Redefining what's possible.
Social Work 300 is a foundation course within the BASW program. As the purpose of this Social Welfare major is preparation for generalist social work practice, it is recognized that the generalist approach emphasizes an ecological systems perspective. This is the theoretical foundation for all the courses studied in the BASW program. The focus of ecological systems theory is on the interface between persons and the environment. As a foundation theory this perspective acknowledges systems in the environment and their impact upon people. In Soc. WF. 300., this theoretical approach will enable students to develop a holistic view for understanding the historical antecedents and philosophical base of social welfare in the United States.
As a required and fundamental course in this major, SW 300 calls upon students to integrate knowledge from liberal arts courses. Underlying this is the quality of ideas and views engendered by Poor Law traditions. As the English antecedents of American social welfare are sketched out, students will recall the impact English happenings had upon the developing colony in America and its view of social need. Thus, impressions expressed by Mather, Franklin, and Roosevelt in America will be as significant as those expressed by Elizabeth I, the Webbs, and Beveridge in England. Consequently students will keep in mind the impact American values and goals have had upon the differential responses to poverty in the United States.
This course begins by discussing some concepts of social welfare as well as some of the tensions between social work and social welfare. Thus, the legacy of the Elizabethan Poor Law will be stressed, some attention will be directed towards its impact upon Britain's welfare state and then the emphasis will be upon the response to human need in the United States. This will include exploring the Colonial Era, the Progressive Era, The Social Security Act of 1935 and the War on Poverty undertaken during the 1960's. Attitudes toward poverty, as well as the development of publicly funded income-maintenance programs are central in the course. The conclusion will incorporate the nature of professionalism.
Students will be introduced to the English precedents underlying the American social welfare system and to the evolution of American social welfare services as well as to the linkage of social work in that evolution. Thus, students who complete the course will have a more finely informed understanding of social welfare matters in the United States and a beginning ability to critique social welfare programs and issues within an historical framework that is sustained by a liberal arts tradition. Hence intelligence, guided by truth and rationality, will teach students to teach themselves and remain informed about social welfare in the United States.
The teaching method in this course will be lecture accompanied by some discussion as well as the written assignments.