Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Graduate Courses

SOWK 610F: Social Policy and Practice with Families and Children

Credit Hours



This advanced course focuses on the interface between children, adolescents, and families as well as the ecosystem. Particular attention is  given to the major social institutions influencing children, adolescents, and families: schools, the workplace, the economy, child welfare, health care, and religion. This course content considers the response of families, communities, and organizations to new legislation, changing policy and social trends that impact on their day-to-day existence. Diversity in racial, ethnic, class, sexual orientations, and family composition are addressed in relation to children, families and social institutions as well as policies.

The course also attends to policy development and change as well as providing students with experience in relating each to practice, developing advocacy strategies, and examining their own practice roles. The professional expectation that the social work practitioner will participate in the creation of alternate ways of influencing and intervening in the social world is furthered through the integration of prevention, organizational, human behavior and family systems knowledge and research. Particular emphasis will be placed on helping students integrate knowledge and experience through case examples from their fieldwork settings. The course is designed to ensure that students who have chosen the children and family focus have an opportunity to apply critical thinking skills in the consolidation of previously learned material, as well as use this material in more complex and new situations. It is hoped that students realize the need to become policy-practitioners and utilize those skills to better help resolve the "public issues" that impact on the "private troubles" of their clients.