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SW 505/515: Social Welfare Policy: Home

This guide is designed to help students taking Social Welfare Policy and Services I & II.

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This guide has been created for students in SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY & SERVICES I & II. It contains the most useful Library and web resources for completing class assignments. Use the tabs to navigate to the resources you need.

Social Welfare Policy Assignments

SW 505



You should not use Wikipedia as a source in any assignments.

1. Project Proposal

The proposal will help you begin to define the issue you will examine in more depth in the research paper.  You should pick a social issue/problem of concern to you.  In the proposal, begin to discuss what this issue entails and why it is of concern.  What are the social systems that impact this issue?  How does this issue affect society? What are some of the other issues/problems/concerns that interact/interconnect with this issue?  How do they relate to one another?  You should also begin to look at the literature on this issue and discuss how you will examine this issue in the research paper. Use correct APA style in your proposal.  The proposal should be 3 – 5 pages in length. 

2. Policy Research Paper

Develop and write a research paper on the historical development of social work in relation to a social issue.  Special emphasis should be made to include social, political, cultural and economic justice implications of the particular social problem. The issue should be looked at from a local level as well as nationally and internationally.  Students are required to use as many primary resources as possible, e.g., public records, board meeting minutes, grant proposals, needs assessments, letters to the editor, interviews, annual reports, and so on. 

This research will involve a critical historical investigation into the events that led to the formal services that developed in response to a particular social problem.  Importantly, it serves as Part 1 of the research that you will expand/continue in Social Welfare Policy and Services II class next semester (in that project, you explore the policymaking process and debate and the intended/unintended consequences of a current policy).

The paper should be 12 – 15 double-spaced pages, with appropriate APA format. 

The paper outline should follow the format below:

  1. Social Problem History

How did this come to be seen as a “problem”?

How was the problem defined?  Who/what groups were defining it?

  1. Social Response History

What was done in response to the problem?

Who/what groups were designing/defining the response?

What were the roles of public (government) and private entities?

What were social workers doing in response to the problem? When did they become involved?

  1. Review of the Literature
  2. Analysis of data uncovered in the literature and from other approved sources
  3. Discussion of “problem” and response in the context of human rights
  4. Preparation for next semester’s continued research/project

3. Group Work and Presentation

During the first half of the semester, students will be assigned to small groups of approximately six students to critique, analyze and apply a local policy related issue.

You will report your critique/analysis and application to the class.  Each report should take 20 -30 minutes and should incorporate appropriate presentation technologies. You may use video clips, but that may not use more than 5 minutes of your time.  When using power point, please DO NOT read to us from the slides – use the slides as an outline and then elaborate.

Your presentation should:

  1. Briefly highlight the history and context of the social issue that is addressed.  Be sure to include the environmental and societal issues impact this social issue as well as those people who are the most affected by the issue

  2. How is this present in our local community?  Find two articles that discuss this issue on a local level and one organization/agency on a local level that addresses this issue. 

  3. How is this present nationally and/or internationally?  Find one article that discusses this issue on a national and/or international level and one organization/agency on a national and/or international level that addresses this issue. 

  4. Talk about this issue from a social justice/human rights framework

  5. What are the implications for social work practice?


Subject Guide

Susan Bucks
Liaison for Criminal Justice, Social Work, Political Science, Sociology, and Communication

400 Cedar Avenue,
West Long Branch, NJ 07764
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