K439 – Social Policy and Advocacy
2 Credit Hours
The broad purpose of this course is to mobilize understanding of the powerful, but often subtle, influence of the past on one’s actions, specifically how our work can contribute to both enhancing and negatively affecting people’s well-being. The central theses of this course are 1) that history is lived and living; 2) that policies are cultural artifacts reflecting practices of power that have direct and daily impact on children’s, families’ and professionals’ lives; and 3) that consideration of ideological influences on one’s professional actions is an essential dimension of reflective praxis. Therefore we will actively engage with the histories of professional social work, child development, and the American welfare state in order to shed light on contemporary practices. These reflections provide a critical foundation for the approaches to applied policy analysis and policy advocacy that we will practice and which are integral to generalist approaches to social work.