3.1 MSW Program Mission and Goals

Berkeley MSW Program Mission

Located within the world's finest public university and one of the most diverse regions in the nation, the mission of Berkeley Social Welfare’s MSW program is to prepare multi-level practitioners who are trained to integrate multiple disciplinary sources of knowledge, build upon the strongest available empirical and practice-based evidence, and advance the pursuit for social and economic justice through anti-oppressive and anti-racist practices. Multi-level practitioners are adept at the theoretical and practical integration of direct and indirect forms of practice, coupled with critical thinking skills that employ a multi-level conception of social welfare values, ethics, and social justice. Multi-level practitioners specialize in one of three population/context domains: strengthening children, youth, and families (SCYF), advancing health and wellbeing across the adult lifespan (AWELL), and strengthening organizations and communities (SOC).

Berkeley MSW Program Goals

The mission of Berkeley Social Welfare’s MSW program promotes the development of multi-level practitioners who are focused on (a) service to diverse individuals and communities across the social ecology, (b) social justice and social change to dismantle oppressive systems that hinder the wellbeing of individuals and communities, and (c) evidence-informed practice to produce measurable and replicable improvements in the outcomes of individuals and communities.

Berkeley Social Welfare has adopted the following programmatic goals to support our MSW Program mission: 


Goal 1: Develop multi-level practitioners who are responsive to communities and individuals, draw upon the best available evidence to continuously improve social work practice and policies, and who are able to respond to change with shifting local and global contexts of social work.

Goal 2: Develop multi-level practitioners who can competently practice social work within and across multiple ecological levels.

Goal 3: Develop multi-level practitioners who can engage effectively and collaborate with diverse communities; apply critical thinking to the sources of social problems and approaches to tackling them; and promote rigorous and relevant social welfare practices, programs and policies.

Social Justice and Social Change

Goal 4: Develop multi-level practitioners with a nuanced understanding of the conditions, systems and processes that serve to promote or inhibit social justice in local and global context.

Goal 5: Develop multi-level practitioners with skills that promote meaningful change with and within under-resourced communities and vulnerable populations.

Evidenced-informed Practice

Goal 6: Develop multi-level practitioners with the capacity to narrow gaps between research and practice and apply the best available evidence into social work practice principles and techniques.

Goal 7: Develop multi-level practitioners who can work effectively and collaboratively with a diverse range of stakeholders to gather and analyze evidence that reflects the interests, needs, and goals of service users, organizations, and local communities.