SW330 Social Welfare Policy & Programs

for SP 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


SW 330 Social Welfare Policy and Programs


SP 2012 HO


Kisthardt, Walter E.


Professor: Chair/BSW Program Director


Ph.D. Social Work: University of Kansas
MSW: University of Hawaii
BA Sociology/Social Work: Elizabethtown College, Pa.

Office Location

225 A Underground

Office Hours

Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM and by appointment

Daytime Phone


Other Phone




Semester Dates

January 16 - May 4, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

11:35 AM - 12:50 PM in room MA 604 (underground)



Credit Hours



There is no "required" text for this course. You will be expected to read journal articles from Social Welfare Policy related journals and to conduct research on the internet relative to assigned social welfare topics for each class. There will be policy texts available at the office and in the library for readings that supplement our class presentations and discussions.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Understanding Social Welfare: A Search for Social Justice. 7th edition. Ralph Dolgoff and Donald Feldstein. Allyn and Bacon, 2007. On reserve in the Library
Foundations of Social Policy: Social Justice in Human Perspective. Amanda Smith Barusch; Fourth edition. Brooks Cole, 2012. On reserve in the Library.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
This course introduces students to the major social welfare policies and programs of the United States today, and it examines the historical circumstances which gave rise to those social welfare programs and the social work profession. Existing policies are critically examined, and attention is given to methods by which social policies might be influenced to better meet human needs and promote social justice. Students will be expected to apply classroom learning by analyzing a current social welfare policy and program and to develop and present an innovative program which they design.

Educational Philosophy:

I view learning as an interactive process where concepts are clarified; where current realities are critically examined; where creative ideas are generated, and where innovations are developed, implemented, and evaluated. I believe learning takes place on many levels, ie: thinking, feeling, and behaving. I will do my best to create a learning atmosphere that recognizes divergent learning styles. I believe it is important for all students to feel safe to express their views without being judged negatively by the instructor or by their colleagues. I believe that learning is enhanced when humor and joy are infused in the discourse.   

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the historical foundation and evolution of current social welfare policies and programs.
  2. Identify the divergent values and philosophies that influence contrasting viewpoints on social welfare policies.
  3. Identify ways in which social policies impact social work practice and the ability to respond to needs.
  4. Identify strengths and limitations of current policies in the context of social and economic justice and responsiveness to populations-at-risk.
  5. Convey a basic understanding of the political and administrative processes of policy formation and methods by which policies may be influenced.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to engage in research related in a particular domain of social policy and critically examine the strengths and limitations of policies.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Students will be able to apply framewwork for Policy Analysis to a current social welfare concern and propose an innovative program based on their research to effectively respoond to this social problem.
Core Assessment:

·  Exams

·  Historical Analysis (LO 1-3,5)

·  Influencing Policy (LO 3-6)

·  Testimony (LO 2-6)

·  Core Assessement: Policy in Practice (LO 3-6)

·  Policy Analysis Term Paper (LO 1-6)

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

1. Reflection Paper...(10 points)...I will give you a series of questions to guide your written reflection on the nature of  
    social welfare in the United States. Due Thursday January 26  (at the beginning of class...1 point deducted for each day
    late). (3-5 pages typed, 1.5 spacing, APA format). 
2. Two Social Welfare Policy Journal Critiques (10 points each= 20 points). You will find two recent (2009 to
    present) articles from social work/social welfare journals that are related to your area of interest and write
    a summary/critique of each. I will give you guidelines to organize your writing. First critique due on Thursday
    February 2. 
Second journal critique due on Thursday, February 16.  Samples of approved journals are 
    included  as attachments at the end of the syllabus.
3. Mid-term Exam:  Given in class on Thursday, March 8 (25 points). Multiple choice and one Essay.
4. Policy Analysis/Proposal Paper (25 points)...10-15 pages in length, APA format including title page, abstract, and
    references. Due on or before last day of last class. Thursday, May 3. If you hand in a complete draft of the paper
    by Thursday, April 12, I will grade it. If you are happy with the grade you do not need to do a final re-write. If
    you would like to edit the paper, incorporating my suggestions and comments, you may do so and then hand in the paper
    on the last day of class.  
5. Presentation of Policy Analysis and Program Proposal (10 points)...in class, 20 minutes with 5 minutes for class
    questions and discussion. This presentation is a 15-20 minute overview of your policy analysis and program proposal. 
6. Class attendance and participation (10 points)...Your presence in class is very important to your learning and your contributions are important to the learning of others. I will expect that at all times we demonstrate respect for each other in all of our interactions. Examples of this respect include not engaging in a side conversation when one of your colleagues is speaking, being aware of body language and conveying interest and attention, being on time for class so as not to disrupt the flow of the lesson, waiting until the end of class to check on facebook statuses, etc. You will be allowed two (2) unexcused absences without a point deduction. For every absence after the two allowed two (2) points will be deducted from your class participation grade.  If you miss five classes you will not receive credit for class participation. I expect you to be on-time for class and to remain for the entire class period. If there are circumstances that make it difficult to meet this expectation please discuss this with me asap so that an accommodation may be made.  


90-100 points = A
80-89 points = B
70 - 79 points = C
60-69 points = D
below 60 points = F 

Late Submission of Course Materials:

All assignments will be due on the dates listed on the syllabus. You are expected to organize and manage your time so that you are able to meet the expectations of the class. No assignment will be accepted after the due date unless there are extenuating circumstances that you have discussed with me prior to the due date.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Come to class prepared to engage in the discussion relating to the assigned readings and discussion questions listed for each week in the syllabus. Be on time for class and respect others (examples noted above).
Always treat others in a manner that you would like to be treated.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1:  Introductions, review of syllabus, core assessment, learning outcomes, assignments and grading. Questions for discussion: What is Social Welfare Policy? How does social welfare policy effect you? Why is an understanding of social welfare policy formulation important for social work and for all citizens? What are the universal standards for social justice and human dignity? How are lives affected by social and economic structures?  What is the role of the Federal Government vis-a-vis the social welfare of its citizens? Liberal View vs. Conservative view. Get on-line and review the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and conduct a search regarding definitions of Social Welfare.
Week 2: A framework to analyze social welfare policies and programs. In these classes you will learn the format that you will apply in your policy analysis paper. I will hand out the framework to guide your social policy analysis.
Week 3: Social Values and Historical Roots of Social Welfare.  What were the English (Elizabethan) Poor Laws and What impact did these have upon the social welfare system in the U.S.A.?  
 Week 4: The American Experience and Social Welfare. The Social Security Act: The New Deal, The Great Society, and
 the current debate on health care reform in the United States. What is the "Occupy Wall Street" movement about? What are the key issues? What do the protesters want? What is your position on this approach to influencing social welfare policy?
Week 5: How does U.S. policy re: access to health care differ from other industrialized nations? Movie "Sicko".  
 Review the provisions of the Obama Health Care Reform Bill (which the republicans are vowing to repeal.) This is officially titled "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."      
Week 6: Current key issues in social welfare policy...applying the framework for policy analysis to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of these issues: Immigration, unemployment, homelessness, substance abuse/addiction, domestic violence, crime and incarceration, mental illness, etc.
Week 7: Social Policy for Child Welfare and People with Disabilities (Mid-term Study Guide will be distributed on Thursday, September 29. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Adoption and Safe Families Act. 
Week 8: Review for Mid-Term Exam on Tuesday: Mid-Term Given in Class on Thursday, Marcg 8. Multiple choice and one essay. You need to be in class to take this test during class time. Any request to take the midterm at another time must be discussed with me prior to the exam. if this is not done you may not be allowed to take the midterm and will receive a grade of Zero "0" for this assignment.
Week 9: Fall Break: Enjoy!
Week 10: Review Mid-term:  Policies that serve to discriminate against certain people or groups of people...Review the issue of legalizing gay marriage and be prepared to discuss this issue as it relates to social welfare. What are the arguments for legalizing gay marriage? What are the arguments against? Be prepared to share evidence that supports your position.
Weeks 11 - 16: Policy Analysis/Program Proposal Presentations. There will be two presentations each class period. Your attendance is very important to support your colleagues as well as to benefit from comments and suggestions I will make regarding the final paper. 
Week 17: Finals Week...Your Policy Analysis Paper is the core assessment in this class and will be considered your final exam. 

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Policy Journals

Policy Analysis Framework

policy reflection


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
•Identifies 5+ appropriate issues.
•Identifies policy related to each issue.
•Identifies agencies / services related to identified issues.
•Identifies 4 appropriate issues. CO1
•Identifies policy related to each issue. CO3 &4
•Identifies agencies / services related to identified issues. CO3
Identifies 3 or fewer appropriate issues Fails to identify appropriate issues 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural Interdisciplinary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
•Appropriately identifies and analyzes difficulties & challenges related to accessing /acquiring all identified services.
•Examines issues from contrary or opposing perspectives.
•Develops a plan for intervention based upon above noted items.
•Appropriately identifies and analyzes difficulties & challenges related to accessing /acquiring all identified services. CO2,4,&5
•Develops an appropriate plan for intervention based upon above noted items. CO 3&4

•Identifies difficulties related to some but not all of the identified issues.
•Plan is not realistic relative to local agencies, cost, services, access, policy or legislation.
Fails to identify or analyzes any difficulties & challenges related the identified issues. 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural Interdisciplinary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
•Develops a plan or identifies barriers to access services related to all items.
•Identifies multiple possible negative outcomes related to the plan.
•Develops a plan or identifies barriers to access services related to all items. CO 6
•Identifies a possible negative outcome related to the plan. CO6
•Acknowledges barriers to access services related to all items.
•Does not identify potential negative outcomes related to the plan.
No acknowledgement of barriers or potential negative outcomes. 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural Interdisciplinary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
No factual errors No more than 2 factual errors relative to policy and programs. 3 to 4 factual errors 5 or more factual errors 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural Interdisciplinary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Plan appropriately links problem to policy to intervention and on to assessment with all identified issues. Plan appropriately links problem to policy to intervention and on to assessment with all four identified issues. Plan establishes some links between problem, policy, intervention and assessment, but not between all, and not with all identified issues. Does not link problem to policy to intervention or assessment. Full components are absent. 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural Interdisciplinary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Identifies two or more potential barriers or negative outcomes.

Identifies an alternative intervention to counter any barriers or negative outcomes.
Clearly describes one or two potential barriers or negative out comes to the plan. Does not identify barriers to success or potential negative outcomes related to the proposed intervention. Does not identify barriers to success or potential negative outcomes related to the proposed intervention. 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
No errors in writing conventions 1to 5 errors in spelling or grammar 6 to 10 errors in spelling or grammar Errors in spelling or grammar are sufficient to compromise success of the proposed intervention.  10+ grammatical or spelling errors. 
Contains no errors in the following paper format items:

-Page numbers
-Works cited
-Internal documentation

Contains only 1 error in the following paper format items:

-Page numbers
-Works cited
-Internal documentation

Contains 2 to 3 errors in the following paper format items:

-Page numbers
-Works cited
-Internal documentation

Contains 4 or more errors in the following paper format items:

-Page numbers
-Works cited
-Internal documentation

Exhibits an awareness and concern for significant social issues and threats. Proposes actions to address such issues beyond the immediate circumstances. (Micro ¯o) Exhibits an awareness and concern for significant social issues or threats. (Micro) Does not demonstrate a consistent awareness or concern for significant issues or threats. Does not demonstrate any awareness or concern for significant issues or threats. 


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Last Updated:1/12/2012 10:36:42 AM