Social Services for Families, Seniors and Those with Disabilities

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Overview

Course 4 discusses four populations: families, poor families, people with disabilities, and people as they age. This course addresses issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy.

-The first module identifies the needs of children and the role of the state in child development. We will explore changes in the family and the resulting debates about how to best support families and child development. We’ll appraise family leave and child care programs for their role in supporting paid work and in strengthening child development, as well as income support efforts including the child tax credit and proposals for a family allowance.

-The second module begins with a description of child poverty—both the forces leading to it, and its effects. This module also describes public support programs and critiques the debates surrounding them.

-The third module focuses on persons living with disabilities, evaluating the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. We will also critique the processes of establishing a disability social insurance program and the public aid programs that make people with disabilities eligible for income support and health support.

-The final module begins with a report on the aging of the U.S. population. Building on this, we’ll examine social insurance programs and public aid programs for seniors for their longterm viability, and assess the various reforms that have been proposed to stabilize these programs.

The course is part of a sequence in social policy that has an HONORS TRACK. This track will prepare the learner for masters-level work in policy, which involves reading the literature, writing concise summaries and probing critiques. Over the sequence the learner will develop a policy analysis that will create a foundation for professional policy analyst assignments.

Syllabus

Policies for Families and Children
-In this module, the learner will differentiate the various needs of families raising children in the contemporary world and will compare various approaches to providing safety, stimulation and resources to the family. The module will examine childcare, employment and income supports

Policies for Poor Families and Children
-In this module, the learner will analyze the effects of poverty on the life and development of children. The module will examine safety net programs to address child and family poverty including: TANF, SNAP, WIC and the EITC

Policies for Persons with Disabilities
-In this module, the learner will evaluate US policy for people living with disabilities. The module will describe the civil protections for people with disabilities and will differentiate the major public programs that support people living with disabilities.

Policies for Older Adults
-This module will evaluate the population changes occurring in the aging US population and its implications for future social and health policy. The module will analyze the social insurance system for older Americans and will critique various solutions to addressing the graying of the US

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