Social Welfare Policy

  • SSW WP 700: Social Welfare Policy I: Conceptions, Scope, History, and Philosophies of Social Welfare
    Graduate Prerequisites: Required of all students. Permission of SSW Registrar for non-SSW students.
    The first semester of this two-semester foundation course in social welfare policy explores concepts about the meaning and purpose of social welfare, ideologies, and values about the role of government and social welfare policy, the evolution of social welfare policy over time, and the role of social work in the development of social policy.
  • SSW WP 701: Social Welfare Policy II: Contemporary Social Policy Analysis
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW WP 700; Required of all students. Permission of SSW Registrar required for non-SSW students.
    This second-semester foundation course focuses principally on the study of urban poverty. Using a social problem/policy model, the course explores definitions, correlates, causes, and consequences of urban poverty. The same model is then used by students in exploring particular social problems and policies of interest to them. Particular emphasis is placed on analyzing current interventions and proposing means to improve policy intervention, including the contributions of social work.
  • SSW WP 704: Social Policy and Programs on Aging
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW WP 700 and SSW WP 701; Or permission of department chair.
    This course explores the development and scope of public policies directed toward older persons. It reviews the provisions and workings of current programs, with special attention to implications for social work practice. Program areas investigated include acute and long-term health care, housing and community-based services, and the formal service structure and its relationship to informal service provision. Finally, the course explores emerging policy innovations in aging, such as public and private insurance for chronic-care needs, life care programs, and proposals for more progressive public policies affecting older Americans.
  • SSW WP 705: Mental Health and Social Policy
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW WP 700 and SSW WP 701; Or permission of department chair.
    This course provides an understanding of mental health policy and service delivery in the United States and of the impact of mental health policies on social work practice. It reviews multiple perspectives on mental health and mental illness and the history of social policies influencing mental health care. The class examines current trends in service delivery and financing (such as managed care and health insurance reform) and explores legal and ethical issues in the provision of mental health care. Models of family and consumer advocacy and empowerment are considered.
  • SSW WP 707: Social Welfare Policy and Programs on Children
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW WP 700 and SSW WP 701; Or permission of department chair.
    This course analyzes emerging issues and ideas about children and how these affect social policy and practice. It reviews major social and demographic changes in the family that affect the development of national policies designed to protect and provide for the care of children. The course emphasizes policies in such areas as income provisions, adoption, substitute care, neglect and abuse, social services, and employment.
  • SSW WP 710: Family Law and Children's Rights
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW WP 700 and SSW WP 701; or permission of department chair.
    This course provides a framework for understanding law and social policy. It examines the impact of law on the social work profession. The class discusses issues of marriage and divorce, child custody and support, children's rights, and legal research.
  • SSW WP 711: Substance Use Policy
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW WP 700 and SSW WP 701; Or permission of department chair.
    This course in alcohol and drug policy is designed to provide students with a forum to acquire and synthesize knowledge of policy, research, and service organization in the field. The course will include topics such as alcohol and drug research, social problems that interface with alcohol and drug policy (e.g., poverty, gender, and race discrimination), key issues, controversies and trends, ethics and values issues, and the role of social work in the field of alcohol and drug policy and research.
  • SSW WP 713: State Legislative Processes and Welfare Policy
    Graduate Prerequisites: SSW WP 700 and SSW WP 701; Or permission of department chair.
    The focus of this course is on developing an understanding of how social policy may be achieved in the legislative arena at the state level. The course (a) introduces students to theories, research findings, and issues about legislative processes; (b) derives working hypotheses, or action principles, which may guide social work practitioners in the legislative process; and (c) applies these working hypotheses toward achieving adoption of proposals by a state legislature.
  • SSW WP 720: Family Policy
    Graduate Prerequisites: WP700 & WP701
    This course will explore how social policies shape the context in which families live and in turn influences family wellbeing. Students will examine the relationship between family functioning and social policies at the local, state, and federal level. We will examine how demographic changes, values, attitudes and perspectives of well-being of families influence the policy debate. Attention will be given to the current debates about the "proper role" of government in support of families from different political perspectives. Students will assess the equity and effectiveness of policies and programs aimed at promoting American families' economic, health and social well-being and identify roles social work professionals can play in influencing policy development and implementation. Special attention will be paid to the consequences of various policy debates/alternatives for vulnerable and/or historically marginalized populations.
  • SSW WP 901: Social Justice, Values and the Social Work Profession
    What is social justice? What, if any, relationship does it have to social welfare? How do our understandings of social justice and social welfare shape our understanding of social problems? This course will explore these questions and their implications for social work academics through humanities and social science approaches and a history of ideas that have influenced the development of professional social work in the United States. It will also examine social justice, values and some key areas of 21st century social work.
  • SSW WP 903: Perspectives on Social Welfare Policy
    Focusing on theory, process and substance, this course is designed to expose students to different understandings of the American political institutions as they relate to social welfare policy. Attention is paid to institutional and other factors, shaping and constraining the development of social policies in the United States.