SWK 221 - Introduction to Social Welfare

Course Description

This course explores the historical development of social welfare in the United States, how it has defined social services and implications of they have had on society today. It also reviews modern social welfare systems and the existing attitudes, philosophies and the implications of economic, political and cultural conditions. Varying major theories of behavior are also explored as they relate to social work and the clients in need of services. The course also explores the importance of social workers in social action through understanding the different political perspectives influencing the formation of welfare policy. Group 2 course.

Credit Hours


Contact Hours


Lecture Hours


Required Prerequisites

SWK 121, SWK 170

Recommended Prerequisites or Skills Competencies

PLS 101, ENG 11/111 or higher

General Education Outcomes supported by this course

Communications - Direct, Critical Thinking - Direct

Other college designations supported by this course

Infused: Writing Intensive

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the reasons why the U.S. is a 'reluctant welfare state'.
  • Identify the purpose of present welfare services; in the U.S., State and county.
  • Explain key social welfare terms and concepts (i.e. Medicaid, Medicare, stigma, SSI, etc.).
  • Incorporate advocacy skills to promote change in team projects.
  • Explain the relationship of policy to program: how policy structures service delivery.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of policies.
Human Dimension:
  • Reflect on the personal and societal impact of the changing status of women, minorities and other 'out groups' throughout the history of social welfare.
  • Identify areas in their own life that have been effected by social welfare.
Caring - Civic Learning:
  • Analyze the effects that cultural influences have had on their lives and the lives of others.
Learning How to Learn:
  • Develop the skills to become politically active in the future.