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University of Maryland Baltimore County Department of Social Work
SOWK 260 Fall 2006
SOCIAL WELFARE, SOCIAL POLICY & SOCIAL WORK I
Social welfare as an institution and social work as a profession have influenced and been influenced by the growth of American Society. This course presents an overview of the relationship of the social welfare system, social policies, and the problems and issues addressed by social services and the professional social worker. This course together with the second social policy course (SOWK 360) is designed to prepare the beginning practitioner with an awareness of the range and complexity of problems addressed by the social welfare system, an understanding of the historical development of this nation's social welfare programs and the evolution and contribution of the social work profession within this framework.
The course is divided into five parts: Part 1 focuses on theoretical perspectives and values that have influenced social welfare history and the profession of social work, with an emphasis on the strengths perspective. Part 2 presents an overview of social welfare, social policies and social services in the United States from antiquity to early America. Part 3 examines the issue of social inequality and the impact this has on the development of social welfare, social policy, the social work profession and the quality of life in America from Reconstruction to the Progressive era. Part 4 provides an introduction to modern social welfare policy, its development and the political and economic framework in which it was developed. Part 5 defines generalist social work and examines the roles and activities of social work and social workers in and outside the policy arena, with additional information on the historical evolution of social work education, ethics and credentialing.
Baccalaureate Social Work Program Student Guide 2006-2007
Ginsberg, Leon. Careers in Social Work. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2001.
Szuchman, L. & Thomlinson, B. (2004). Writing with style: APA style for social workers.
Tice, C. J. & Perkins, K. The Faces of Social Policy: A Strengths Perspective. Pacific Grove: California, Brooks/Cole Publishers. 2002.
APA Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Heffernan, J. Shuttlesworth, G., and Ambrosino, J. Social Work and Social Welfare: An Introduction. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Company, 1997, 4th edition.
Trattner, Walter, From Poor Laws to Welfare State. Free Press, 2000.
STUDY UNITS AND COURSE ASSIGNMENTS:
Theoretical Perspectives: Conceptualizing Social Welfare Policy from the Strengths Perspective
Learning Objectives: (1) To define what is meant by social policy (2) To explore the critical nature of the strengths perspective in policy development and implementation (3) To identify models of intervention relevant to the creation of social policy (4) To examine how social value preferences have influenced policy options and practice. (5) To examine the theoretical underpinnings of social policy, its principles and framework for analyzing and understanding policy development.
Tice & Perkins: The Faces of Social Policy: A Strengths Perspective:
UNIT 2 The Evolution of Social Welfare from Antiquity to Early America
Historical Context: Roots of Social Welfare, Social Work and Social Welfare Policy
Learning Objectives: (1) To examine the historical context of the development of the philosophy and mission of social welfare and rudimentary beginnings of social work that has influenced the structure and format of our contemporary social welfare institutions and services using a strengths perspective. (2) To understand the concepts of charity and social justice as two complementary but different philosophical orientations which influence social welfare goals and the appropriate means to meet them. (3) To examine the modern historical framework from which social welfare policy emanates. (4) To distinguish between institutional, residual and developmental approaches to social welfare as seen in the historical experience and its current presence (5) To understand the concepts of less eligibility, etc. historically relevant to social welfare policy
Tice & Perkins: The Faces of Social Policy: A Strengths Perspective
UNIT 3 Social Work and Social Welfare Policy in the United Stated from Reconstruction to the Progressive Era
Social Policy and Social Justice: Impacting the Needs of Special Populations
Learning objectives: (1) To examine the characteristics of social inequality in our society with a particular focus on the how the needs of special populations have been viewed and addressed through the development and implementation of social policy. (2) To understand the concepts of social insurance verses safety net; entitlement verses means tested.( 3) To distinguish between public and private social welfare, private not-for-profit, and the different levels of public social welfare responsibility [(federal, state and local)] (4) Examine the impact of political forces that influenced social welfare policy
Tice & Perkins: The Faces of Social Policy: A Strengths Perspective
UNIT 4 Political Economy of Social Policy
Social Welfare Policy and the Political Nature of Social Welfare Programs
Learning Objectives: (1) To explore the evolving political economy context for framing social welfare policy in the modern welfare state (2) To examine the creation of pre-established social welfare programs that lead to the development of the Social Security Act.
Tice & Perkins: The Faces of Social Policy: A Strengths Perspective
UNIT 5 Generalist Social Work
An Approach to Understanding and Engaging in Social Work
Learning Objectives: (1) To examine what is social work (2)To explore the nature of generalist social work (3) To examine the competencies for generalist social work (4) To explore the theoretical perspectives and intervention methods used in generalist social work practice (5) To examine the history of the development of social work as a profession (6) To briefly review the historical development of social work programs of study (7) To pay particular attention to the educational requirements and employment options for social workers with emphasis on credentialing, ethics and compensation..
Baccalaureate Social Work Student Handbook
Ginsberg: Careers in Social Work
Attendance: Attendance and participation in this class are crucial to the overall course objectives of understanding the dynamics of social welfare policy. Therefore, the following attendance policy is in place. In the case of medical absences, a doctor’s note is required.
Make sure that all written assignments are neatly typed, grammatically correct and turned in on time in APA format. You will receive deductions for not following these guidelines. In addition, I will also deduct .5 for each misspelled word in your paper, since computers have spell-check and dictionaries are readily available. No assignments will be accepted after the due date except in highly extenuating circumstances with documentation (i.e. death, hospitalization, etc). All assignments are due by the beginning of class or will be counted as LATE and may not be accepted.
Use a word processor or typewriter to complete your work. If you do not own one, take advantage of the excellent computer resources available to students on campus. In addition to using computer resources on campus, students experiencing writing difficulties can also use the resources of the Writing Center on campus located in the bottom of the Albin Kuhn Library.
Academic Integrity: Consistent with the ethical requirements of the social work profession and UMBC’s Student Academic Policy, the Baccalaureate Social Work Program holds students to the highest standards of academic integrity. Students are expected to know and adhere to the rules established by individual social work professors in specific social work courses. Student’s academic work also must conform to the guidelines established by the University regarding the definition of misconduct, including, but not limited to, cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, and plagiarism. Allegations of academic misconduct on the part of social work students will be taken seriously and will be responded to by procedures established by the University.
"By enrolling in this course, each student assumes the responsibilities of an active participant in UMBC's scholarly community in which everyone's academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and helping others to commit these acts are all forms of academic dishonesty, and they are wrong. Academic misconduct could result in disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, suspension or dismissal.”
To read the full Student Academic Conduct Policy, consult the UMBC Student Handbook, the Faculty Handbook, or the UMBC Policies section of the UMBC Directory.
GUIDE TO HISTORICAL EXAMINATION OF SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES UTILIZING AN AGENCY FIELD VISIT
Select a social welfare program, organization, or institution to visit in the Baltimore/Washington area. It should be convenient to you and represent a service that you have an interest in, want to learn more about, or represents a problem area that you would like to explore (ex. Work with challenged children, aging, family services, psychiatric problems, etc.). The agency can be a social agency like a department of social services, it can be an institution like a corrections setting or it can be a health care setting like a hospital or clinic. You must select an agency that has a social worker on staff that you can interview who is a licensed BSW or MSW.
Historical Review: For the service and the agency that you have chosen, you are required to seek out scholarly historical information about how services to this population were perceived and addressed as well as how and where services were provided in the past (facility, community, etc.). In your interview with your agency social worker, you should also ask questions regarding their understanding of how the particular social problem that their agency currently addresses was perceived and dealt with historically from a social welfare or societal perspective, the historical evolution and establishment of their agency and services; as well as how, when and why services within their agency have changed or not. If the individual whom you are interviewing does not hold the historical information for the agency, you need to find out who does. It is your responsibility to track down the agency history from its inception. Your discussion must include not only information from class readings and discussions, but from at least 1 other scholarly journal source. (There are journals that publish regarding historical aspects of social work with respect to services and how different social conditions were addressed in the past, such as Social Service Review, Social Forces, Social Work, just to name a few. I recommend that you start with these and expand from there). Do not use a journal article from the class reading list.
In addition to exploring historical aspects of social welfare, the second goal of this assignment is to learn about roles of social workers in different settings, what problems they deal with, and what it is like working in a social service delivery environment. In addition to the historical information collected, you will also collect the following information by taking notes from what the social worker and others share with you and through brochures and pamphlets that you can request from the agency.
1. What problems does this agency address? (Ex. Child abuse, aging, physical health, etc.). What are the extent and limits to these services? Do they for instance give out money payments, provide home health care, provide a range of counseling services, etc.
2. How do they provide their services? Find out what the services are and what the mechanisms are for delivering them. If you can, try to get a “flavor” for how the services are perceived. How accessible are they? Is there a waiting list? What restrictions are placed on services?
3. Who is the Staff? In other words, who provides the services? What are their job qualifications? What do they do? How do they perceive what they do? Do they like their jobs? What are the hardest things they do and what are the most gratifying? What are the working conditions like?
NOTE: In a large setting like a hospital or institution you do not have to focus your report on the total health care team or service delivery network but rather narrow your attention to the specific social work or social welfare services that you are analyzing. For example, in a hospital focus in on the social work department of the hospital not the whole health care system.
4. What are your impressions of or your reactions to this setting? What did you particularly like about what you saw and heard and what raised concern for you? What did you learn about this service that you didn’t know before? Could you see yourself working in this setting? Do you think the staff is doing an adequate job addressing the problems that they deal with? What could be done to make their work or the services better? How did the historical aspects inform your thinking in this process?
Your assignment will be evaluated on the following:
Reminder: Be sure that the agency you select has a social worker who is a licensed BSW or MSW. The point of this assignment is not only to visit and gain information about a human service setting, I want you to have the opportunity to meet with and interview a social worker. Nurses, psychologists, mental health counselors, etc. do not count for the purposes of this assignment. If you interview someone who is not a licensed BSW or MSW, you will automatically receive an F for the assignment.
Select an agency that you are not familiar with; do not select a setting that you have worked in or have considerable knowledge of. This is an opportunity to expand your knowledge. Do not pick a person in private practice; I want you to experience an agency-based service.
Most important, do not delay getting started on this project; it will take more time than you think to arrange a visit.
Share your impressions of the setting and the experience; this makes for a much more interesting paper (one page only is your reaction). Paper length is limited to 10 pages. Anything beyond 10 pages will not be read. The 10-page limit does not include the following attachments.
The following attachments must be turned in with your assignment:
Each adult learner will be required to select at least one of the videos shown during the semester to review and write a 3-5 page paper regarding their impressions of the video and how he/she thinks the historical events discussed in the video and in class readings and discussions impact current perceptions of social work, social welfare policy and social service delivery. I do not want a review of the video since I have already seen it and know what it discusses. Limit your summary or review of the video to one paragraph. The rest of your paper should address the points highlighted above. You must link your review to course material and cite properly. Failure to do so will result in failure of the assignment. Your paper is limited to five pages.
Periodical Blackboard Discussion Points
Each adult learner is responsible for reading the articles/periodicals for each assigned class unit of the syllabus, reading and reviewing the electronic links of additional information under each unit and engaging in submitting individual comments/discussion on the Blackboard Web Site. Students must have a UMBC account to access Blackboard; your non-UMBC e-mail address will not work. The discussion/comment assignments can be completed and submitted in Blackboard. Each student will individually complete each of the five-discussion/comment assignments highlighted in green under Assignments. The instructor will read the comments and enter a grade that will be displayed under the student’s grade tab in Blackboard. Students are required to complete five blackboard discussion/comments to the Blackboard site during the course of the semester. Each contribution must be at least 100 words in length. Comments on Blackboard will correspond to one of the five units. Each student will be graded on whether they covered each of the units and provided comments, the word length of their entries, and the depth of their comments. (Depth refers to the use of a variety of some of the other class readings during the semester, in class discussions and other supplemental class material to support your comments). Students should title their submission with the comment area and the number of the Unit (i.e. Comments on Journal Articles-Unit 1; Comments on In Class Topic Discussion-Unit IV, etc.). Failure to properly title your submission could result in a loss of points. Each submission will be worth 2 points, resulting in 10 points for completion of the five discussion submissions. To receive the full points per unit, each adult learner must cover the discussion point for each unit thoroughly in each discussion/comment. A date and time for each unit’s discussion will be posted. No discussion will be accepted after the last date for posting for each unit. The instructor will use the following discussion/comment points for the assignment during the semester.
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