Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0264 (AF:357752 AR:187367)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
2nd Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page
This course is included in the “basic educational activities” of the degree in Scienze della Società e del Servizio sociale. The course offers some theoretical principles and references that constitute the foundations of professional social work within contemporary society.
The programme allows students to deepen their understanding of the main theoretical approaches used in social work. In this regard it is given great attention to the historical development of the professional social work. The course also provides knowledge about the ethical principles, values and ethics that are the basis of the action of the social worker.
Knowledge and understanding:
at the end of the course students will know and will comprehend:
- the definitions of social work;
- the circular relationship between theory and practice in social work;
- the main theories, models and approaches that guide the professional practice of social work;
- the history of social work, with particular attention to the Italian context;
- the ethical and value bases of social work and their traslation in operational terms;
- problems and ethical dilemmas that may be present in social work practice.

Applying knowledge and understanding:

at the end of the course the student will be able to critically evaluate the application of theoretical knowledge in professional practice. They will also have the main ethical and value coordinates that guide the different professional choices.

Evaluating skills
the course develop critical thinking skills about different theoretical and ethical references. This is done in particular in relation to the activities of evaluation and intervention in situations of disadvantage: individuals, groups and communities exposed to conditions of vulnerability and social distress.

Communication skills
at the end of the course the student must have acquired appropriated level of technical terminology.
The student will have improved his ability of interacting with other students: discussing about the issues of the course and giving a presentation to the class about a work group.

Learning skills:
The course promotes the ability to read critically the texts for the exam. The ability to make connections between different concepts and the possibility to activate a circular knowledge between theoretical and practical aspects are encouraged.
No specific courses are required as prerequisites.
During the course the following aspects are treated and analyzed:

Elements defining professional social work.
History of social work, with particular reference to the Italian context.
Main paradigms and theoretical models of social work.
Ethical and deontological aspect of social work.
New directions of social work.
Social work as force for change.
Fargion S., Il servizio sociale. Storia, temi e dibattiti, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2009, chapters 1, 2, 3, 5.
Dal Pra Ponticelli M., Nuove prospettive per il servizio sociale, Carocci, 2015 (third edition), chapters 3,4,5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
Codice deontologico dell’Assistente sociale (Updated version , 1 giugno 2020. Full text can be downloaded here: ).
Online material uploaded on Moodle:
Dominelli L., Servizio sociale. La professione del cambiamento, Erickson, Trento, 2015. chapters 1,2,6,7,8 (to read for group activities in the classroom)
For a good understanding of the topics, it may be useful to use a social service dictionary. Among the best Known: Campanini A. (a cura di), Nuovo dizionario di servizio sociale, Carocci, Roma, 2013.
Written test consists of three open-ended questions related to the topics explained in the course: two theoretical and one practical. The questions will be formulated to bring out the candidate's ability to reprocess and make connections between topics discussed.
Frontal lessons, realized with slides and videos, will be alternated with didactic moments characterized by the use of typical instruments of participatory teaching. Among them: group re-elaboration work with plenary restitution, simulations and case studies.
Ca' Foscari applies the Italian Law n. 17/1999 and Law n. 170/2010.
If you have a motor, visual, auditory or other disability, or a specific learning disorder, we invite you to do two things:
1. Talk to your course instructor
2. Contact the office of disability support services: 
Contact the office of disability support services ( for general information: to find out what you are entitled to by law, and to request support and accommodation -

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 15/03/2021