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Columbia University

Social Policy for Social Services & Health Practitioners

Columbia University via Coursera Specialization


In the U.S., social policy accounts for two-thirds of government spending. Knowing how policies are constructed, what values underlie them, and how they succeed or fail makes everyone more effective at work or in their civic role. This specialization includes an HONORS track in which learners will complete a professional social policy analysis. Teachers, health care workers, police, and social workers interact with policy daily, but all of us should care about the impact and effectiveness of these programs. Health and mental health programs, education, housing and income supports, pensions, criminal justice services, veterans’ programs, child protective services, and immigration services create a support system all Americans will draw upon. They also reveal Americans' ethics and values, indicating how we regard and care for our most vulnerable. This specialization will explore the size, structure, and outcomes of U.S. social policy by -comparing it with the approaches of other developed nations. -examining the history of our efforts and probing population effects that shape policy. -looking deeply into support for families in general, poor families, people with disabilities, and the elderly. -mapping out existing policies for housing, education, healthcare, immigration and child welfare. -addressing issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy. By the end of the course the learner will be at home working in, utilizing, and voting in the U.S. welfare system.


Course 1: US Social Services Compared
- Offered by Columbia University. In all nations, social policy is a very large public investment. Course 1 will explore the size, structure, ... Enroll for free.

Course 2: US Social Services: Where did they come from?
- Offered by Columbia University. The course probes the formation of social policy in the United States from its very first cultural and ... Enroll for free.

Course 3: Poverty & Population: How Demographics Shape Policy
- Offered by Columbia University. This course has four modules, or foci. The first is to understand the categories of social ... Enroll for free.

Course 4: Social Services for Families, Seniors and Those with Disabilities
- Offered by Columbia University. Course 4 discusses four populations: families, poor families, people with disabilities, and people as they ... Enroll for free.

Course 5: Health, Housing, and Educational Services
- Offered by Columbia University. Course 5 discusses policies in four areas: housing, education, healthcare, and immigration, with an optional ... Enroll for free.


Taught by

John Robertson


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