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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Caroline Lanza
BIS 293
Bothell Campus

Special Topics

Examines different subjects or problems from an interdisciplinary framework.

Class description

-What are the “helping professions?? -What are the differences between the terms, “social services?, “social work?, and “social welfare?? -Where is the “social justice? in “social work??

These and many other questions will be explored in this survey course devoted to social service structure, policy and delivery in the United States. We will cover a variety of topics, including ethics, social work history, and welfare policy. We will also discuss important paradigms common in social work practice currently, such as evidence-based practice, prevention, and empowerment. The course will also include an overview of a variety of common domains of social work practice, such as children, youth, and families; generalist practice; mental health and clinical practice; health care; social work in education; gerontology; the justice system; community organizing; and social welfare advocacy.

Student learning goals

-To identify competing paradigms for how social problems have historically been approached and how these paradigms have shaped welfare policy and social work practice.

-To identify values and ethics driving the profession currently.

-To identify different styles of social work practice, such as case management, community organizing, administrative practice, research, and policy advocacy and the arenas in which they are practiced.

To personally reflect on potential career paths within the fields of social services/welfare policy.

General method of instruction

The course will feature lectures, discussions, and small group work as well as films, visits by a variety of social work practitioners and exercises, media projects, and reflective writing to encourage students’ engagement with the complex topics at hand.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Caroline Lanza
Date: 09/29/2011