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Through a human rights lens, this course introduces major social welfare policies and programs as they affect universal access to human dignity and well-being in a pluralistic society. Students learn about the synergistic relationship between policy development and micro-, mezzo-, and macro-level social work practice. Students also learn common approaches to formulate, analyze, and evaluate policy options in collaboration with constituents and colleagues.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze the tensions and ethical dilemmas inherent in professional practice around policies or programs that perpetuate or respond imperfectly to the historic effects of oppression, discrimination, and trauma. (G1a)(G2f)
  2. Differentiate between evidence about the general effectiveness of a policy and evidence about effectiveness of the policy in a specific cultural context. (G5a)
  3. Organize information from individuals, organizations, or groups to describe how proposed policies or policy changes may differentially affect social, economic, and environmental conditions for diverse community members. (C5a)(G2f)
  4. Use policy proposals and related evidence to predict impact on client and constituency well-being at the local level. (C5b)
  5. Use policy proposals and related evidence to predict impact on access to and delivery of social services at the local level. (G5b)
  6. Select advocacy strategies that maximize capacities for self-determination and self-advocacy and promote accountability to policy-affected clients and constituencies. (G5c)
  7. Map complementary pathways from social work practice research to specific policy changes, and from specific policies to practice adaptations. (G5d)
  8. Examine how a false dichotomy between social work practice and policy making related to social, economic, and environmental issues has contributed to or perpetuated the historic effects of oppression, discrimination, and trauma. (G5d)(G2f)

Prerequisite: MSW 600 History and Philosophy of Social Work and Social Welfare

Learn more about the coursework in the Advanced Standing and Traditional tracks of the online Master of Social Work from Saint Mary's. Call 877-308-9954 to speak with an enrollment counselor or request more information.