SWO-401A Social Welfare Policy and Services

This course focuses on the social welfare policy context in which social workers practice and social welfare benefits and services are received. Course content familiarizes social work students with the history and evolution of social welfare policies as well as current-day examples of policies that influence social work practice. To appreciate the complexities, contradictions, strengths, and weaknesses of the American approach to social welfare, a number of factors will be analyzed including history, economics, politics, ideologies and values, and alternate policy models.

In this course, students learn to analyze historical and current social welfare policies in light of principles of social and economic justice and human rights. The role of power and privilege in social welfare policy will be assessed as it pertains to equality, equitability, and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, class, disability, and other individual and population characteristics. Ways in which social work practice is both influenced and impacted by social welfare policies will be emphasized.