This course emphasizes analytic models of welfare policies and lays framework for decision-making. Contemporary issues will be discussed and international policies examined. As the advanced course in the social welfare policy and services sequence, this course aims both to continue examination of selected themes addressed in SWPS I, and to build on the foundation provided in the initial policy course. By building on the introductory knowledge base gained in SWPS I, SWPS II students will receive analytical and comparative content to aid in understanding policy issues, as well as in understanding how policy issues shape policy formulations and ultimately become policy implementation.
Accordingly, content on social policy (or social welfare policy), service issues and social problems will be examined in this course both to illustrate analytical concepts and to assess their impact on diverse social groups and especially disadvantaged populations (children, women, older individuals) and groups victimized by discrimination (racial minorities, gays/lesbians). Policy analysis models will be applied to illustrate the avowed v. unavowed intent of policy decisions made in the past in addition to the impact of these decisions on social system entities (e.g., change agent, client system, action system, target system), vulnerable populations and disadvantaged social groups. Student comprehension of policy analysis will also be promoted by employing practical learning exercises (both inside/outside the classroom) involving current policy issues that can be used in conceptualizing and drafting hypothetical policy proposals.
Emphasis will be placed on understanding contemporary developments in the social welfare enterprise (service industry network), including pro/con perspectives on classical ideologies v. neo-thinking (centering primarily on liberalism and conservatism), the emergence of private, nonprofit human services corporations, and comparative national v. international perspectives on social welfare thought and service delivery schemes.
Permeating throughout this course will be attention to issues/concerns of deprived and oppressed individuals and groups, including ways that society determines advantage v. disadvantage, as well as, who will be advantaged and disadvantaged, and who will receive social justice and social injustice.
Additionally, this course will identify pro v. con forces that influence the structure and dynamics of social welfare policies and services, including the historic but “spotty” tradition of professional social work within this context. As such, course content plus instructional emphasis will be given throughout the term to the benefits/problems of applying social work knowledge, values, skills and ethics on behalf of professional practitioners, graduate social work students, and social work clients or consumers. Differential models of policy assessment will be incorporated in this course within the EPPSE theoretical framework (ecological perspective, problem-solving process ant at the empowerment perspectives).