SWK3420 Social Welfare Policies, Programs and Issues

Course Overview

Educational Level: Upper undergraduate, Bachelor
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
Instructor: Dr. Dana Knighten

Course Description:

This course will be a study of social work practice skills in policy research, policy analysis, and policy practice. These skills are essential in social work practice to value diversity, advocate for populations at risk, end oppression and discrimination, and promote social and economic justice. Consistent with professional values and ethics, this course further helps students develop knowledge and skills that social workers need in order to make social policy changes that will enhance social and economic well-being.

How This Course Benefits Students:

After successful completion of this course, student will be able to: 1) Demonstrate a beginning level understanding of US social policies and programs in child and family welfare, aging, health, and mental health including ways in which major US social welfare policies help, and hurt, people’s ability to achieve and maintain optimal health, mental health, and other measures of well-being through the life span; 2) Begin to examine how issues of social and economic justice relate to ways that religious and nonreligious spiritual perspectives contribute to injustice and oppression as well as empowerment and liberation; 3) Utilize the knowledge learned of history to understanding the impact of oppression and discrimination on diverse peoples individual and collective functioning; 4) Apply to practice a framework of knowledge, theory, values, and skills for spiritually-sensitive social work and identify and build foundation level policy practice skills that social workers use to influence social welfare policy development, implementation, and change; 5). Analyze policy and its impact on program delivery, the ethics of the profession, and at-risk populations, and begin to develop policy practice intervention skills with policies, programs, and service delivery systems to advocate for basic human rights; 6) Demonstrate skills in using library, electronic, and writing resources in researching and analyzing social welfare policies and programs.

Why This Course Is Important:

This course will emphasize the students ongoing application of core professional knowledge, values and skills into purposeful actions serving vulnerable client systems.