Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare

Course Description

This course is designed as an introduction into the nature of social welfare, its history and current practice and the development of the Social Work Profession as a response to human need. The course will examine the nature of the Social Work Profession, the range of social problems confronting the United States, and social and institutional responses to those problems. The ecosystems perspective and the concept of generalist social work practice will be introduced.

Course Objectives

The student will be expected to achieve:

    1. An historical understanding of the nature of the American Welfare system
    2. An ability to identify the role of the American government and its institutions and programs which provide social and health services to the populations in need.
    3. An understanding of the profession of social work, its knowledge, value and skill base.
    4. An ability to identify the social problems which require social work intervention.
    5. An increased sensitivity to cultural/social diversity and oppression, especially issues pertaining to: gender, aging, sexual orientation/variation, handicapping conditions, racism, and economically disadvantaged populations.
    6. An understanding of the generalist approach to social work practice.
    7. Familiarity with the NASW Code of Ethics.
To learn more about the requirements for social work education, click on the CSWE link to the left

Required Texts



Kirst-Ashman, K. 2004. Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare: Critical Thinking   

                          Perspectives. CA: Brooks/Cole




Kozol, Jonathan. 1995. Amazing Grace. New York: Crown Publishers.



Bibb, Wanda "Rose". 1991. Rose's Story. Illinois: Waveland Press.