Social Work 321

SOWK 321: The Foundations of Social Policy

Prerequisites: SOWK 320

Credit Hours: (3)

Provides students with a conceptual framework for analyzing social policy and its impact on development of human service programs.


Detailed Description of Course

I. Understanding of social services programs, policies, and issues, nature of policies, and policy practices.
II. Focus on agencies and service delivery structures and policy analysis models.
III. Focus on Congress and budget issues and institutional factors.
IV. Examination of Social Welfare policies and programs and vulnerable populations.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

I. Students practice skills in use of various frameworks and models of social policy analysis, a written paper, oral presentation, and research will be expected from students.

II. Format - combination of the following:

  • Lecture ad discussion lead by instructor, class exercises, oral presentations, quizzes, and final examination.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students learn:

  • To study the functions and types of social services in America today.
  • To learn the societal values which underlie social service delivery systems and policy choices.
  • To identify and critically discuss the major policy issues involved in the structure and delivery of social services
  • To study the major program models used in constructing social service delivery systems and to examine both the assets and the liabilities of these program models for human services.
  • To learn about the increasing variety of voluntary, public, and proprietary social services in America.
  • To explore the relationships among political ideology, economic status, ruling elites, interest groups, professional organizations and social services policies.
  • To discuss research findings regarding the perceptions of clients, professionals, agencies, and communities with respect to a variety of delivery systems and their implicit values, assumptions, and policies.
  • To understand the impact of social and economic policies on the access to services and resources by women in the American society.
  • To identify factors that influence policy development for cross-cultural groups in America.


Assessment Measures


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

September 2001 Updated Marilyn Rigby