Social Work 401OL-5 Social Welfare Policy Fall 2015

Faculty Information

George Gray, MSSW Office hours: by appointment only Adjunct Professor of Social Work [email protected]

Course Description
This course includes current issues and problems of social welfare policy and programs within a historical context. Prerequisites: SW 280 and PLS 201, and junior status.

The purpose of social work education is to prepare competent and effective professionals who are committed to practice that includes services to the poor and oppressed, and who work to alleviate poverty, oppression and discrimination. SW 401 Social Welfare Policy has as its focus the study of past and current social policy. In this course, students apply critical thinking skills to the analysis of social policy and the ways in which social policies affect and have affected the well-being of client systems, both large and small. This study is grounded in the history and philosophy of social policy. It encourages the student to learn to think clearly about events in history that affect and have affected the formulation of such policies in an attempt to evaluate questions of social and economic justice.
The student will undertake the study of major social policy initiatives in the 19th and 20th centuries in
an attempt to identify the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination existing therein. The student will learn to analyze current policy within an historical context and will learn about the processes that influence policy.
Policy analysis will help the student to identify political and organizational processes affecting the principles of social and economic justice. The analysis of agency policy will enable the student to think critically about such policy and the way in which it affects justice issues of both large and small systems. Through the use of assigned text readings, written assignments, journal readings and reports, films, and class discussion, the student will become aware of the relationship between the history of social policy and programs and current policy and programs and the history, mission and philosophy of the social work profession.


Generalist Practice


The faculty of the Brescia University Social Work Program is committed to the provision of an educational experience that will train professional baccalaureate level social workers in generalist practice. Generalist practice is grounded in the liberal arts and the person and environment construct. To promote human and social well-being, generalist practitioners use a range of prevention and intervention methods in their practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. The generalist practitioner identifies with the social work profession and applies ethical principles and critical thinking in practice.


Generalist practitioners incorporate diversity in their practice and advocate for human rights and social and economic justice. They recognize, support and build on the strengths and resiliency of all human beings. They engage in research-informed practice and are proactive in responding to the impact of context on professional practice. BSW practice incorporates all of the core competencies outlined by the CSWE EPAS 2008.
Within the context of a strong liberal arts foundation, the Social Work Program attempts to prepare the beginning professional social worker to provide generalist practice services in existing service delivery systems.

Course Objectives

1. Explicit Curriculum, Educational Policy 2.1.5 – Advance human rights and social and economic justice:
(a) Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.
2. Explicit Curriculum, Educational Policy 2.1.8 – Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services: (a) Analyze, formulate and advocate for policies that advance social well-being.

Required Text

Ritter, A. (2013) Social work policy practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
ISBN: 978 0205 82851 7
[This text is also available in a digital format (Kindle edition) to read on your iPad, PC, Mac, Android tablet or Kindle Fire]

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing). (2010). American Psychological Association.
ISBN: 978-1-4338-0562-2 (spiral-bound is recommended)

Disability Needs

Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a documented disability and need accommodations to participate fully in this course, please contact Mr.
Dwight Ottman (Office 411 on the fourth floor of the Science Building). All academic accommodations must be approved in advance through his office. Please drop by or call 270-686-4281 to make an appointment, or contact him by email at [email protected]

Academic Integrity

Incidents of Academic dishonesty such as cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated. Please refer to the University Catalog for the policy. Violations of this policy will result