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MASTER SYLLABUS

SOCIAL WORK 4710
SOCIAL WELFARE IN THE UNITED STATES: CURRENT PROGRAMS
3 CREDIT HOURS
Fall 2014

Instructor: Cassandra J. Bowers, PhD., LMSW

Email: aa2083@wayne.edu
Office Phone: (313) 577-4433
Home Phone: (248)-651-2963
Office Hours: By appointment – Either face to face or online
COURSE DESCRIPTION
This is the second course in the policy curricular area. This course offers a description and
analysis of major social welfare programs in the United States.
COURSE COMPETENCIES AND PRACTICE BEHAVIORS FOR THIS
COURSE
2.1.2 Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
Practice Behaviors:
Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide
practice; make ethical decisions by applying standards of the NASW Code of Ethics; tolerate
ambiguity in resolving conflicts; apply concepts of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled
decisions.
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2.1.3 Apply Critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments
Practice Behaviors:
Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research based
knowledge, and practice wisdom; analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention and
evaluation; demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals,
families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues
2.1.4 Engage diversity and difference in practice
Practice Behaviors:
Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal bias and values in working
with diverse groups; recognize and communicate the importance of difference in shaping life
experiences
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
Karger, H. J. and Stoesz, D. (2010). American Social Welfare: A Pluralist Approach (7th ed.)
Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
INTRODUCTION
This senior-level course helps students develop a critical understanding of the social welfare
system in this country, with emphasis placed on the structure of current programs, services, and
policies, and how these policies compare internationally. Course content provides students with
knowledge and skills to understand major policies that form the foundation of social welfare.
Special attention is paid to analyzing and reforming current social welfare policies at local, state,
national and international levels and applying the results of policy practice skills in regard to
economic, political, and organizational systems. The application of policy practice skills will be
implemented to influence, formulate and advocate for policy consistent with social work values;
and identify financial, organizational, administrative, and planning processes required to deliver
social services.
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Course content begins with a brief review of the history of social welfare in
this country and trends in the development of our social welfare system.
Current policies and programs are described and analyzed using a policy
analysis framework. Gaps in existing programs (such as welfare and social
security) are identified and impacts on the lives of minorities, women, and
other oppressed groups are emphasized. The social worker’s ongoing role as
policy reformer and advocate for social and economic justice is presented
throughout the course.

In the process, program policy gaps and inadequacies are pinpointed, especially as they impact
on oppressed and at risk populations. Prospective social workers are introduced to the workings
of the political process, its influence on social welfare policy and social work practice, and the
ways in which social workers can participate in political activities, advocacy groups and
coalitions, and/or organizational change in order to achieve social and economic justice.
PERFORMANCE CRITIERIA
Assignments must be submitted on the date indicated
All late assignments will be downgraded by 5 points. Each rewrite of a paper
will be downgraded by two points. A zero will be factored in for missing
work.
Students are expected to complete all readings, participate in class via
discussions, and perform satisfactorily on assignments and examinations.
The instructor shall be notified of unavoidable issues in advance which may
(will) prevent compliance with assignment due date. Unless there are
serious extenuating circumstances, a student will not be able to earn an A for
the course with more than two absences a B with more than four absences,
or a C with more than five absences.
Class Participation
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.

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GRADING AND ASSIGNMENTS
GRADING AND ASSIGNMENTS
Assignment

Points

Percentage

Competency #

Quizzes @ 10 points each

130

41

2.1.3

Policy Analysis Paper

85

27

2.1.2, 2.1.8

Policy Formation Paper

100

32

2.1.4, 2.1.5

Total

315

100

BENCHMARKS ASSIGNMENTS
Formulation of Policy (Policy alternative paper): develop a new policy that might remedy a
current policy problem/issue
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
315-300 A

299-284 A-

283-268 B+

267-252 B

251-236 B-

235- 220 C+

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219-204 C

203-188 C-

187-177 D+

176-161 D

160-145 D-

144…E

ORGANIZATION OF THE COURSE
Course content begins with a brief review of the history of social welfare in this country and
trends in the development of our social welfare system. Current policies and programs are
described and analyzed using a policy analysis framework. Gaps in existing programs (such as
welfare and social security) are identified and impacts on the lives of minorities, women, and
other oppressed groups are emphasized. The social worker’s ongoing role as policy reformer and
advocate for social and economic justice is presented throughout the course.
ROLE OF THE STUDENT AND INSTRUCTOR

See University Statement of Obligation of Students and Faculty Members of
teaching-learning process.
http://www.bulletins.wayne.edu/fib/fib2d.html
.
WSU STUDENT RESOURCES
Academic integrity and Student Code of Conduct:
Please visit
http://www.doso.wayne.edu/studentconduct/Academic_Integrity.html
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Wayne State:
http://www.caps.wayne.edu/

Educational Accessibility Services (EAS)
Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the
impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss you specific
needs. Please visit:
http://studentsdisability.wayne.edu/rights.php

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POLICIES FOR THE COURSE

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.
(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.
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 paperbased 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
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obtain valid information and avoid misinformation which has been recently added and not yet
removed.”
APA Format. All papers must utilize APA format
All papers must have a cover page
WSU Library: http://www.lib.wayne.edu/

Course Management Considerations
1. Time management is a key element in successfully completing this course.
2. Please do not hesitate to contact me when you are experiencing problems.
3. Remember it is important to be courteous to your fellow classmates. It is absolutely ok to
disagree to disagree however, put downs are unacceptable.
4. You are in charge of your learning, make your efforts count.
Course Requirements

Read the assigned readings
Engage in positive and meaningful dialog with classmates concerning
the topic being discussed

Course Learning Units
Unit

Content

Assignment

1

Introduction to the course
Review of syllabus course purpose,
format, norms, and assignments
Lecture/discussion The origins and
future of American Social Welfare
Early Antecedents of Welfare Statism
English Poor Laws; The poor in

Assignment: for
session 2 Read
Chapters 1 Social
Policy and the
American Welfare
State and Chapter 2
Social Welfare Policy

8/27/14

7

2
9/3/14

3
9/10/14

4
9/17/14

Colonial America Social work
leadership in Social Welfare

Research: A
Framework for Policy
Analysis

Library Day. Guest Monique Andrews
Definitions of Social Welfare Policy
Social Problems and Social Welfare
Policy
Values, Ideology, and Social Welfare
Policy
The Political-Economy of American
Social Welfare
The America Political continuum
Structural Interests Within Social
Welfare
A proposed Model for Policy Analysis
Researching and Analyzing Social
Policies
Incompleteness of Policy Analysis
Discussion will provide a through
historical and contemporary analysis
of the role of Judeo-Christian religious
values in the evolution of social
welfare policy in the U.S. We will also
look at the dynamic nature between
the church and state and other
institutions and events like poverty,
immigration, urbanization, scientific
revolution,
and
the
media
in
influencing social welfare in the U.S.
Discrimination and Oppression
Racism: Legal Attempts Remedy
Racism
Sexism: women at work, income
disparities
Gays and Lesbians; Ageism; People
with disabilities

Assignment: for
session 3 Read
chapter 3 Religion
and Social Welfare
Submit topic for
paper

Assignment: for
session 4
Read Chapter 4
Discrimination in
American Society

Assignment For
session 5
Bring Lap Tops to
Class research day!!

5
9/24/14

Assignment: for
Research day in class- bring your lap- session 6 Read
top
Chapter 5 Poverty in
America

6

Measuring Poverty
Who make up the poor; Income

Assignment: for
session 7 Read
8

10/1/14

distribution and inequality; tax policy
and incomes; Work and Poverty some
theoretical formulations about Poverty
Strategies Developed to Combat
Poverty

Chapter 6 The
Voluntary Sector
Today

7
10/8/14

The voluntary Sector
Advancing Social and Distributive
Justice
Contemporary Nonprofit Human
Service Organizations
The future of the Voluntary Sector

Assignment: for
session 8 Read
Chapter 7
Privatization and
Human Service
Corporations

8
10/15/1
4

History of the Corporate Sector
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Influence on Social Welfare
Policy
The Future of Corporate Involvement
in Social Welfare
Human Service Corporations
New Human Service Markets
Implications for health and Human
Service Professionals.
The Policy Process; Social Workers and
Social Reform; Political Practice
Technical Aspects of the Policy Process
A critical Analysis of the Policy Process
The Policy Process Implications for
Social Welfare

Assignment: for
session 9 Read
Chapter 8 The
Making of
Governmental Policy

9
10/22/1
4

Assignment: for
Session 10 Read
chapter 9 Tax Policy
and Income
distribution
First Paper due

10
10/29/1
4

Discussion will center on the
significance of the tax policy in the
U.S. and its implication on the
provision of welfare services.

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We will explore the major forms of
social insurance in the United States:
Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability
Insurance (OASDI); Unemployment
Insurance (UI); and Workers’

11/5/14

Assignment: for
session 11 Read
Chapter 10 Social
Insurance Programs
Assignment for
session 12, Bring
lap top to class

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Compensation. In addition, we will
explore some of the major issues and
problems surrounding social insurance
programs.
12
11/12/1
4
13
11/18/1
4

Assignment: for
session 13 Read
Chapter 11 Public
Assistance Programs

Work on paper in class

Some Assumption that underlie Public
Assistance; Aid to Families with
Dependent Children, The evolution
and Transformation of the AFDC
Program; General Assistance, Issues
in Welfare Reform; Future Prospects
for Welfare Reform

Assignment: for
session 14 Read
Chapter 12 The
American Health
Care System and
Chapter 13 Mental
Health and
Substance Abuse
Policy
Second Paper due

11/26/14 NO CLASS
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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

SET Administration

12/3/14
Final quiz
Syllabus subject to change based on the needs of the class

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COURSE ASSIGNMENTS:
All assignments will be turned in via blackboard
1. Quizzes Weekly: on Current Policy and how social policy is apparent within service
delivery systems (e.g. current eligibility criteria for programs or services) 10 points per
quiz. There will be a quiz each week beginning week two. Quizzes will open on Friday
of each week at 12AM and will close on Monday of each week at 12PM
2. Policy Analysis Paper 85 points - Due October 22, 2014 by 12pm
Using the policy framework discussed in class and the policy analysis model
presented in your textbook (Chapter 2), and the questions below evaluate a
current social welfare policy that you are interested in.
References should include federal or state laws, budgets, federal or state
statistics, government documents, refereed journal articles and scholarly
books. This paper should be 10-12 pages in length not including title
or reference page. You must use a minimum of 7 references 5 of
which must be from refereed Journals.
Policy Analysis Paper (use policy framework discussed in class and/or
questions below to complete your paper) (Competencies—2.1.5 & 2.1.8.)
i Describe current social problem you are concerned with.
ii What are the policies in place to address this concern?
iii Are these policies dictated by local, state or federal statute – or
combinations?
iv What is working; what is not working especially for at risk
populations (your critique of the current policy)?
v How long has the current policy been in place? Who supports
and who opposes the policy?
vi Interview one advocate, legislator regarding their opinion of
current policy.
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3. Formation of Policy Alternative Paper 100 points
18, 2014 by 12pm

Due November

Based on problem/policy identified for analysis paper, use the information
obtained to develop a new policy that might remedy a problem identified
with current policy. This paper should be 10-12 pages in length not
including title or reference page. You must use a minimum of 7
references 5 of which must be from refereed Journals.
*Formation of Policy Alternative Paper (Competencies—2.1.5 & 2.1.8.)
Based on the social problem/policy identified for your analysis paper, use the information
obtained to develop a new policy that might remedy the problem you identified with the
current policy.
a

Assess and compare this policy with a similar policy of one other country.

b

What is your policy alternative? Name it and describe where the change will need to
occur (local, state, federal)?

c

Describe the feasibility of your alternative (Political, Economic and Administrative).
Would this policy be feasible in the country identified in (b)

d

Describe how the policy meets your policy goals – e.g. social equality, redistribution
of resources, social work values and ethics.

e

How will you work to implement your alternative? What are the forces that are
for/against the policy and how will you use or sway each?

f

Describe your personal feelings about this policy alternative and how you view your
role as a social worker in the change process.

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Rubric:
Attribute/

Policy Analysis Paper 85 points possible
Excellent = 85

Competent = 55

Developing = 33

Student has clearly provided evidence of
delimiting groups affected by the chosen social
problem and has clearly demonstrated how the
group is affected describing/defining the
problem, history and context
20 pts

Student has provided evidence of
delimiting groups affected by the chosen
social problem and has demonstrated how
the group is affected. describing/defining
the problem, history and context is
somewhat unclear
15 pts

Student has provided evidence of delimiting
groups affected by the chosen social
problem but has not demonstrated how the
group is affected describing/defining the
problem, history and context
10pts

Research

Research related to norms and values, interest,
beliefs ethics selected is highly relevant to the
argument, and is presented accurately and
completely. All relevant components are
included;
25 pts

Research related to norms and values,
interest, beliefs ethics selected mostly
relevant to the argument, and is presented
with some degree of accuracy. Most
relevant components are included.
20pts

Research somewhat related to norms and
values, interest, beliefs. Ethics selected is
relevant to some degree. The argument
presented needs improvement. All relevant
components are not included;
15 pts

Interview

Student utilizes resources to obtain interview
with appropriate individual. Student provides
documentation of interaction
15pts

Student conducts interview with
appropriate individual, however fails to
provide documentation
10pts.

Criteria
Topic

Student does not conduct interview
0pts

Paper Structure

Organizati
on/
Clarity

Paper is coherently organized and the logic is
easy to follow. There are no spelling or
grammatical errors and terminology is clearly
defined. Writing is clear and concise and
persuasive.
20pts

Paper is generally well organized and
most of the argument is easy to follow.
There are only a few minor spelling or
grammatical errors, or terms are not
clearly defined. Writing is mostly clear
but may lack conciseness.
15 pts

Paper is poorly organized and difficult to
read – does not flow logically from one part
to another. There are several spelling and/or
grammatical errors; technical terms are
poorly defined. Writing lacks clarity and
conciseness.
8 pts

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RUBRIC:

FORMATION OF ALTERNATIVE POLICY 100 POINTS

Attribute/
Criteria

Topic

Policy
Alternative

Excellent = 100

Competent = 85

Developing = 70

Student provides an organized and
systematic way of looking at the strengths,
weaknesses and services regulated and
distributed in an effort to alleviate the
conditions which individuals experience
35pts

Student somewhat provide an organized
and systematic way of looking at the
strengths, weaknesses and services
regulated and distributed in an effort to
alleviate the conditions which individuals
experience
30 pts

Student does not provide an organized and
systematic way of looking at the strengths,
weaknesses and services regulated and
distributed in an effort to alleviate the
conditions which individuals experience
25 pts

The method, results, and implications are all
presented accurately; Refining the problem
statement alternative solution likelihood of
alternative to be achieved calculating cost
benefit/feasibility ratio and connections to
the research and position are clear and
relevant. The underlying logic is explicit.
45 pts

The method, results, and implications are
all presented accurately; Refining the
problem statement alternative solution
likelihood of alternative to be achieved
calculating cost benefit/feasibility ratio
and connections to the research and
position are somewhat unclear and
somewhat irrelevant. The underlying
logic is explicit.
40pts

The method, results, and implications needs
improvement. There was no clear refining
of the problem statement alternative
solution likelihood of alternative to be
achieved calculating cost benefit/feasibility
ratio little connections to the research and
position are somewhat unclear and
somewhat irrelevant.
35 pts

Paper Structure

Organizatio
n/
Clarity

Paper is coherently organized and the logic
is easy to follow. There are no spelling or
grammatical errors and terminology is
clearly defined. Writing is clear and
concise and persuasive.
20 pts

Paper is generally well organized and
most of the argument is easy to follow.
There are only a few minor spelling or
grammatical errors, or terms are not
clearly defined. Writing is mostly clear
but may lack conciseness.
15 pts

Paper is poorly organized and difficult to
read – does not flow logically from one part
to another. There are several spelling and/or
grammatical errors; technical terms are
poorly defined. Writing lacks clarity and
conciseness.
10 pts

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Useful Websites:

Hobbs, Frank and Nicole Stoops, U.S. Census Bureau. 2002.
Demographic Trends in the 20th Century, Census 2002 Special Reports,
Series CENSR-4. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Read highlights (pp. 1-3,7,49,71,115,137) and skim the rest.
http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/censr-4.pdf

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Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 2003. “Introduction to the
Housing Voucher Program.” http://www.cbpp.org/5-15-03hous.pdf

Cauthen, Nancy K. 2006. “When work doesn’t pay: What Every
Policymaker Should Know.” National Center for Children in Poverty,
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. http://www.
nccp.org/media/wdp06 text.pdf

Jargowsky, Paul A. and Isabel Sawhill, 2006. “The Decline of the
Underclass.” Center on Children and Families, The Brookings
Institution, Brief # 36.
http://www.brookings.org/es/research/projects/wrb/publications/pb/pb3
6pdf
Online Government, Policy, Advocacy, and Research Sites
Government Sites
Congressional Budget Office: www.cbo.gov
Executive Office of the President: www.whitehouse.gov
Legislation (Current bills): http://thomas.loc.gov/
Legislation (previous laws): http://thomas.loc.gov/home/bdquery.html
Legislation (copies of historical documents):
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/help/constRedir.html
National Children’s Study: www.nationalchildrensstudy.gov
Office of National Drug Control Policy: www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov
U.S. Dept. of Commerce
Bureau of the Census:
www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/poverty.html
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services: www.hhs.gov
Administration for Children and Families: www.acf.dhhs.gov
Administration on Aging: www.aoa.gov
Agency for Health Care Research and Quality: www.ahrq.gov
Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation
Human Services Policy: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/hspincpov.htm
Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: http://www.cms.hhs.gov
Health Resources and Services Administration: http://www.hrsa.gov/
Indian Health Service: http://www.his.gov/
National Institutes of Health: www.nih.gov
National Institute of Mental Health: http://www.mentalhealth.gov/
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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: www.niaaa.nih.gov
National Institute on Drug Abuse:
http://www.nida.nih.gov/NIDAhome1.html
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration:
www.samhsa.gov
National Mental Health Information Center: w
ww.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/cmhs/managedcare
U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
PD & R Information Service: www.huduser.org
U.S. Dept. of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics: www.bls.gov
U.S. Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov/
Policy, Advocacy, and Research Sites
Alliance for Children and Families: www.alliance1.org
Annie E. Casey Foundation: www.aecf.org
Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: www.cbpp.org
Center for Law and Social Policy: www.clasp.org
Center for Public Policy Priorities (Texas): www.cppp.org
Center for the Study of Social Policy: www.cssp.org
Center on Hunger and Poverty, Brandeis University (Heller School):
www.centeronhunger.org
Child Care and Early Education Research Connection:
www.childcareresearch.org
Children’s Defense Fund: www.childrensdefense.org
Child Welfare League of America: www.cwla.org
Food Research and Action Center: www.frac.org
Heritage Foundation: www.heritage.org/welfare/
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health: http://www.hogg.utexas.edu/
Institute for Child and Family Policy (Columbia): www.childpolicy.org
Institute for Women’s Policy Research: www.iwpr.org
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill: www.nami.org
National Center for Children in Poverty: http://www.nccp.org
National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty: www.nlchp.org
National Poverty Center, University of Michigan: www.npc.umich.edu
Texas Public Policy Foundation: http://www.texaspolicy.com/
The Finance Project: http://www.financeproject.org/index.asp

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