A description of the major components of the social welfare system in the United States. This course includes the historical development and philosophy behind our present social welfare system and uses current social welfare programs as examples. This is a course designed to focus on the policy making process within the social welfare system. The primary emphasis of this course is on macro systems, not micro systems. The course will describe what social policy is and explore the various ideas, philosophies, beliefs, and attitudes that have led to the development of various social welfare programs in the United States. Recognizing the fundamental duty of the social work profession to promote social equity and justice, this course looks at the values that underlie various policy approaches and identifies policy shifts rooted in recurring tensions or controversies. Consequences of different policy approaches are examined in light of their impact on racial and ethnic minorities, gay men and lesbians, women, the poor, and persons with mental and/or physical challenges. The student will also look at international policy as a comparison.