Methods and techniques of Social Work III (2020/2021)

Course code
Sergio Cecchi
Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
TEORIA 6 SPS/07-GENERAL SOCIOLOGY See the unit page See the unit page

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
- Knowledge and understanding of the bio-psycho-social roots of the individual needs
- Knowledge and understanding of the different types of social intervention
- Knowledge and understanding of the different needs assessment methodologies applicable to groups and communities
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
- Ability to carry out the needs assessment
- Ability to set clear and realistic targets for social work interventions
- Ability to properly implement social service interventions, to evaluate their efficacy and, if necessary, to revise their goals.

At the end of the course students will be able to assess the needs of groups and communities; they will be able to recognize the role played in their definition by macro-social factors such as economic conditions labor market conditions, urban spatial organization, welfare state conditions; They will have acquired the knowledge necessary to intervene against social inequalities; they will be able to evaluate their own action and to revise their own methodologies and goals.

Knowledge and understanding
- Knowledge and understanding of the principles concerning the listening attitude
- Knowledge and understanding concerning the interpretation of the different organizational cultures collaborating in providing social services interventions
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
- Ability to develop a collaborative and constructive relationship both with the user and the other professional roles involved in the helping processes.
- Ability to write a social work report

The aim of the course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to autonomously analyze the dynamics concerning the social work organization in which they are doing their professional traineeship. At the same time, the course wants to make students acquire capacities to adapt to a social work organization and to collaborate with a working team. The course wants also to elicit and promote students interpretation of users individual and collective problems and needs, their capacity to project work plans and to collect and activate institutional and non-institutional resources. Some other knowledge and skills the course wants to offer concern the developing of a collaborative and constructive relationship both with the user and the other professional roles involved in the helping processes.


The course of Methods and Techniques of the social service III and the laboratory of guide to the internship the program of studies will be carried out both in traditional form, with lectures (especially in the part devoted to the theory) and through discussions in small groups of students in which tutors favor the connection of the traineeship experience with the theoretical contents. In both training sessions, the study program will address issues with a theoretical-methodological and operational content. Specifically, the laboratory is a place for exercises that facilitate the student in the acquisition of the method of helping the people with the space for discussion, the acquisition of skills to be able to work in groups. Instead, the theory lessons will try to stimulate a critical reflection on the role of the social worker in the activation of the community as a partner of the professional intervention.

In the internship guide laboratory the topics dealt with will concern in particular:

- The areas of intervention of the social service
- The professional responsibility of the social worker
- Professional tools
- The documentation
- Work with the territory

In the course of Social Service Methods and Techniques of Social Work III the program is centered on the deepening of the following points:

1. Historical origins and theoretical foundations of social community work;

2. The dimensions of community social work:

2a. the "operational" dimension (breakdown and preventive) - community work as a tool for problem solving -
2b. the "political" dimension - community work as an instrument for defending social rights and changing political relations;

3. The analysis and mobilization of the community:

3a. mapping of community resources;
3b. group work as a tool for mobilizing community resources.
3c. work with the family.

4. Community work in some particular operational areas:

4a. Community approaches in addictions and alcoholism;

5. Social service in the third sector.

Assessment methods and criteria

For the Methods and Techniques of Social Work III program, the exam is written followed by an oral assessment interview, for those who have obtained a sufficient score.

For the internship guidance workshop a presentation by the student of an elaborate written analysis and reflection on the practical experience is requested, with the use of a trace provided by the teacher.
An oral examination is then scheduled: discussion of the written paper and evaluation of the ability to grasp the structural elements of the profession paying particular attention to the connection between theory and practice.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Martini E., Torti A. Fare lavoro di comunità. Riferimenti teorici e strumenti operativi Carocci 2003
Cecchi Sergio Il Welfare in Comune. Una ricerca sul servizio sociale territoriale Erickson 2019 9788859020660
Caduri Aviva e Weiss-Gal Idit "Social Workers Who Work With and Without Volunteers: Comparison of Perceptions, Organisational Culture, Training and Experience" (Edizione 45) British Journal of Social Work 2015 Articolo pubblicato sul n° 45 del British Journal of Social Work, anno 2015.
Luca Fazzi Social work in the public and non-profit sectors in Italy: what are the differences? 2011