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MASTER SYLLABUS

SW 3710 (3 CREDIT HOURS)
SOCIAL WELFARE AND THE SOCIAL WORK PROFESSION:
HISTORY, TRENDS AND BASIC CONCEPTS
Instructor: Dr. D. Onolemhemhen
Tuesdays: 3:00PM – 5:45PM
Classroom: 1111 Main
Office:
410 Thompson Home
Office hours: 3:00 – 4:00p.m. Fridays
E-mail address: donolem@gmail.com
COURSE DESCRIPTION
History of social welfare in the United States. Basic concepts of social welfare. The profession of
social work in historical perspective. Current trends and issues in social welfare and in the
profession of social work.
COURSE COMPETENCIES AND PRACTICE BEHAVIORS FOR THIS COURSE
2.1.5 Advance human rights and social and economic justice
Practice Behaviors:
Advocate for human rights and social justice; Engage in practice that advance social and
economic justice
2.1.8

Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver
effective social work services.
Practice Behaviors:
Analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being; Collaborate with
colleagues and clients for effective policy action
TEXTS AND REQUIRED MATERIAL
Required Text
Segal, E. A. (2010). Social welfare policy and social programs: A values perspective (3rd
edition). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
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Other readings as required by instructor
Supportive Texts
Day, P. J. (2009). A New History of Social Welfare, 6th edition. Needham Heights, MA:
Allyn & Bacon.
Trattner, W. (1998). From poor law to welfare state: A history of social welfare in
America. (6th ed.). Free Press.
INTRODUCTION:
This course provides content about the history of social work, the history and current structures
of social welfare services, and the role of policy in service delivery, social work practice, and
attainment of individual and social well-being. This course assists students in developing a
critical understanding of the social welfare system in this country, with special emphasis placed
on its historical development and the conflicting values and beliefs that shaped it. Course
content provides students with knowledge and skills to understand major policies that form the
foundation of social welfare and contemporary social welfare trends are discussed within their
social, political, and economic contexts. The historical underpinnings and current structure of the
social work profession are described. Social welfare policy issues (e.g., poverty; homelessness,
etc.) are analyzed with respect to social work’s commitment to the attainment of individual social
well-being and economic and distributive justice on behalf of oppressed populations. The dual
role of the social worker as advocate for progressive change and knowledgeable resource broker
is explained which will provide an introductory level regarding the ability to become proactive
and engage in policy development to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver
effective social work services.
PERFORMANCE CRITERIA:
Student achievement of learning outcomes is assessed via quizzes, in-class short answer
examination, and a written assessment of the historical trends of a particular social welfare
policy, including the various definitions of the problem over time. In addition, additional papers,
quizzes, homework, and classroom participation may be utilized to demonstrate achieved
learning outcomes.
GRADING AND ASSIGNMENTS
Please Note: Criteria for individual classes may vary; however the benchmark assignment is
required for all course sections
Assignment

Percentage

Analyze a social problem (Benchmark
assignment)
Analyze and compare a social problem of two
non-western countries
Mid-term

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Related Course
Competency
Competencies 2.1.5 & 2.1.8

30

Competencies 2.1.5 & 2.1.8

35

Competencies 2.1.5 & 2.1.8

2

Attendance
TOTAL

5
100%

Competencies 2.1.5 & 2.1.8
Competencies 2.1.5 & 2.1.8

BENCHMARK ASSIGNMENT
Social problem Assignment: Students will write a paper that analyzes a social problem and its
U.S. social welfare policies over time.
Grading Policy:
Students may pass the course with a grade of D but must maintain a C average during the junior
and senior year. (See Undergraduate Bulletin, Wayne State University
http://www.bulletins.wayne.edu/ubk-output/index.html)
Grade distribution:
100-95 A
94.9-90 A79.9-77 C+
76.9-73 C

89.9-87 B+
72.9-70 C-

86.9-83 B
69.9-67 D+

82.9-80 B66.9-63 D

79.9-77 C+
62.9-60 D-

ORGANIZATION OF THE COURSE
The course is divided into four units. Changes in this format may happen to meet the combined
needs of the students and the instructor. Primary attention is given to the development of social
welfare within this country and the values and beliefs that undergird these policies.
Unit 1 begins with the meaning and overall development of social welfare in the United States.
This includes the introduction to the conceptual foundations of social welfare policies; analyzing
and researching policies; and the delivery of social work services.
Unit 2 addresses concerns that have an impact on social welfare in this country. In particular the
unit focuses on issues such as social justice, poverty and economic inequality.
Unit 3 concentrates on the key social welfare policies and programs within the United States.
The unit will also highlight the nature and assessment of social problems.
Unit 4 provides information on the role and impact of social work policy practice on the
development and provision of social welfare policy. The unit also highlights American social
welfare policies and International Comparisons.
ROLE OF THE STUDENT AND INSTRUCTOR
See University Statement of Obligation of Students and Faculty Members of the teaching learning process
http://www.bulletins.wayne.edu/fib/fib2d.html

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POLICIES FOR THIS COURSE—course policies may vary with each instructor.
Attendance policy
Students are expected to attend all sessions of the courses for which they are registered. Class
attendance is important to achieve the learning goals of the course. Therefore, attendance
will count for 10% of the grade and will be calculated as follows:
1. The number of classes attended will be divided by the total number of classes (14) and a
percentage for the attendance grade will be generated.
2.

EXAMPLE: Bob attended 12 of the 14 class sessions. 12/14 = 85%
Each class accounts for roughly 7.143% of the total number of classes.

3. The attendance grade is 10% of the Final Grade.
Excused absences include death in the family, illness, and other unforeseen circumstances.
Attendance points will be given for these absences but all excused absences must be
documented.. On-line sessions will have an attendance assignment
Electronic communication policy
Personal computers can be used in class only to view power points and make notes. Points will
be deducted from attendance if caught surfing during class time.
Late or missing assignments
No late or missing assignments accepted.
Incomplete grade policy
http://socialwork.wayne.edu/incomplete-grade-policy.pdf
Inclement weather
If the weather is too bad to hold class on campus you will receive an email from the instructor.
The class will be placed on-line and students will have an ungraded assignment which will count
toward attendance.
Assignment Policy:

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Plagiarism /Academic Honesty:
“Plagiarism is using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to the other
person. When you use someone else’s words, you must put quotation marks around them
and give the writer or speaker credit by revealing the source in a citation. Even if you
revise or paraphrase the words of someone else or just use their ideas, you still must give
the author credit in a note.”
Plagiarism, Cheating: See WSU References:
http://www.otl.wayne.edu/pdf/2006_july_aibrochure.
http://www.doso.wayne.edu/codeof conduct.pdf
William Harris, “Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers,”
http://virtualsalt.com/antiplag.htm, March 7, 2002
You must cite sources from the Internet or any other form of electronic media used in
your work. Any paper suspected of plagiarism will be reviewed at Turnitin.com to verify
that it is your work and properly cited.
Any paper that is plagiarized will result in an “F” for the class and a referral to the
University for further Disciplinary Action.
APA FORMAT
All papers written in the School of Social Work require APA format. You may purchase
the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition), or you
may visit the website listed below:
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
WIKIPEDIA WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AS A RELIABLE SOURCE
What is Wikipedia?
“Wikipedia is a free-content encyclopedia, written collaboratively by people from all
around the world. The site is a wiki, which means that anyone can edit entries simply by
clicking on the edit this page link.”
“Because Wikipedia is an ongoing work to which anybody can contribute, it differs from
a paper-based reference source in some important ways. In particular, mature articles tend
to be more comprehensive and balanced, while other (often fledgling) articles may still
contain significant misinformation, un-encyclopedic content or vandalism. Users need to
be aware of this in order to obtain valid information and avoid misinformation which has
been recently added and not yet removed.”
Class Participation/Attendance:
Student participation is important to the success of any class. You will note that there are
Discussion Questions listed on the syllabus. Discussion questions will be posted as a
separate thread and responses should be posted within the thread. Responses are
evaluated based on content quality. They should reflect familiarity with lecture material
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and/or the readings and be approximately 200 words. Cite and references you use from
readings.
Note: Class participation include raising questions from the readings, making relevant
comments drawn from personal experience, reacting to opinions expressed by the
instructor and students, asking for clarification, being actively engaged in class exercises,
or bringing up issues of general interest to the class.
WSU STUDENT RESOURCES
Students with disabilities
http://studentdisability.wayne.edu/rights.php.
Academic integrity and student code of conduct
http://www.doso.wayne.edu/student-conduct/Academic_Integrity.html
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Wayne State:
http://www.caps.wayne.edu/
Unit
I
Sept 3
II
Sept 10

Introduction to the course and each other
Review syllabus, course, purpose, format, norms
and assignments.
Social welfare policy and underlying values

III
Sept 17

Historical foundations of social welfare policy

IV
Sept 24

Conceptual foundations of social welfare policy &
Analyzing and researching social welfare policy

V
Oct 1

The delivery of social welfare services

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Assignment
Read syllabus
Segal, E. A. (2010). Social
welfare policy and social
programs: A values
perspective (3rd edition). pp 226.
Segal, E. A. (2010). Social
welfare policy and social
programs: A values
perspective (3rd edition). pp
27-56.
Segal, E. A. (2010). Social
welfare policy and social
programs: A values
perspective (3rd edition). pp
57-116.
Segal, E. A. (2010). Social
welfare policy and social
programs: A values
perspective (3rd edition). pp
117-136.

VI
Oct 8

Social justice and civil rights
Paper 1 due

VII
Oct 15

Poverty and economic inequality &
Economics, employment, budgets, and taxes

VIII
Oct 22

The nature of social problems& social problem
analysis & Social Insurance

IX
Oct 29

Aging and social welfare policy
Mid-term Examination

X
Nov 5

Children and families

XI
Nov 12

Health care policy

Segal, E. A. (2010). Social
welfare policy and social
programs: A values
perspective (3rd edition). pp
137-171.
Segal, E. A. (2010). Social
welfare policy and social
programs: A values
perspective (3rd edition). pp
172-235.
Chambers, D. & Wedel, K.
(2012). Analyzing the social
problem background of social
policies and social programs.
In Social policy and social
programs: A methods for the
practical public policy analyst
(5th edition). , pp 7-25
Segal, E. A. (2010). Social
welfare policy and social
programs: A values
perspective (3rd edition). pp
236-258.
Segal, E. A. (2010). Social
welfare policy and social
programs: A values
perspective (3rd edition). pp
259-279
Segal, E. A. (2010). Social
welfare policy and social
programs: A values
perspective (3rd edition). pp
280-309.
`

Paper 2 due
XII
Nov 19

US social welfare policies and international
comparisons

XIII
Nov 26

Policy practice and the impact of social welfare
policy

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Segal, E. A. (2010). Social
welfare policy and social
programs: A values
perspective (3rd edition).
Segal, E. A. (2010). Social
welfare policy and social
programs: A values

perspective (3rd edition).
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Course wrap-up
Dec 2
Note: Syllabus may be modified by instructor based on the needs of the class
COURSE ASSIGNMENTS
Assignment 1 Competencies 2.1.5 & 2.1.8
Please Note--Assignment 1 is the Benchmark Assignment for this course and may not be
changed by the instructor.
Analyze a social problem and policies related to that problem from its historical through current
practice. Examples of issues are mental health, poverty, women, children and /or youth. This
assignment is designed to improve your critical thinking and writing skills. This assignment
offers you the opportunity to investigate an issue, event or process in the history of social welfare
policy in great detail which will increase your understanding of the major themes and issues of
the course.
This paper should be 8-10 pages, typed, double spaced, with standard margins and approximately
250 words per page. The citations must be in APA format. You must have at least seven
references, five of which must come from profession references (journal articles, text books).
Please note: This must be your work: using information from your references without giving
credit to the author is considered plagiarism. This is a form of cheating and will result in a
failing grade for the paper.
The paper must include the following:
1. Description of the social welfare issue/problem you are researching and provide evidence
of the impact and the demographics of the population it effects.
2. How has the topic been treated historically? When was it first identified? Was it identified
the same as it is today? How is the historical and current definition different?
3. What services/policies were in place to alleviate problem? Has this changed over time?
4. Who receives the services? How does this policy impact those most affected by the
problem?
5. How do social stigma, discrimination and/or societal prejudices affect the definition and
policy solutions?
6. Discuss your personal belief of the problem and what you think the causes of the problem
are.
7. How does the treatment of this issue related to Social Work values and ethics
Rubric for Benchmark Paper
Points
Available

Points
Requirement for assignment
Achieved
8

3
5
5
5
3
3
3
3

Follows the directions of the assignment as to organization of
the paper, Spelling, grammar, APA format
Describe the current social welfare issue and provide evidence
of the impact and the demographics of the population it
effects.
How has the topic been treated historically? When was it first
identified? Was it identified the same as it is today? How is
the historical and current definition different
What services/policies are in place to alleviate problem? How
has this changed over time?
Who receives the services? How does this compare to those
most affected by the problem?
How do social stigma, discrimination and/or societal
prejudices affect the definition and policy solutions?
Discuss your personal beliefs about the problem and what you
think causes the problem.
How does the treatment of this issue relate to Social Work
values and ethics

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Assignment 2 Competencies 2.1.5 & 2.1.8 (30 points)
Analysis of a Social Welfare Issue over time of two non-western countries compared to the
United States. Using the issue chosen for assignment 1, choose two countries to compare and
contrast with the historical and current development to the United States.
This paper should be 8-10 pages, typed, double spaced, with standard margins and approximately
250 words per page. The citations must be in APA format. You must have at least seven
references, five of which must come from profession references (journal articles, text books).
Please note: This must be your work: using information from your references without giving
credit to the author is considered plagiarism. This is a form of cheating and will result in a
failing grade for the paper.
The paper should include the following points:
1. Describe the current social problem and provide evidence of the impact and the
demographics of the population it effects.
2. How has the problem been treated historically? When was it initially identified as a
problem? Was it identified the same as it is today? How is the historical and current
definition different?
3. What are services/policies that are in place to alleviate problem? How has this changed
over time?
4. Who receives the services? How does this compare to whom is most affected by the
problem?
5. How do social stigma, discrimination and/or societal prejudices affect the definition and
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policy solutions?
6. Discuss the global differences and similarities of these countries compared to the United
States.
7. How does the treatment of this issue relate to Social Work values and ethics?
Other suggested requirements for the course:
quizzes, tests…
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Abramowitz, M. (1998) Regulating the lives of women: social welfare policy from
colonial times to present. Boston, MA: South End Press.
Abramowitz, M. (2001). Everyone is still on welfare: The role of redistribution in
social policy. Social Work, 46, 297-308.
Addams, J. (1910). Twenty years at Hull House. New York: MacMillan Company.
Alcock, P., & Craig, D. (2001). International social policy: Welfare regimes in the
developed world NY, NY: Palgrave Publishers
Allen-Meares, P. (1996). The new federal role in education and family services: goal
setting without responsibility. Social Work, 41, 533-539.
Allen-Meares, P. & Roberts, E. M. (1995). Public assistance as family policy: Closing
off options for poor families. Social Work, 40, 559-565.
Anderson, S.G., Halter, A.P., & Gryzlak, B.M. (2004). Difficulties after leaving TANF:
Inner-city women talk about reasons for returning to welfare. Social Work, 49,
185-194.
Axinn, J. & Stern M. ( 2005) Social Welfare: A history of the American response to
need. (6th ed.) MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Beito, D. (2002). From mutual aid to the welfare state: Fraternal social services, 1890 –
1967.
Berrick, J. D. (1995). Faces of poverty: Portraits of women and children on welfare.
Lavallette, NJ: Oxford University Press.
Blau, J. Abramovitz, M. (2003). The dynamics of social welfare policy.
Lavallette, NJ: Oxford University Press
Chambers, D. & Wedel, K. (2012). Social policy and social programs: A methods for the
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practical public policy analyst (5th edition). Needham Heights: AllynBacon
Dobelstein, A.W. (2003). Social welfare policy and analysis. Pacific Grove, CA:
Brooks/Cole.
Dolgoff, R. ( 2006). Understanding social welfare: A Search for social justice (7th ed).
NY, NY: Allyn & Bacon.
DiNitto, D. (2006). Social welfare: politics and public policy (6th ed). NY, NY: Allyn
& Bacon.
Ewalt, P., Freeman, E. M., Kirk, S. A., & Poole, D. L. (1997). Social policy: Reform,
research, and practice. Washington, D.C.: NASW Press.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On not getting by in America. New
York: Henry Holt and Company
Gil, D. (1998). Confronting injustice and oppression: Concepts and strategies for
social workers. New York: Columbia University Press.
Gilbert, N. & Terrell, P. (1998). Dimensions of social welfare policy. (6th ed.)
Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Haynes, K. & Mickelson, J. (2006) Affecting change: Social workers in the political
arena. New York: Longman.
Herrick, M. & Stuart, P. (2004). Encyclopedia of social welfare in North America
Hodge, D. (2003). Value differences between social workers and members of the
working and middle classes. Social Work, 48, 107-119.
Jansson, B.S. (2005). The Reluctant welfare state. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Jansson, B. S. (2003). Becoming an effective policy advocate: From policy practice
to social justice( 4th ed). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks-Cole.
Jansson, B. S. & Smith, S. (1996). Articulating a “new nationalism” in American social
policy. Social Work, 41, 441-450.
Johnson, A.K. (2004). Social work is standing on the legacy of Jane Addams: But are
we sitting on the sidelines? Social Work, 49, 319-326.
Karger, H.., & Stoesz (1998 ). American Social Welfare Policy: A pluralist approach (3rd
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ed.). NY, NY: Allyn & Bacon
Kuo, D. (1997). Poverty 101: What liberals and conservatives can learn from each
other. The Brookings Review, 36-38.
Klienberg, S. (2006). Widows and orphans first: the family economic welfare policy.
1880-1939 women in American History.
Lens, V. (2005). Advocacy and argumentation in the public arena: A guide for social
workers. Social Work, 50, 231-238.
LeCroy, C. W. & Stinson, E. L. (2004). The public’s perception of social work: Is it
what we think it is? Social Work, 49, 164-174.
Mincy, R. (1994) “The underclass: Concept, controversy and evidence.” In Confronting
poverty: Prescriptions for change, edited by Sheldon Danziger, Gary Sandefur,
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Mittlestadt, J. (2005). From welfare to workfare: The unintended consequences of liberal
reform, 1945-1965 (gender and American culture). University of North Carolina
Press.
NASW. (2003). Social Work Speaks: NASW Policy Statements 2003-2006.
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Noble, C. (1997). Welfare as we knew It: A Political history of the American welfare
state. Lavallette, NJ: Oxford University Press.
Perlmutter, F. D. (1997). From welfare to work: Corporate initiatives and welfare
reform. Lavallette, NJ: Oxford University Press.
Tice, C & Perkins, C. (2001) The faces of social policy: A strengths perspective.
Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks Cole.
Ramanathan, C. S. & Link, R. J. (1999). All our futures: Principles & resources for
social work practice in a global era. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks-Cole.
Rank, M.R. & Hirschl, T.A. (1999). The likelihood of poverty across the American
lifespan. Social Work, 44, 201-216.
Reisch M. & Andrew J. (2002). The Road not taken: a History of radical social work
in the United States

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Richmond, Mary (1917). Social diagnosis. Philadelphia: Russell Sage Foundation.
Richmond, Mary (1895). Friendly visiting among the poor. New York. The Macmillan
company
Segal, E. (1997). Social welfare policy, programs, and practice. Pacific Grove, CA:
Brooks/Cole
Seccombe, K. (1999). So you think I drive a cadillac. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Stoesz, D. (1996). Small change: Domestic policy under the Clinton Presidency. New
York: Longman.
Schiller, B. (2004). The Economics of poverty and discrimination. (9thed.). Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Trattner, W. (1998). From poor law to welfare state: A history of social welfare in
America. (6th ed.). Free Press.
Website for international social welfare:
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=1369-6866

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