In response to a mandate to advance human rights through social work education, this article focuses on the curricular redesign and program evaluation of one MSW Program. The program’s specialization focused on advanced social work practice with individuals, families, and communities grounded in social justice and human rights. A pre-experimental one-group posttest-only program evaluation design was implemented. Multiple assessment instruments were used to measure human rights exposure in social work education, as well as a human rights lens and engagement in social work practice among 93 graduating MSW students from a public university with suburban and urban campus locations. How the program applied a human rights-based approach to social work field education will also be discussed. Findings suggest that a human rights exposure in course work and practicum is related to students’ practice lens and engagement. The imperative is now to train social work students to address complex social issues through human rights exposure, engagement, and lens as we prepare for a post-pandemic world. Recommendations are provided to strengthen academic leadership and research in this area and empower students to drive a paradigm shift in the profession.
Journal of Human Rights and Social Work
Pre-print version is uploaded here.