Indiana University School of Social Work
S352: Social Services Delivery Systems

(3 Credit Hours)

Section: R099 Dr. Bob Vernon
Semester: Spring 2001 Office: ES 4149
Time: 5:45-8:25 Hours: M&T: 4:00-5:00
Day: Monday Office: 274-6717
Room: ES 2127 Email:


Course Description

The Social Welfare Policy and Services course builds on S251 by exploring in depth the current social welfare delivery system through policy analysis using a variety of frameworks and the development of policy practice skills. Social welfare is understood as a front-line needs-meeting system designed to address a wide range of human needs in a complex society. Working primarily within formal organizations in delivering social services, generalist practitioners need to understand how global, national, state and local agency policies affect the delivery of services to persons in local communities. This course is designed to develop policy analysis skills so that students will be able to identify gaps in the service delivery system and inequitable or oppressive aspects of current policy delivery. The course also develops beginning policy practice skills so that students will know how to work toward social change congruent with social work ethics and the profession's commitment to social and economic justice.


Course Objectives

As a result of having completed the requirements of this course, the student will be able to:

1. Analyze social welfare policies and delivery systems using different frameworks.

2. Analyze basic policy making processes and the social work role in these processes including the use of advocacy and empowerment.

3. Describe the roles and relationships of governments, businesses and the not for profit sector in the provision of human services.

4. Analyze the influence of politics, economics and cultural and social values in the development and implementation of social policy decisions.

5. Analyze how perspectives on race, ethnicity, gender, class and age influence decisions about the design, organization and operation of social service delivery systems.

6. Analyze how social service programs are designed to serve populations that differ by race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, etc.

7. Analyze the relationship between social work values and beliefs, current delivery systems, and current social policy issues.

8. Evaluate social policy vis-a-vis social work's commitment to social and economic justice and the processes of systemic change, with special attention to the situation of minorities, people of color, women, gay men and lesbian women, and other populations at risk.

9. Evaluate the impact of social policies and programs on individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

10. Use a broad array of beginning policy practice skills to initiate and attempt to influence the development of social policy within agencies and the broader community.

11. Analyze the impact of social policies on social workers and agencies.

12. Analyze the use of technology in social policy development.

Required Textbook

Jansson, Bruce J. (1999). Becoming and Effective Policy Advocate, 3rd Edition

Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks Cole

Outline of Content and Readings


Week 1- January 9

Welcome and introduction to the course.

Week 2 - January 16


Jansson, Chapter 1: Why Engage in Policy Practice?
Chapter 2: Ethical, Rational and Political Rationales

Week 3 - January 23


Jansson, Chapter 3: A Policy Practice Framework

Week 4 – January 30


Jansson, Chapter 4: The Big Picture

Week 5 – February 6


Jansson, Chapter 5: Building Agendas

Due: URLs for Advocacy in Indiana

Week 6 - February 13


Jansson, Chapter 6: Analyzing Problems

Week 7 - February 20


Jansson, Chapter 7: Finding Policy Options



Week 8 - February 27


Jansson, Chapter 8: Writing Policy Proposals

Lobby Day reaction papers are due!

Week 9 – March 6


Jansson, Chapter 9: Policy Persuasion

Midterm examination is due no later than 12:00 PM, Friday, March 9.

Week 10 - March 13

No Class: Spring Break!

Week 11 - March 20


Jansson, Chapter 10: Understanding Power and Politics

Week 12 - March 27


Jansson, Chapter 11: Developing and Using Power

Position Proposals are due!

Week 13 – April 3


Jansson, Chapter 12: Developing Political Strategy

Week 14 - April 10


Jansson, Chapter 13: Putting Political Strategy into Action


Week 15 - April 17


Jansson, Chapter 14: Securing the Implementation of Policies

Week 16 - April 24


Jansson, Chapter 15: Assessing Policy Implementation

Grant proposals are due!

Week 17 - May 1

Grant review simulation, wrap-up.

Finals Week: May 8

Final examination is due no later than 12:00 PM, Friday, May 4.



Conduct of Course and Assignments

The course is taught in a lecture/discussion format. There are several different assignments

1. URLs for Advocacy in Indiana (100 points)

The Web provides many resources for policy practice. Unfortunately, finding appropriate websites is, for many people, a search for a needle in a Nebraska's worth of haystacks. To help this class provide a resource for itself, participants at the Lobby Day event, and as a general service to the greater community, the class will produce an annotated listing of websites that are appropriate for policy practice in Indiana. The list will be made available on the Lobby Day website and students will get citation credit for their part in this publication. Details will be made available in class.

For examples of annotated websites visit "Shirley's List" at:

2. Lobby Day Reaction Paper (50 points)

Students will write a two-page reaction paper that describes their activities, observations and critical insights at the Lobby Day event.

3. Position Proposal (200 points)

This assignment you to become more familiar with policy-advocacy issues surrounding an area of your own curiosity or interest. In addition, the assignment is intended to foster a beginning knowledge of how policies can be created or reviewed as advocacy for various client systems. 


The paper should resemble a working final draft of a policy proposal that could be submitted to the NASW Delegate Assembly for debate, consideration and possible adoption. This includes an executive summary plus separate background, issue and policy statements. In essence, you are creating a position paper for our own profession, although this could easily be generalized towards lobbying efforts with other organizations and political units.

You may choose any topic of interest as long as there is a social work policy dimension. If you select a topic for which an actual NASW Delegate Assembly policy statement exists, you must narrow and refine it further, perhaps for a specific cultural group or population at risk.

Excerpt Examples from Social Work Speaks, 5th Edition:. NASW Policy Statements, 2000-2003. NASW Press, will be made available. Students are urged to follow these as models for this paper.

4. Grant Proposal (250 points)

Teams of two students will write a draft proposal for funding a project or program as a response to policy practice and advocacy. The grant proposal will follow the basic outline provided by the Foundation Center at:


In addition, students will provide the names of two foundations likely to fund the proposal and justify this decision through on-line investigation of sources. Teams may write on any population at risk or diverse group. This proposal may be an extension of the position paper assignment.

5. Examinations (400 points in total)

There are two examinations for the course: a midterm and a final. The midterm exam covers about one half of the course materials and includes readings, lectures, class discussions, and films. The final exam will be given during finals week. It will be similar to the midterm but limited to materials studied in the last half of the course after the midterm. Both exams will be online or take-home in format, open book, and a combination of short answer and essay questions. You may earn up to 200 points on each exam, 400 in total.


Course Policies

1. Students are expected to have completed the assigned materials from the course outline by the beginning of each session and should be ready to participate knowledgeably and constructively in class activities.

2. Students are expected to be present when class begins, remain throughout the session, and to hand in all assignments on time.

3. In accordance with the Indiana University School of Social Work grading policy, students must earn at least a "C" to pass this course.

4. Consistent with the School’s academic policy, a formal evaluation of the course and its instructor will be completed at the end of the course,

5. Students are expected to respect the opinions and feelings of other students, the instructor and guest speakers, even though they may differ from their own.

6. Academic dishonesty (including cheating on exams and plagiarism in papers) is not consistent with ethical conduct in social work practice and is unacceptable in social work classes. In cases of academic dishonesty, university guidelines will be followed. Any student caught cheating or plagiarizing (offering the work of someone else as one's own) will fail the course. Failure of a required social work course will result in automatic dismissal from the social work program. A student's right to appeal such dismissal is outlined in materials distributed at student orientation meetings.

To avoid plagiarism, credit sources whenever you use someone else's language or ideas. Such crediting must be detailed and specific. Simply including a work in your list of references is insufficient. You must specifically acknowledge a source each time you use that source, paragraph by paragraph, even sentence by sentence, as necessary. See the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (4th edition) for in-text, online and electronic media references.


If you are participating in any honors program please discuss you needs with the instructor early in the semester!

1. Annotated websites: 100 points max.

2. Reaction Paper: 50 points max.

3. Position Proposal: 200 points max.

4. Grant Proposal: 250 points max.

5. Two examinations: 200 points each


Grading Scale:

A+ 975-1000 B+ 875-899 C+ 775-799 D+ 675-699 F <600
A 925-974 B 825-874 C 725-774 D 625-674  
A- 900-924 B- 800-824 C- 700-724 D- 600-624  


Grading Criteria for Papers

Effective generalist social work practice requires good writing skills to communicate information accurately and concisely to others involved in helping client systems. For this reason, formal writing assignments in social work courses will be evaluated both for the content and ideas presented and for the clarity of that presentation. The grade for a paper will be based on the following criteria:

I. Presentation and Appearance

A. Neatness

B. Correct grammar
(noun-verb agreement, sentence structure, proper and consistent verb tense, etc.)

C. Use of non-sexist language

D. Spelling

E. Punctuation

F. Correct usage of APA style

II. Organization

A. Structure and format of the paper

B. Logical sequencing and continuity of ideas

C. Clarity of expression

D. Conciseness

III. Content as indicated by specific paper assignment

  1. Originality of though
  2. Cogency of argument
  3. Match with assignment


All papers, including the web assignments, will be word-processed or typed and paginated. Text must be double spaced and in ten point type with one inch margins on the top, bottom, and left hand sides. Use a two inch margin on the right to provide room for comments. APA citation style is to be used, including in-text references and the bibliography. APA manuals are available at the bookstore and would be a valuable resource in your library.



For a brief reference on how to cite electronic materials visit:

Electronic Reference Formats Recommended by the American Psychological Association

Helpful software programs are also available for writing in APA style. Most work in tandem with common word-processors.

You can download a free demonstration version of one directly from the APA website:

Students experiencing writing difficulties are advised to seek assistance at the University Writing Center in Room 427 of Cavanaugh Hall. Please call 274-2049 to schedule an appointment or drop by to pick up some available written handouts. If you really get in a pinch, call the Grammar Hotline at 274-3000.


Students with Special Needs

In compliance with ADA guidelines, students who have any condition, either permanent or temporary, that might affect their ability to perform in this class are encouraged to inform the instructor at the beginning of the term. Adaptations of teaching methods and class materials, including text and reading materials or testing, will be made as needed to provide equitable participation.


Appointments, Office Location, Telephone Number

My office is in ES 4149. I am available for drop in appointments during office hours. If this is inconvenient or if you wish to have a private conversation, feel free to schedule an appointment. My office phone number is 317-274-6717. The easiest way to reach me is through email at



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