-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.