State of Domestic Violence Content in MSW Curriculum in the U.S.



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University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work


Domestic violence remains a serious concern in the U.S. and stopping family violence is one of the 12 grand challenges for social work. Further, the core values of our profession are deeply rooted in social justice, dignity and worth of the person and importance of human relationships. This makes the preparedness of social work students to address domestic violence crucial. Social work students need to be provided with support to work with survivors, perpetrators and their families, while engaging in prevention of domestic violence. The present study explores the extent to which domestic violence content is covered within MSW curriculum in the U.S. Out of the 266 MSW schools accredited by the CSWE; we received 64 responses with a 19.5% response rate. About 70.4% of the programs surveyed offered at least one dedicated course on domestic violence. While there still remains a great need to expand the domestic violence curriculum in MSW programs, this study demonstrated recent increases of domestic violence content in MSW curriculum and in innovative teaching tools.



domestic violence, social work curriculum, teaching tools, competency, Domestic violence, Social work curriculum, Teaching tools, Competencies