Signature Assessment: Community Engagement Assignment

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Competency 6:

Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Advanced generalist social workers incorporate and apply their understanding of diversity, social work values, and theories to effectively engage diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Advanced generalist social workers implement an array of strategies to engage diverse clients and constituencies to advance practice effectiveness. Advanced generalist social workers continuously self-monitor to minimize the effect of personal experiences and affective reactions on their ability to effectively engage with diverse clients and constituencies. Advanced generalist social workers utilize the techniques of relationship-building and inter-professional collaboration to facilitate engagement with clients, constituencies, and other professionals as appropriate. Advanced generalist social workers:

  • utilize a variety of theoretical frameworks and evidence-based approaches to engage with clients and constituencies; and
  • engage diverse clients and constituencies through the use of a variety of skills such as active listening, empathy, reflection, reframing, body language, and other advanced interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies.

Also read: Signature Assignment PowerPoint presentation

Students will engage with diverse community constituencies to build inter-professional relationships and to learn about the community and social, economic, and environmental justice challenges faced by the community. Students will use theoretical frameworks and evidence-based approaches to develop a strategy for effective engagement with the community to address one of the identified challenges. Students will reflect on how their personal experiences and reactions might impact effective engagement.


Students will identify a community that they are interested in learning more about. The chosen community must be one in which the student does not currently have membership. Students will arrange to interview an individual who is a member of the chosen community. During the interview the students will engage the community member to learn about social, economic, and environmental justice challenges faced by the community. Students will select one of these challenges and complete additional scholarly research to identify appropriate theoretical frameworks and evidenced-based approaches that could be used to effectively engage the community to address the challenge through social work practice. Students will place themselves in the role of a community organizer and describe the proposed engagement strategies. Students will then identify any relevant personal biases and/or affective reactions that could negatively affect their social work practice with this community.


Use the following outline and headings to organize your 10-12 page paper. The paper must be written in correct APA format. An abstract is not required.


To complete this assignment, students will need to arrange an interview with an individual from their community of interest regarding social, economic, and environmental justice challenges faced by that community. The interviewee must be from a community other than the one the student is a member of (remember that community can be defined by geography, group membership, identity, etc.).


Complete an introduction section to your paper that includes all of the following:

  • ** Informed Consent: Before the interview, please ask the person’s permission to be interviewed for a class assignment that will result in a written paper read by your class instructor; document that this has been completed.
  • A description of the interview (time, place, etc.)
  • A discussion providing a brief profile of the community member you are interviewing and explanation of why you chose this community constituent

Useful resources:

Interview Summary 

(level one heading)

  • Complete a narrative summary of the interview you conducted (do not write in a question and answer format; write in paragraph format similar to a case note). In the narrative, include information about all of the following
  • A summary of the dialog you had (again, do not do this as a Q&A, it needs to be summarized in paragraph form)
  • Include at least one paragraph containing information on community connections the interviewee identifies as significant.
  • Under a separate heading Social Work Skills (level two heading), include a section in your paper that describes the social work interpersonal skills you used to engage your interviewee (e.g. active listening, eye contact, body language, clarification, and summarizing –and others.)


Community Identification 

(level one heading)

  • Describe the community (who are its members, demographics, geographical location, if relevant, etc.)
  • Describe your interest in the community
  • Using the information provided in the interview, summarize the strengths and capacities of this community.


Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice Challenges 

(level one heading)

  • Using the information provided in the interview, summarize the challenges this community faces.
  • Select one challenge and explain why you have selected this challenge to engage around.


Proposal for Community Engagement and Organizing 

(level one heading)

  • Discuss a potential framework for engagement and organizing (power based, transformative, locality development, social planning, community building, women centered/feminist, consensus organizing)
  • Describe what your engagement and organizing efforts would look like (e.g., public service announcements, press releases, advisory board, press conference, a workshop, a public hearing, etc.) Be sure to use scholarly sources, course readings and material from your interview to support your plan
  • Discuss how this plan contributes to advocacy efforts to address the challenge and enhance the community


Reflection (level one heading)

  • Identify and provide a reflection on any relevant personal biases and/or affective reactions that could negatively affect engagement and organizing social work practice with this community

Last Updated on November 8, 2020