Social Welfare Policy and Services

edX Social Welfare Policy and Services

University of Michigan
8 to 10 hours per week
8 weeks
Paid Certificate Available
Part of
Course Link
Explore current social welfare issues in the context of their history and the underlying rationale and values that support different approaches. Emphasis is placed on major fields of social work service such as:
  • income maintenance
  • health care
  • mental health
  • child welfare
  • corrections
  • elderly services
You will learn about analytic frameworks with regard to social welfare policies and services. These frameworks identify strengths and weaknesses in the current social welfare system with respect to:
  • multiculturalism and diversity
  • social justice and social change
  • behavioral and social science theory and research
  • relevant social work promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs
There are four main content areas for the course.
  1. The philosophic and practical basis for social welfare provisions.
  2. The history of the social work profession and the emergence of specific policies and programs within their historical, social and political contexts.
  3. A critical analysis of current social welfare policies in the U.S. and cross-nationally, and programs, nationally and cross-nationally with attention to the evolving policies.
  4. An understanding of theory/research, debates, and trends in social welfare provision and patterns of service delivery.
This course is part of the Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research MicroMasters Program offered by MichiganX.

What you'll learn
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the historical basis for the current U.S. social welfare system, including the history and role of the social work profession.
  2. Describe and critically analyze current social welfare policies, procedures, and programs including the role of behavioral and social science research and theory in their evolution.
  3. Discuss the strengths and limitations of the current social welfare system in terms of the functions of the provision of basic needs, protection of the vulnerable, prevention, promotion, treatment, rehabilitation, protection of society, and provision of social control.
  4. Describe and critically analyze major fields of social welfare service provision from a multicultural perspective, including but not limited to income security, health and mental health services, child welfare, educational practices, services to the elderly, and corrections.
  5. Discuss and critically analyze current debates, trends, and ethical issues in each specific field of service presented in the course including the implications for social work practice and promoting social justice and social change.
Week 1:
What Is Social Welfare? What Is Social Justice?
Definitions of Social Policy and Theories of Social Justice

Week 2:
Foundations of The Welfare State – From the Poorhouse To Progressive Era
Origins of Social Work

Week 3:
The Creation Of Modern Welfare State: The New Deal And The Social Security Act

Week 4:
Historical Context: Civil Rights, The Great Society, And Expansion of The Welfare State

Week 5:
Retraction of The Welfare State: From The War On Poverty to Income Inequality
Work, Welfare, and Family: Current Policy Dilemmas

Week 6:
Homelessness And Housing Policy
Health and Mental Health Services Policy

Week 7:
Policies and Services For Children
Social Policy For Older Americans

Week 8:
Social Policy Challenges: Human Trafficking And Immigration Policy

Taught by
Katie Richards-Schuster
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