only

Required Courses

Three courses are required including the two listed here and one from the “other course(s)” section.

  • 40403 Fundamentals of Behavioral Therapy: Contemporary Approaches
  • 637 Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Other Courses:

  • 438 Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • 60500 Functional Analytic Psychotherapy

Other activities offered through the POS

Three activities will be planned throughout the year that include:

  • A meeting in winter quarter to welcome new students to POS.
  • POS faculty will provide eight consultation meeting per academic year for POS students. Participants are expected to attend a minimum of 5 of these sessions.
  • Encouraged attendance at the mid-west ACBS conference.

Concentration Field Placement
The program is committed to developing field placements where students can practice the approaches learned in their POS. Acceptable placements include sites open to contextual behavioral practices that allow students to practice the skills they are learning in the program of study.

Concentration Field Seminar considerations

There will be no POS dedicated field seminar. Attending a non- specific field seminar will expose students to a broader spectrum of concerns related to the field placement experience, provision of clinical services and social work practice in various settings.

Considerations for advanced standing and EEP students?

The POS is open to both advanced standing and evening students. Required classes will be offered in the evening or weekend at minimum one quarter per academic year. Most classes are offered in the second year.

Financial Supports? 

None

Benefits to students in the Program of Study

Students can:

  • Develop a professional identity, including building relationships with CBA clinicians beyond CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to build community among students with interest in a contextual behavioral perspective
  • Have increased access to faculty specializing in contextual behavioral practices
  • Benefit from increased marketability upon graduation
  • Pre-registration

Applications Due: Friday January 6, 2023

Selection Criteria

The POS will accept 12 persons. Positions will be filled based on applicant’s experience, and interest in pursuing CBP approaches to change. The desire is to establish a diverse set of perspectives from which to interact with these approaches. Should more than 12 persons meeting these criteria apply, a lottery will be implemented.

Leadership for the Program of Study (program faculty) and contact information

Jancey Wickstrom, LCSW, wickstro@uchicago.edu
Paul Holmes, eholmes@uchicago.edu

Review and Reflection Timeframes

The Program of Study will be reviewed by the Curriculum Policy Committee for renewal no later than December 1 2022.

Description

The School Social Work Program of Study, continuously accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education since 1983, is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, values, and experience needed to prepare them to become effective social work practitioners in a school setting. Through specialized courses and fieldwork, school social workers are trained to engage with systems within and outside of the school at the micro, meso and macro levels to support and strengthen students, families, schools and communities. Particular emphasis is placed on supporting the needs of the most vulnerable populations in schools to ensure their educational success.

Rationale for Program

Public schools have gone through tremendous changes over the centuries but what has stayed consistent, going as far back as the early 1900s, is the presence and importance of social workers in schools. School social workers play a critical role in meeting the social, emotional and mental health needs of students; advocating for the marginalized; promoting equity and social justice; and removing barriers to education. In many ways, the importance of school social workers is greater now than ever. As the needs of students and families have increased and community resources have decreased, schools have become the front line for services and supports that may not otherwise be available. School social workers are specially trained to work within school systems through course and fieldwork that explores educational policy, school-based interventions, and the laws and practices pertaining to educating children with disabilities.

Concentrations eligible

Clinical only

Required Courses

  • CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL 41600: Public School Systems and Service Populations (Spring)
  • CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL 67000: School Social Work Policy and Practice (Autumn)
  • CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL 43300: The Exceptional Child (Winter)

Other suggested courses:

  • CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL 41205: Restorative Justice Interventions: Anti-Racist Practice and Facilitation
  • CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL 44800: Urban Adolescents in their Families, Communities and Schools
  • CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL 49650: Race, Racism and Resistance in Public School Policy and Practice
  • CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL 63412: Cultural Studies in Education

Recommended Clinical Methods Classes:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Courses
  • Family Systems Courses
  • Group Work Courses

Other activities offered through the Program of Study

Additional activities are planned throughout the year, including:

  • A meeting in Winter Quarter to welcome new students
  • An orientation meeting in early September to kick-off the year
  • Others may be planned at a later date

Concentration Field Placement

Placements must occur in a public preK-12 school setting approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. The School Social Work Program currently has field placements in a diverse array of over 70 schools and districts including the Chicago Public Schools Office of Diverse Learner Student Supports, charter schools, suburban schools, and therapeutic day schools. The program director is available to provide one-on-one consultation to assist students in finding the right fit for their field placement and welcomes suggestions from students about other potential placements.

*Note: Students in the School Social Work Program of Study are required to be in their field placements according to the school calendar of their placement and as such, have an early start (typically early to mid-August or early September) and may be required to complete field hours during CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL breaks.

Concentration Field Seminar considerations

Students in the School Social Work Program of Study participate in a clinical cohort with fellow program students.

Considerations for advanced standing and EEP students

Advanced Standing Students: due to field placement interview considerations, advanced standing students need to contact the program director and apply to the program as soon as possible upon acceptance of admission to CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL. Advanced standing students must have availability in Spring Quarter to take CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL 416 on a Monday or Wednesday evening, depending upon the day it is offered.

Evening Students: EEP students apply in their 1st year. Required coursework begins in Spring Quarter of the 2nd year. No fieldwork is completed in the 2nd year. Students must have full-time availability for fieldwork in the 3rd year of study and daytime availability for some classes.

Financial Supports

A limited number of school-based internships provide stipends to school social work interns. These stipends are provided by the school or district, not by CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL. The availability of stipends should not be assumed and is not guaranteed. It is incumbent upon the candidate to inquire if a stipend is offered and to clarify policies and procedures for obtaining the stipend. Please note that stipend availability can vary from year to year and may not be accurately reflected in the CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL database of field placements.

Benefits to students in the Program of Study

Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to apply for their Professional Educator Licensure (PEL) with School Social Work Endorsement (formerly Type 73 certification), required to practice as a School Social Worker in Illinois public schools. (The Illinois PEL is transferrable to many other states. Please see the program director for more information about transferring school social work licensure.)

Applications Due: Friday January 6, 2023

Selection Criteria

The selection process for the School Social Work Program of Study is a screening-in process. Although typically the process is not competitive, the selection process looks for goodness-of-fit through a required application, personal statement and a writing sample reflecting on the Dispositions for Education Unit Candidates at the University of Chicago.

Leadership for the Program of Study and Contact Information

Jennifer Meade, Director of School Social Work
jemeade@uchicago.edu 773-834-6511

Other important information

Additional requirements for Professional Educator Licensure:

  • Passing of the School Social Work content exam prior to licensure (typically near graduation)
  • A grade of ‘C-’ or better in ALL courses taken at CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL. Please note: per state requirements, grades below ‘C-’ are not accepted toward certification. Required courses may NOT be taken Pass/D/Fail. Taking other courses P/D/F may be permissible but additional paperwork must be completed for the Illinois State Board of Education.
  • Application for licensure upon graduation.
  • Per state law, a background check is required for internship placement and employment in a school district.

Review and reflection timeframes

Course requirements are reviewed every year, with input from students, core faculty and the Deputy Dean for Curriculum. The Program of Study will be reviewed by the Curriculum Policy Committee for renewal no later than December 1 2023.

 

Social Administration Program

Description

The Addressing Social Inequality: Innovations in Policy Practice program prepares students to confront social inequality as it takes shape at the front lines of key societal institutions – among them social service agencies, workplaces, courts, city halls, and community organizations. The program builds on a unique strength of Crown faculty: applying a street-level approach that moves beyond public policy as written on paper to examine policy as implemented in practice. Students learn to identify, and disrupt, sources of inequality structured through the day-to-day practices of organizational actors responsible for implementing policy on-the-ground, be they government officials, employers, judges, police, and of course, social workers. To understand the broader context that sustains poverty and inequality, students deepen their knowledge of the structural conditions that shape opportunity, including the macro- dynamics of globalization, the politics of social welfare policymaking, the place of low-wage jobs in the labor market, and the role of systems in families and communities. Courses also incorporate historical perspectives that enable students to assess the consequences of prior efforts to address social inequality through legislative policymaking, social mobilization, advocacy, and social program delivery – important knowledge if we are to avoid missteps of the past. The ultimate goal of the program is to equip students with the skills they need to design and implement policies and programs, both public and private, that mitigate inequality in the major institutions that shape the lives and life chances of the most marginalized among us.

Rationale for Program

This program grew out of students’ expressed interest in deepening their understanding o f the sources of inequality today and on street-level approaches to policy implementation. It provides students with a framework, and one-on-one advising, for selecting electives and field placements so that they build specific analytic skills, ones that they can use throughout their career and regardless of field of practice. Moreover, the Addressing Social Inequality: Innovations in Policy Practice program highlights both Crown’s historic commitment to addressing the fundamental problems of poverty and inequality and our faculty’s contemporary expertise in unpacking the implementation of social policies and programs as they take shape on-the-ground and in people’s lives.

Concentrations Eligible

Social Administration. Clinical students are welcome to apply, however, there may be some scheduling conflicts between required courses for this POS and Clinical courses.

Required Courses

Students are required to take a minimum of four courses in the program, one required course – Crown Family School, 60312: Inequality at Work AND three approved electives. The courses model a street-level approach to policy development and implementation, unpacking the terms under which people are incorporated into the labor market and the terms under which they receive supports from the government and community organizations.

Other Courses (3) electives

In addition to the required course, students are also required to take three electives. Core faculty for Addressing Social Inequality: Innovations in Policy Practice curate a list of possible electives that incorporate content on the (mis)match between policy as intended and as implemented. Below are approved courses for the 2022- 2023 academic year. Other courses at Crown or in other University departments can also fulfill requirements, with prior approval.

  • Autumn 2022
    • SSAD 69600 Black Women Work: The labor of Black women in communities, families, and institutions
    • SSAD 64700 Organizing Coalitions for Change: Growing Power and Social Movements
    • SSAD 48200 Seminar: Political Economy of Urban Development
  • Winter 2023:
    • SSAD 429 Work and Family Policy
    • SSAD 45312 Urban Social Movements
    • SSAD 69004 Social Work and Sex Workers
  • Spring 2023:
    • SSAD 40550 Food Insecurity & Food Policy in the US
    • SSAD 64950 International Disability Rights and Justice
    • SSAD 48112 Community Organizing
    • SSAD 62600 Philanthropy, Public Policy and Community Change

Other activities offered through the Program of Study

  • One-on-one advising with core Addressing Social Inequality: Innovations in Policy Practice faculty: Angela Garcia, Julia Henly, Susan Lambert, and Jane Ramsey are core faculty for this POS, and one will serve as your advisor. Advisors will provide input on your selection of electives and field placement to ensure you have the opportunity to develop expertise in a particular field of practice.
  • Monthly brown-bags in fall and winter quarters with 2nd year students on topics of interest to the current cohort; some sessions will include guest speakers.
  • Networking and job search sessions in spring quarter to facilitate 2nd year students’ success in the job market.
  • An induction and graduation party in the spring quarter to welcome the new 1st year cohort and to congratulate the 2nd year cohort. This is held mid-quarter so there is time to make connections across 1st and 2nd year cohorts.

Concentration Field Placement considerations

A set of field placements has been identified that provides students with excellent experience in considering policy and program implementation from a street-level perspective. The placements provide opportunities for students to gain direct experience implementing policies and programs, organizing labor actions, advocating for policies, engaging in poverty-relevant research, and working with community groups. Placements are designed for social administration students who are preparing for careers in policy development and evaluation, program management, workforce development, community organization, advocacy, and labor organizing. Other placements, such as in direct practice, are possible with prior approval.

Concentration Field Seminar considerations

Students in the Addressing Social Inequality: Innovations in Policy Practice program are assigned to the same field seminar, led by core faculty member Jane Ramsey.

Considerations for advanced standing and evening students?

It may be difficult for advanced standing students to be part of the program because of the timing of courses, but we are more than willing to talk with interested students to figure out a solution.

Financial supports? 

No stipend.

Benefits to Students in the Program of Study

  • Development of expertise in identifying and disrupting sources of social inequality as structured into day-to-day organizational and community practice;
  • Deepened understanding of policy as made and experienced at the street level;
  • One-on-one advising with Crown faculty who share common interests in addressing fundamental issues of poverty and inequality;
  • Opportunities to connect with alumni of the program who share a common interest in working to reduce social inequality and who can help you think through your career trajectory;
  • Opportunities to exchange ideas with other students who share a common interest in street-level approaches to understanding and ameliorating social inequality.

Other details

We gather ongoing feedback and suggestions during brown-bag lunches. Electives are revisited every year with input from students, core faculty, and the Deputy Dean for the Curriculum.

Applications Due: Friday, January 6, 2023

Selection Criteria

Demonstrated interest in understanding and addressing issues of inequality and disadvantage as evidenced through prior coursework, employment, and life experiences.
 

Leadership for the Program of Study and contact information

Both Clinical and Social Administration Programs

Overview

Kiphart Scholars will embark on a rigorous course of study focused on understanding social problems, social policy, and on-the-ground practice in a globalized world. The Kiphart Scholars Program in Global Health and Social Development focuses on providing students with both a particular knowledge base (on global processes, historical trends, and comparative perspectives) as well as a set of skills (regarding intercultural awareness, self-reflection, critical assessment, project implementation, program evaluation, etc). It places particular emphasis on understanding and working with culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged populations, attention to the needs and circumstances of individuals in the context of their local environment and in light of the structures and influences that shape their conditions and opportunities at more macro levels, and an understanding of the social construction of social problems that hones students’ capacity to think critically and flexibly across contexts. This program is rooted in values of self- awareness, community centeredness, consultation, and accountability to self and others.

There are two tracks for this program: Parallel and Immersive.

Rationale for Program

Global social work practice has some similarities and distinctions from US practice, students interested in global practice need comparative perspective and experience. Global social work practice tends to integrate direct practice and social administration, our students need the opportunity to learn across these concentrations. Our students need an understanding of frameworks common in global practice including: Human Rights and associated Conventions, Social and Community Development, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS). 

Concentration(s) Eligible: Clinical and Social Administration

Program Requirements for BOTH Parallel and Immersive Tracks

  • Winter Quarter: First year
    • Community building workshop
    • Discussion series: #1
  • Spring Quarter: First Year
    • Ethics workshop
    • Discussion series: #2, #3
  • Summer Quarter through Graduation
    • Integrated seminar for all Kiphart Scholars co-facilitated by a clinical and an admin field consultant for the duration of the time at Crown Family School

Parallel Track Requirements

  • One required Spring quarter class in first year, 2 global electives thereafter
  • A summer international internship or study abroad program
  • Advanced coursework completed parallel to engagement in nine-month concentration field placement selected from coded placements in field database
  • One integrated seminar for all Kiphart Scholars co-facilitated by a clinical and an admin field consultant for the duration of the time at Crown Family School
  • Preparation and delivery of community presentation in Spring of graduating year, or opt-in to independent study/completion of capstone project

Immersive Track Requirements

  • Three required courses and two global electives
  • All coursework completed prior to engaging in an immersive (six-month) integrated field placement
  • One integrated seminar for all Kiphart Scholars co-facilitated by a clinical and an admin field consultant for the duration of the time at Crown Family School
  • Independent Study completed while in field placement culminating in capstone project presentation and paper

Eligibility

This program is not suitable to Advanced-standing students because the international component must be completed before the beginning of the second academic year.

Evening, part-time day, and dual-degree students are welcome to apply.

Financial Support

The Kiphart Scholars Program in Global Health & Social Development offers a stipend to help support the international component of the program.

Benefits to Students in the Kiphart Scholars Program

Kiphart Scholars earn a notation on their transcript indicating this accomplishment. Students completing the program will be prepared to assume leadership in the development and provision of policies, programs, and practices that address problems in the international social work arena. These include careers in international, national, state, and local social welfare and human services agencies; international advocacy organizations; and firms and non-profit organizations that engage in global social work initiatives. Further, our program alumni are part of a growing network of practitioners, administrators, advocates, policy makers, and activists.

Applications Due: Monday, November 28, 2022 @ 5pm

Selection Criteria

Criteria for acceptance include an ability to critically reflect on the implications of cross-cultural practice and an articulation of an interest in the type of work this program can prepare students to engage with post- graduation. Our program is rooted in a set of values including self-awareness, community centeredness, consultation, and accountability to self and others.

Our selection committee will review applications and make selection decisions for the parallel track over Winter break. Applicants invited to move to interviews for the Immersive track will be informed prior to January 1. Interviews will be held Winter quarter, weeks 1 & 2, decision letters will be sent out in Week 3.

Program Leadership and Contact Information

Associate Instructional Professor: Jessica Darrow, jdarrow@uchicago.edu
Assistant Director: Cristina Gros, cgros@uchicago.edu

Description

This Program of Study (POS) immerses students in classes and field placements that offer a rich exploration and examination of the policies, practices, histories and philosophies of the United States criminal legal system, with an emphasis on developing more just approaches. It offers a historical and current overview of the overlaps of the fields of social work and the criminal legal system, preparing students to recognize and address inequities at these intersections. Students will develop skills to intervene on multiple levels, explore varied and alternative systems of justice both within and outside of the formal criminal legal system, and build better policies, programs, services, and practices for people and communities most affected. Students in this program of study will also become knowledgeable about the following: 1) theories of crime and justice, as well as critiques and emerging theoretical directions; 2) the experiences, outcomes, and civic life of people most impacted by the criminal legal system; 3) potential and evidence-supported levers to achieve decarceration; and 4) innovative policy and practice approaches to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, groups, and communities impacted by incarceration. Courses in this program draw on insights from the research and practices of scholars, activists and practitioners across diverse fields.

This is not a traditional “forensic social work” program of study. Rather, this POS focuses on promoting socially just change within and outside the criminal legal system.

Rationale for Program

Given the United States incarcerates more people than any other country, social workers commonly engage and interact with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities who are and have been impacted by the criminal legal system. This system has not been responsive to evidence that punitive approaches are not often effective, and as such the criminal legal system has become an epicenter for injustice. Both preventative and intervention-focused social work practices and policies are needed to disrupt mass incarceration, improve the wellbeing of people who are incarcerated and under correctional surveillance, and promote social justice. This program offers training for social work students to carry out this work, with an emphasis on work both inside and outside of the formal criminal legal system.

The Crown School is uniquely equipped to offer this POS, as there are several Crown faculty members who are doing a range of micro- and macro-level work within and related to the criminal legal system. Additionally, Crown has current field placement opportunities with numerous agencies in the Chicago area that specialize in criminal legal-affected populations, as well as change-oriented policy work.

Concentration(s) Eligible

Clinical and Social Administration

Required Courses

A total of three courses will be required, including at least one of the three core courses listed below, and the remainder from the “other courses” section.

  • 46312 Race, Crime and Justice in the City
  • 47452 Smart Decarceration: A Grand Challenge for Social Work
  • 68100 Direct Practice in an Era of Mass Incarceration

Other Courses:

CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL Courses:
  • 62100 Creating New Anchors: An Introduction to Prison Industrial Complex Abolition
  • 61912 Policing, Citizenship and Inequality in Comparative Perspective
  • 65500 Harm Reduction at the Intersection of Policy, Program, & Clinical Practice
  • 41205 Restorative Justice Interventions: Anti-Racist Practice + Facilitation
  • 63700* Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • 40012 Clinical Interventions in Substance Use Disorders or 42001 Substance Use Practice
  • 40532* Motivational Interviewing
  • 56900 Managing the Wretched and Unruly Poor
  • 65712 Immigration, Law and Society
  • 60100* Drugs: Culture and Context
  • 63012* Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation: Cultivating Practice Skills for Social Justice
  • 46800* Political Processes in Policy Formulation and Implementation
  • 48112* Community Organizing
  • 48300* Theories and Strategies of Community Change
Law School Courses:

Chicago Policing (or City Policing) Criminal Procedure I or II Criminology and Criminal Procedure Federal Sentencing Race and Criminal Justice Policy

Harris Courses:
  • PPHA 37103 Crime Prevention
  • PPHA 37106 Police Legitimacy and Police Reform

*Individual course assignments must be focused on a topic relevant to criminal legal policies and practices.

**Students should reach out to the POS faculty leadership about courses that may align with the POS goal

Other activities offered through the Program of Study

  • Quarterly meetings with POS faculty leaders. Three approved outside speaker events.
  • Engagement with UChicago student organizations (Students for Criminal Justice Reform; Justice Works)
  • A job/career planning meeting organized by the POS coordinator.

Concentration Field Placement

Clinical students: Placement where the student role includes providing clinical services to populations with criminal system involvement or victims of crime. These include placements at jails, prisons, detention centers, forensic psychiatric centers, treatment programs, and probation offices, programs that offer restorative justice services, or that serve victims of violence.

Social administration students: Placement where role includes advocating for, developing policy related to or managing programs for persons affected by criminal justice system involvement.

Among existing CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL field sites, there are a number of clinical, social administration, or combined field sites that would meet the criteria above. While the field office and the faculty contact will provide guidance on where students can find placements that fit the POS, it will not provide a list of “approved sites” as students may be able to find these elements in many different kinds of agencies. Students in this POS must receive approval from the POS faculty leader for their desired field placement.

Concentration Field Seminar considerations

Students in both clinical and social administration concentration will participate in the POS, with an integrated field seminar/field consultant.

Considerations for advanced standing and EEP students?

Advanced standing and evening students are welcome. Most courses are offered in the second year, and many courses are currently offered during the day.

Financial Supports?

Not at present.

Benefits to students in the Program of Study

Opportunities to build community among students interested in social change at the intersections of criminal justice and social work, opportunities to meet and converse with leaders or stakeholders in the local criminal justice and social work communities. Additionally, through POS activities and field seminars, students will build on their classroom experience by deepening their engagement with real-world policies and programs. Combined with the rich and multiple-systems orientation of the CROWN FAMILY SCHOOL curriculum, students involved in this POS will be well-prepared to work in change-oriented roles within and outside the criminal justice system.

Applications Due: Friday January 6, 2023

Selection criteria

We anticipate a maximum of 20 students in the POS. Selection criteria will may include past experience with criminal justice intersections, expressed interests in pursuing change-oriented social work in criminal justice, and achieving some combination of clinical and social administration students in the POS.

Leadership for the Program of Study and contact information

Faculty coordinator: Gina Fedock, Ph.D, gfedock@uchicago.edu
Additional key faculty: Matt Epperson and Reuben Miller

Review and Reflection timeframes

Course requirements are revisited every year, with input from students, core faculty, and the Deputy Dean for the Curriculum. The Program of Study will be reviewed by the Curriculum Policy Committee for renewal no later than December 1 2022. 

Description

The Trauma Responsive Social Work (TRSW) seeks to create a community of trauma- responsive learners and practitioners across policy and clinical settings. The central goal is to become practiced with trauma-responsive work, meaning students feel more competent, confident, and responsive to trauma-based needs in clients, in whichever context they may encounter them. The Trauma POS aims to educate students in the values, principles and skills that organize the behavior of practitioners using neurobiological, contextual, and interpersonal skills. There are 4 main goals:

  1. Developing a perspective on trauma work that emphasizes adaptation over diagnosis.
  2. Working from a strengths-based framework that assesses structural and interpersonal barriers, both currently and historically, that impact the client system.
  3. Practicing trauma conceptualization from a neurobiological perspective of how trauma shows up in the body and mind.
  4. Modeling a community-based response by engaging together using intergroup strategies around communication and conflict.

Learning will occur through multiple methods including structured consultation meetings, visiting speaker sessions, specialized field placements and dedicated trauma-informed field seminar just for POS students.

Rationale for the Program

Trauma is a central, human experience that impact every person, but particularly becomes embodied when encountered through structural lenses of oppression, marginalization, and environmental stressors over time. Whether chronic or singular, traumatic experiences shape the brain and body of the developing person, and therefore require a holistic and responsive understanding by social workers.

“Trauma-informed” has become common vernacular without necessarily being practically applied or structurally implemented. Trauma work is therefore less often practiced in a trauma-responsive, holistic, and lasting way, throughout client engagement and organizational structure. Often, individuals’ risk of being retraumatized increases as a result of past traumatization, making future progress challenging. Therefore, social work students need a program that helps them learn trauma responsive (ongoing, multi-layered, and intersectional experiences of trauma) rather than simply trauma informed modalities of social work and learn how to engage their own identities in service of engaging clients in effective, lasting ways. A trauma informed lens may take the approach of “you have been traumatized” rather than a trauma responsive lens, which reminds us that trauma is “us,’ not just “them”. In some ways, Trauma responsive is representative of a more radical and critical “third wave” trauma lens, which involves “healing centered” work, community circles of engagement and sharing, and seeks to go beyond dyadic, traditional posttraumatic applications.

Concentrations Eligible

Clinical and Social Administration

Required Courses

  • 44212- Youth Trauma Work & 63012- Intergroup Dialogue

Other activities offered through the Program of Study

A minimum of 3 activities will be planned through the year that include:

  • A Spring quarter orientation to welcome new POS students
  • A monthly consultation meeting for POS students
  • A monthly field seminar for POS students with a dedicated trauma-informed Field Consultant
  • Option to attend a trauma healing/related event during the year, have guest speakers, engage in community activities, etc. schedules permitting

Concentration Field Placement

Clinical students will participate in field placements that have been identified as providing trauma-responsive opportunities. This definition is necessarily broad, because most SW settings, if not all, will involve trauma-responsive opportunities. *Because this is a POS, not a certificate program, students are unable to get priority at any field sites.

Administrative students are encouraged to seek out field sites that offer them opportunities to engage their work using a trauma responsive lens.

While the field office and the faculty of the POS will provide guidance on where students can find placements that fit the POS, students may also submit ideas for sites that meet trauma criteria. Please note, there is no explicit list of trauma sites to choose from.

Concentration Field Seminar considerations

There will be field seminars specific to the POS with a dedicated field consultant who will work in coordination with POS faculty. This will allow students to get exposure to and consult with each other regarding a wide variety of clinical settings and presenting problems.

Considerations for advanced standing and EEP students

All students of any concentration (clinical, administrative) and student status (Full-time, and part-time day or evening) are welcome to apply.

Please note that part-time students will engage in required coursework in Year 2 or 3 (depending on prerequisites), and in the POS field seminar in Year 3.

Monthly meetings will occur during the day, so part-time students should also consider their ability to attend, either in person or by zoom

Financial supports

Lunch will be provided for students at all meetings.

Benefits to students in the Program of Study

Students can:

  • Develop a professional identity as trauma-responsive social worker
  • Take advantage of opportunities to build community among students and faculty with interest/knowledge in structural, interpersonal, and embodied trauma
  • Benefit from enhanced trauma training upon graduation
  • Priority registration for S. Parikh’s and S. Simmons’ required courses (students can use their priority slots for other courses, and list these last, since they are guaranteed registration)

Applications Due: Friday January 6, 2023

Application questions

In order to help us get to know you, students will be asked in their POS application, to provide responses to the following four questions:

  1. What kind of trauma-related social work are you interested in learning about? Why?
  2. How do you hope to apply what you learn in this POS to your future SW goals/career?
  3. Doing trauma responsive work requires our own self-understanding and it is our goal to intentionally make space for that in this POS. It is not our intention to provide therapy, rather provide a space where students can attend to both their trauma work, and what it brings up for them in doing that work. Briefly share (only what you feel comfortable sharing - voluntarily) about any connection you have to this work, personal and/or professional, and your comfort level with your own self-understanding.
  4. What qualities would you ideally want from the larger group of students in this POS? What would positively facilitate your participation in this group, and what might inhibit your participation in this group? While we cannot guarantee that the group will contain an ideal mix of people for your preferences, every effort will be made to maximize connection and alignment in POS participants. This question is asked, to help understand the fit between applicants within the cohort, and to ensure this POS group will be most helpful to students.

Reminders as you complete these questions

  • Responses to all questions are VOLUNTARY and will be kept CONFIDENTIAL.
  • Applicants are encouraged only to share personal information that they have comfortably processed prior to this application, should they choose to do so.
  • Due to limited resources, each POS cohort will be limited to a maximum of 10-12 students, so please be aware that not all applicants can be selected.
  • There are no “right/wrong” applicants, but we are focused on curating a group that is a good fit for this cohort model of trauma engagement

Applications should be submitted by the POS deadline. Students will be notified of their acceptance by email.

Selection Criteria

POS Selection will prioritize the following:

  1. students who are interested in a learning community, beyond knowledge and skill acquisition;
  2. students whose own past traumas have made regulation difficult in traditional learning settings when accessing trauma information (classes, webinars, conferences, etc);
  3. the representation of a diverse group of individuals, with regard to historically marginalized identities, such as ability, race, ethnicity, indigenous heritage, language, country of origin, religion, and others.
  4. students’ ability to integrate their own interpersonal and historical trauma in their self-understanding and self- awareness as social workers (*Please note, this process is voluntary. Students will never be required to publicly discuss any aspect of their trauma histories as part of the POS selection criteria, nor at any time during the POS)
  5. students’ desire to connect their own experiences of marginalization and oppression to their social work worldview

*Please note, that any students NOT selected for this POS may freely seek guidance and support from Professors Parikh & Simmons, to support their trauma interests at Crown. Selection for the POS is one way, but not the only way, to be supported in your trauma interests during your graduate education. We are both committed to supporting any students interested in learning more.

Leadership for Program of Study & contact information

Shipra S. Parikh, PhD, LCSW, sparikh1@uchicago.edu
S. Simmons, PhD, simmonss@uchicago.edu

Review and reflection timeframes

The Program of Study will be reviewed by the Curriculum Policy Committee for renewal no later than December 1 2022.