Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

SOWK 507

Social Welfare and Social Work

This course examines social welfare problems, the system of social welfare, and its interrelationships with direct practice and the delivery of services. Particular emphasis is placed on the examination of different political and economic conceptions, as well as the ways in which they shape social programs and, in turn, social work practice. Attention is given to the controversies surrounding the “welfare society.” This course deals with the societal and social policy content that impacts professionals in their service roles. The general aim is to develop an analytic and critical approach to the study of how society politically and economically structures its caring responses. The course traces the development of and the interrelationships between social welfare policy and social work practice in the United States. It explicates the interests, values, belief systems, and assumptions that underlie the American social welfare system. The evaluation of social welfare policies and programs is placed in socio-historical context and the social forces unique to the American experience are examined. Major questions of social choice and the criteria that underlie different approaches to the funding and delivery of social services are considered. Alternative contemporary views of the nature, purpose and functions of the social welfare system are considered and related in an examination of the social work profession and social work practice.