This course provides students with a comprehensive view of the American welfare state with special emphasis on policies and programs directly affecting vulnerable populations. Students will be introduced to the historical and philosophical bases of American social welfare programs and the profession of social work. Specifically, the course will help students (1) understand the precedents of the contemporary welfare state in terms of their underlying motivations -- political, ideological, economic, religious and social -- and the extent of their impact on the subsequent social welfare institutions and social work; (2) become familiar with many of the basic social welfare programs; and (3) develop policy and program analysis skills to measure the effectiveness of these programs in alleviating poverty and achieving other specified social goals. Students will be introduced to content on the impact of globalization on the American social welfare system and how the U.S. social welfare system compares with the systems in other countries. The contribution of this course to the overall core foundation/Advanced Year curricula will be addressed.