SW 500 Social Welfare History

3 credits

This course provides students with a critical history of the development of the U.S. welfare state with special emphasis on policies and programs directly affecting vulnerable populations. Students will be introduced to the historical, ideological and philosophical bases of the U.S. social welfare system and the evolution of the profession of social work. Specifically, the course will help students (1) understand the historical precedents of the contemporary welfare state in the U.S context and the underlying political, ideological, economic, religious, and social forces that shaped current social welfare institutions and social work; (2) become familiar with basic social welfare programs and policies; (3) analyze the underlying ideologies and assumptions in the development of social welfare programs and policies; and (4) discuss social work history from an inclusive, racially diverse and equitable lens and a trauma-informed human rights perspective. Students will also be introduced to content on the U.S. social welfare system compared with the systems in other countries.