BSW & MSW graduates have important but different roles to play in CPS, where a wide array of responsibilities, demands many skills and functional competencies to perform essential activities (Rittner & Wodarski p. 234) . BSW and MSW graduates each possess a distinctive set of skills and knowledge that provide them with the ability to provide selective interventions and services within the realm of Child Welfare.
BSW Social Workers
- Generalist practice prepares students for work as hot-line screeners, foster-care case managers, and case workers with low-to-moderate risk families, and to recruit, screen, and train potential foster and adoptive parents (Rittner & Wodarski p. 217)
- Generally identified with entry level child welfare positions (Rittner & Wodarski p. 218)
- Curriculum- They are informed about federal, state, and local policies regarding mandated services for children and their families (Rittner & Wodarski p. 218)
- They are taught to perform basic practice skills of engagement, interviewing, assessment, and problem-oriented interventions (Rittner & Wodarski p. 219)
MSW Social Workers
- Advanced generalist practice prepares students to conduct initial investigations, working with high-risk families, terminating parental rights, placing children with adoptive families, and serving administrative and supervisory roles (Rittner & Wodarski p. 217)
- More closely identified with clinical and managerial positions (Rittner & Wodarski p. 218)
- Differs from the BSW due to the depth & breadth & specificity of knowledge that they are expected to synthesize and apply in practice (Rittner & Wodarski p. 219)
- Many MSW programs offer focused course content on services and practice orientations that are directly related to assessing and intervening with maltreating families at both micro-macro level (Rittner & Wodarski p. 219)
Rittner, B., & Wodarski, J. (1999). Differential uses for BSW and MSW educated social workers in child welfare services. Children and Youth Services Review, 21(3), 217-235.