SOWK 600 SPRING 2001

Professor Elizabeth K. Bowman
Professor John Belcher
Professor Donald Fandetti
Professor David Hardcastle
Professor Howard Palley, Chair


This course provides foundation understanding and appraisal of social welfare policies and programs in the United States, and the historical and contemporary forces that have shaped their development. The course introduces conceptual approaches to policy analysis and assesses selected social policies, programs and services in the areas of income maintenance, health care and personal social services in accordance with these approaches and with specific reference to their impact on special populations. The social work profession's role in the formulation and implementation of social policy and its tradition of advocacy, social action and reform are explicated. Social work values regarding the meeting of human needs and the right of all citizens to live in an atmosphere of growth and development are emphasized. This course seeks to provide both an understanding of the political process and the analytic skills which will further the achievement of social work goals regarding social programs and policies.


Foundation Knowledge Objectives

1. An understanding of the overall structure of social policy/social welfare in the U.S. society with its major program components and their consequences for the society at large and for special populations.

2. Knowledge of the extent and nature of poverty and inequality, including issues concerning race, gender and sexual orientation, age, class and ethnicity.

3. An understanding of major policy analysis concepts and their applications.

4. An understanding of the relationship of historical/traditional factors to contemporary patterns of social welfare programs in the U.S.

5. An understanding and knowledge of the impact and problems of institutional discrimination on minorities of color.

6. A beginning understanding of the various processes of social policy development, implementation and changes -- including legislative, administrative and judicial roles.

7. An understanding of the role of the social work profession in initiating and supporting social policy/social welfare programs.

Foundation Attitude Objectives

1. Encourage the conviction concerning personal/professional responsibility to participate in the political process and act as advocates for the development of social policies consistent with professional values and improved social services.

2. Encourage the professional commitment to the ideal of social policy consistent with democratic values of human worth and universal access to needed services.

3. Students should develop conviction that a scientific method of inquiry is useful in reaching informed judgments as a basis for effective professional action in the improvement of social policy/social services.

Foundation Skill Objectives

1. The ability to assess the influence of particular social, economic, political and cultural factors and assumptions as these affect the definition of social problems and their solutions.

2. The ability to present succinct formulations and substantiations of judgments about social policy/social programs.

3. The ability to use scientific knowledge and data in the pursuit of social change.

4. The ability to use basic approaches to policy analysis in assessing social policies, programs, and agency procedures.

Required Texts

1. Dolgoff, Ralph and Donald Feldstein. Understanding Social Welfare. New York: Longman, 5th Edition, 2000.

2. "Evaluative Concepts Booklet." School of Social Work: Baltimore, Maryland, 1991.

Recommended Texts 

Trattner, Walter I. From Poor Law to Welfare State. New York: Free Press, 6th Ed., 1999.

Prigoff, Arline. Economics for Social Workers: Social Outcomes of Economic Globalization with Strategies for Community Action. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole/Thomson Learning, 1999.


Each section will have at least two graded assignments developed by the instructor.

Course Outline

Unit I: Introduction: Conceptual Approaches to Social Welfare

Definitions of Social Welfare and Social Policy

Private Programs and Social Policy

Social Policy and Social Science

Residual vs. Institutional vs. Socio/Economic Development

Selective vs. Universal Programs

Globalization and Social Policy

Unit II: Social Policy Analysis - Evaluation Concepts

Unit III: The Evolution of U.S. Welfare

European Antecedents

Colonial and 19th Century Social Welfare

20th Century Social Welfare

Unit IV: Definitions and Dimensions of Poverty and Inequality

Concepts and Dimensions of Poverty

Poverty and Inequality Desegregated: Special Issues and Impacts on Special Populations

Unit V: Income Maintenance: Description and Analysis

Public Assistance

Social Insurance

Welfare Reform

Unit VI: Health Care: Description and Analysis

Medicare and Medicaid

Other Programs and Financing Mechanisms

Health Care Issues and Reform

Unit VII: Social Services: Description and Analysis

The Types of Social Services

The Functions of Social Services

Problems in Service Delivery



Unit I. Introduction: Conceptual Approaches to Social Welfare Policy

A. Definitions: Social Welfare and Social Welfare Policy.

* Schorr, Alvin L. and Edward C. Baumheier. "Social Policy," Encyclopedia of Social Work, (1977), pp. 1453-1462.

* Iatridis, Demetirius S. "Policy Practice," Encyclopedia of Social Work,(1995), pp. 1855-1866.

 B. Private Programs and Social Policy

1.Non-Sectarian Voluntary

2.Sectarian Voluntary


Privatization and Public Policy

* Dolgoff and Feldstein, pp. 279-300 (Chapter 11).

* Kramer, Ralph M. "Voluntary Agencies and the Contract Culture: Dream or Nightmare?," Social Service Review, March, 1994, pp. 33-60.

* Salamon, Lester. "The Marketization of Welfare: Changing Non-Profit and For-Profit Roles in the American Welfare State." Social Service Review,(March, 1993), pp. 16-39.

* Touminen, Mary. "Caring for Profit: The Social, Economic and Political Significance of For Profit Child Care," Social Service Review, (September, 1991), pp. 450-467.

C. Social Policy and Social Science

1. Economics

2. Political Science

3. Sociology

4. Other

* Einbinder, Susan D. "Policy Analysis," Encyclopedia of Social Work (1995), pp. 1849-1855.

* Dolgoff and Feldstein, pp. 111-135 ( Chapter 6).

Dolgoff, Ralph. "Clinicians as Social Policy Makers," Social Casework, May, 1981, pp. 284-292.

* Fandetti, Donald V. and John R. Belcher. "The End of the New Deal Framework: Myth or Reality," The Journal of Applied Social Science, Spring/Summer, 1996, pp. 129-134.

* Kuttner, Robert, Everything is for Sale. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997, pp. 39-67.

* Marmor, Theodore. "The Congress: Medicare Politics and Policies," in Allen Shindler, American Political and Institutions and Public Policy. Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1973, pp. 3-66; also see Marmor, The Politics of Medicare. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine DeGruyter, 2000, pp. 45-63, 123-151, 171-180.

* Prigoff, pp. 1-29, 62-96.

* Skocpol, Theda. Boomerang: Health Care Reform and The Turn Against Government. New York: Norton, 1997, pp. 133-172.

* "The Devolution Revolution Revisited," Rocketeller Institute Bulletin. Albany, NY: State University of Albany, 1998, pp. 1-46.

D. Selective vs. Universal Welfare Programs

Abramowitz, M.M. "Everyone is on Welfare," Social Work, December 1983, pp. 440-447.

* Skocpol, Theda. "Targeting Within Universalism," in Christopher Jencks and Paul E. Peterson, eds., The Urban Underclass, Washington, D.C., 1991, pp. 411-436.

* Titmuss, Richard. Commitment to Welfare, New York: Pantheon, 1968, pp. 13-123, pp. 188-199.

  1. Globalization

* Esping-Andersen, Gosta. "After the Golden Age? Welfare State Dilemmas in a Global Economy." In Gosta Esping-Andersen (ed.). Welfare States in Transition: National Adaptations in Global Economies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1996, pp. 1-31.

Unit II. Social Policy Analysis: Evaluative Concepts, Residual, Institutional and Social Economic Development Approaches.

* Dolgoff and Feldstein, Understanding Social Policy. New York: Longman, 2000, pp. 111-159 (Chapters 6 & 7).

* Dolgoff, Ralph. "What Does Social Welfare Produce," International Social Work, 4 2(3), 1999, pp. 295-307.

* "Evaluation Concepts Booklet."


Unit III. The Historical Development of U.S. Social Welfare

A. European Antecedents

1. English Poor Law

2. English Charity

3. German and English Social Insurance

Coll, Blanche D. Perspectives in Public Welfare, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 196, pp.1-28.

* Dolgoff and Feldstein., pp. 1-60 (Chapters 1, 2 & 3).

* Trattner, Walter I. From Poor Law to Welfare State. New York: Free Press, 1999, Chapter 1, pp. 1-29.


B. Colonial and 19th Century Social Welfare

1. Mutual Aid

2. Public Welfare

a. Relief

b. Institutions

3. Charity

4. Private vs. Public Welfare

The Rise and Fall of Residual Welfare Institutions

* Dolgoff and Feldstein, pp. 61-87.

* Trattner, pp. 30-192.

C. 20th Century Social Welfare

* Karger, Howard J. and David Stoez. American Social Welfare: A Pluralistic Approach. New York: Longman, 1998, pp. 50-77.

* Kingston, Eric R. and Edward D. Berkowitz. Social Security and Medicare. Westport, Conn.: Auburn Press, 1993, pp. 27-52.

* Trattner, pp. 182-303.

Unit IV. Definitions and Dimensions of Poverty and Inequality

A. Concepts and Dimensions of Poverty

* Mishel, Lawrence, Jared Bernstein and John Schmitt. The State of Working America, 1998-1999, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999, pp. 37-118.

* Thurow, Lester C. The Future of Capitalism. New York: William Morrow and Co., 1996, pp. 20-42.

* Wolff, Edward N. Top Heavy: The Increasing Inequality of Wealth in America... New York: The New Press, 1996.

B. Poverty and Inequality: Special Issues and Impacts on Special Populations and Proposals for Reform

* Baker, Maureen. "Parental Benefit Policies and the Gendered Division of Labor," Social Service Review, March, 1997, pp. 51-74.

* Dolgoff, et al., pp. 160-190.

* Ozawa, Martha N. "The Earned Income Tax Credit: Its Effect and Significance, "Social Service Review, December, 1995, pp. 309-322

* Prigoff, pp. 195-224.

* Schwarz, John E. "Welfare Liberalism, Social Policy and Poverty in America," Policy Studies Review 1, 1991, pp. 127-139.

* Sidel, Ruth. Keeping Women and Children Last, New York: Penguin, 1998, pp. 1-32, 201-227.

* Sidel, Ruth. Women and Children Last. New York, Penquin, 1992, pp. 172-188, 189-209.

* Stoez, David and David Saunders. "Welfare Capitalism: A New Approach to Poverty Policy?" Social Service Review, September, 1999, pp. 380-400.

* Weinreb, Linda and Peter H. Rossi. "The American Homeless Family Shelter System," Social Service Review, March, 1995, pp. 86-107.

* Wilson, William Julius. The Truly Disadvantaged. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1987, pp. 140-164.

* Wilson, William Julius. "Ghetto-Related Behavior and the Structure of Opportunity," in When Work Disappears. New York: Alfred A. Kropf, 1996, pp. 51-86.


Unit V. Income Maintenance: Description and Analysis

A. Public Assistance and Welfare Reform

* Belcher, John R. and Donald V. Fandetti. "Welfare Entitlements and Addressing the New Realities," Social Work, July, 1995, pp. 515-521.

* Born, Cathy, et al. "A Look at Life After Welfare," Public Welfare, Winter, 1998, pp. 32-37.

* Brodkin, Evelyn Z. "Inside the Welfare Contract: Discretion and Accountability in State Welfare Administration," Social Service Review, March, 1997, pp. 1-32.

* Bryner, Gary. "Changing the Rules About Who Should Receive Welfare," and "Reorienting Welfare Administration to Work and Other Reforms," in

Politics and Public Morality: The Great American Welfare Reform Debate. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998, pp. 248-278, and 279-313.

* Dolgoff and Feldstein., pp. 214-241.

* Duncan, Greg J., Kathleen M. Harris and Johanne Boisjoly. "Time Limits and Welfare Reform," Social Service Review, March, 2000, pp. 55-75.

* Jansen, Bruce S. and Susan Smith. "Articulating a New Nationalism in American Social Policy," Social Work, September, 1996, pp. 441-451.

* Kochbar, Satya and Charles Scott. "SSI Case Closures," Social Security Bulletin, 61 (1), 1998, pp. 20-33.

* "The Family Support Act of 1988," Washington Social Legislation Bulletin, October 10, 1988, pp. 169-172.

* National Association of Social Workers, Office of Government Relations. Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996: Public Law 104-193 -- Summary of Provisions. Washington, D.C., 1996.

* Palley, Howard A. and John R. Belcher. "Work, Welfare and the Attack on the Welfare State: The Mixing of Politics and Policy." Scandinavian Journal of Social Welfare, 5, 1996, pp. 238-248.

* Payne, James L. "Welfare's Fatal Attraction," Public Interest, Winter, 1998, pp. 126-133.

* Peterson, Paul E. "Budget Deficits and the Race to the Bottom," in Sheila B. Kammerman and Alfred J. Kahn (eds.), Whither American Social Policy? New York: Columbia University Press, 1996, pp. 43-63.

* Rom, Mark C., Peterson, Paul E., and Scheve, Jr., Kenneth F., "Interstate Competition and Welfare Policy," in Sanford F. Schram and Samuel H. Beer, (eds.), Welfare Reform: A Race to the Bottom. Washington, D.C, Woodrow Wilson Center Press, pp. 21-42. (Distributed by Johns Hopkins University Press.)

* Sharlach, Andrew E. and Blanche Grosswald. "The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993," Social Service Review, September, 1997, pp. 335-359.

* Schram, Sanford F. and Joe Soss. "Making Something Out of Nothing: Welfare Reform and a New Race to the Bottom", in Schram and Beer, pp. 83-104.

* "SSI Modernization Project Final Report of the Experts." Social Security Bulletin, Winter, 1992, pp. 36-42.

* Svahn, John A. and Mary Ross. "Social Security Amendments of 1983: Legislative History and Summary of Provisions," Social Security Bulletin, July 1983, especially pp. 34-35.

* Wilson, William Julius. "A Broader Vision: Social Policy Options in Cross-National Perspective," in When Work Disappears. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, pp. 207-238.

B. Social Insurance

* Ball, Robert M. "The Great Social Security Scare," The American Prospect. November/December, 1996, p. 34.

* Berkowitz, Edward D. "The Historical Development of Social Security in the United States," in Eric R. Kingson and James H. Schulz, (eds.), Social Security in the 21st Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 22-38.

* Dolgoff and Feldstein, pp. 192-209.

Eisner, Robert. Social Security: More, Not Less. New York: Century Foundation Press, 1998.

* Gramlich, Edward M. Is It Time to Reform Social Security? Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1997, pp. 1-87.

* Holden, Karen C. "Social Security and the Economic Security of Women," in Kingson and Schulz, pp. 91-104.

* Kearney, John R. et al. "The Influence of Social Security Benefits and SSI Payments on the Poverty Status of Children," Social Security Bulletin, Summer, 1994, pp. 27-36.

* Mashaw, Jerry L. and Theodore R. Marmor. "The Great Social Security Scare," The American Prospect. November/December, 1996, pp. 30-34.

* Moon, Marilyn. "Are Social Security Benefits Too High or Too Low?" in Kingson and Schulz, pp. 62-75.

* Ozawa, Martha N. "The 1983 Amendments to the Social Security Act: The Issues of Generational Equity," Social Work, March/April, 1984, pp. 131-138.

* Thompson, Lawrence H. and Malinda M. Upp. "The Social Insurance

Approach and Social Security," in Kingson and Schulz, pp. 3-21.

* U. S. Social Security Administration, Social Security Programs in the United States, July, 1997, pp. 1-49.

Unit VI. Health Care: Description and Analysis

A. Medicare and Medicaid

B. Other Programs and Financing Mechanisms

C. Care Issues and Reform

* Corcoran Kevin and Vikki Vandiver. "Capitated Managed Care in the Public and Private Sectors," in Manuevering the Maze of Managed Care. New York: The Free Press, 1996 pp. 43-59.

* Corcoran, Kevin and Vikki Vandiver. "in Managed Care and the Emergence of Cost Containment and Quality Assurance," in Maneuvering the Maze of Managed Care. New York: The Free Press, 1996, pp. 1-24.

* Dolgoff and Feldstein, pp. 239-249.

* Ethridge, Lynn. "The Medicare Reform of 1997: Headlines You Didn’t Read," Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, June, 1998, pp. 573-579.

* Himmelstein, David U., Steffie Woolhandler, et al. "A National Health Program for the United States," The New England Journal of Medicine, January 12, 1989, pp. 102-108.

* Mackelprang, Romel W. and Richard O. Salsgiver. "People with Disabilities and Social Work...," Social Work, January, 1996, pp. 7-14.

* Mueller, Keith J. "Policy Succession: The Case for Federal Health

Planning in the 1990's," Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 3, 1993, pp. 1-19.

* Noble, Alice A. and Troyen A. Brennan. "Stages of Managed Care Regulation: Developing Better Rules," Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, December, 1999, pp. 1275-1305.

* Rich, Robert F. and William D. White. "Health Care Policy and the American States: Issues of Federalism," in Robert F. Rich and William D. White, eds., Health Policy, Federalism and the American States. Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute Press, 1996, pp. 3-38.

* Schneider, Saundra K. "The Impact of Welfare Reform on Medicaid" in Schram and Beer, pp. 195-208.

* "The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996," The Washington Social Legislation Bulletin, August 26, 1996, pp. 157-160.

* Unger, Claire. "Give Them the Money: Is Cash a Route to Empowerment (for the Disabled)," Social Policy and Administration, March, 1998, pp. 1-13.

* U.S. Social Security Administration. Social Security Programs in the United States, July, 1997, pp. 51-68.

* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Your Medicare Desk Reference, Baltimore, Maryland, 2000.

Unit VII. Social Services: Description and Analysis

A. Types of Social Services

B. The Functions of Social Service

C. Problems in Service Delivery

* Castex, Gracelia M. "Providing Services to Hispanic and Latino Populations: Profiles in Diversity," Social Work, May, 1994, pp. 288-297.

* Dolgoff and Feldstein, pp. 264-270.

Kamerman, Sheila B. and Alfred J. Kahn. How America Neglects its Youngest Children and What We Can Do About It. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

* Kahn, Alfred J., and Sheila B. Kamerman. Social Services in International Perspective. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1980, Chapter 1, "The Personal Social Services Emerge," pp. 1-19.

* Moroney, Robert M. "The Personal Social Services," in Social Policy and Social Work. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1992, pp. 105-125.

* Meyers, Marcia K. and Theresa Heintze. "The Performance of the Child Care Subsidy System," Social Service Review, March, 1999, pp. 37-64.

* Wyers, Norman. "Is Gay Rights Legislation Necessary for the Well-Being of Gays and Lesbians," in Howard J. Karger and James Midgley, eds., Controversial Issues in Social Policy. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1994, pp. 79-84.