Part 1. Introduction
What is the social problem you have selected that deserves our society’s attention for action and improvement? Explain it in a few sentences including using a scholarly definition of the problem with a citation from a professional source–not a dictionary. (citations are required)
Say a few words about the social problem. Remember that an introduction introduces the reader to what you will be discussing in your paper as well as grabbing a reader’s attention.
Tell the reader what the paper is about.
Use the headings below! This is what your paper will be about!
Part 2. Populations Affected by [Your Social Problem Topic]
Describe how the social problem exists today in terms of the populations that are primarily/most directly affected by this problem. For example, socioeconomic status, gender, age, race/ethnicity, religion, region of the country, etc. (citations are required)
Provide statistics about whom and how many people are affected by this problem today. (citations are required)
Statistics should be within the past 5 years (based on year of publication)
Part 3. Consequences of [Your Social Problem Topic] (The social justice implications of your social problem)
How it is harmful and disempowering to people directly affected by the problem? What are the consequences to the individual? (citations are required and should be within 10 years)
What are the consequences to the caregivers/friends and family of affected persons (direct consequences)? (citations are required and should be within 10 years)
You can consider the children as family members. In other words, what are the consequences to the children when the parent(s) are affected by the social problem?
What are the kinds of social and economic costs to the community and society at large (indirect consequences)? (citations are required and should be within 10 years)
What are the costs to the economy because the problem exists? This might be based on lost wages, healthcare costs, the costs of treating the problem, etc.
Part 4. Historical Perspectives on [Your Social Problem Topic]
When were the first efforts that identified the social problem for the attention of the public and/or policy makers? (citations are required)
When did the general public and/or policy makers first realize the problem existed? Most social problems go on for years and then there is an event or someone in particular recognizes the social problem and then tries to do something about it.
What were the first organizations or social service agencies who tried to address or prevent the social problem? What did they do about it? (citations are required)
This could be the first organization that was created to address the problem, or an existing organization that became involved in addressing the problem.
What social welfare policies (federal legislation/Acts) have been created since the public identification of the problem to prevent or reduce the problem for individuals, families, groups, and/or communities? Make a list of them with brief sentences to describe what these policies were intended to accomplish in regards to your problem and for whom. (citations are required)
What values or ideologies have guided the evolution of the response to this problem for each of the social welfare policies you identified above (e.g. Judeo-Christian charity, Democratic egalitarianism and individualism, patriarchy, Protestant work ethic and capitalism, Social Darwinism, marriage and the nuclear family, white privilege, worthy vs. unworthy poor)?
This is your opinion. You will not have citations for this point.
Where are we now?
What has been the impact of these policies’ approach to the social problem so? (citations are required)
In your opinion, how are the policies promoting social, economic, and environmental justice? Or, how are they not? Discuss your rationale
This is your opinion, but it must logically reflect your answer regarding the impact of the polices
You are answering this based on the policies you identified in number 3
Part 5. Current Social Welfare Policy Issues
What are the current conflicting social values and beliefs concerning how the problem is defined, perceived, and/or understood (e.g. conservatives vs. liberal) (citations are NOT required as this is your opinion)
What are some of the leading advocacy organizations that are working to end this problem now? Provide a brief summary (one or two sentences) of the advocacy organization and what they do in relation to your social problem. (citations are required)
Identify a minimum of two advocacy organizations. These can be international, national, state, or local organizations.
An advocacy organization is focused on educating the public and policy makers on specific social issues as well as provides ideas and support for solutions to the problem. Advocacy organizations do not typically provide direct services. They advocate on behalf of the social problem and the populations affected by it.
What specific policies are they advocating should be proposed, revised, or possibly eliminated that will influence the social problem in the future? (citations are required)
The policies can be specific Acts or pieces of legislation (e.g. reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act), broad suggestions (e.g. the need for universal health care), and/or budget suggestions (e.g. greater funding for the VA).
Part 6. Conclusion (citations are NOT required. This is a summary of your paper and your opinion)
Summarize your most important insights and discoveries regarding the history of the policies that have been put in place to address your social problem. Have the policies worked, or have they not?
What priorities should be pursued in order to address your social problem? What do policy makers need to do?
What action steps need to be taken by social workers with regard to this social problem?
If you are not a social work major (intent), how might the coverage of the issue impact your intended profession’s practice (make sure you explicitly state what the profession is).
Provide a reflection regarding what you learned from this paper. What did you find interesting or shocking? How has what you learned from this paper changed the way you think about your social problem? How will this impact your practice as a social worker? (if you are not a social work major, how will this impact your intended profession’s practice?)
Appendix B Note to instructors, use of the CRAAP test is optional. However, it is highly recommended as a way for students to evaluate a website. See Appendix A for the CRAAP test.
CRAAP Test for all websites used (each website cited in your paper will have a separate CRAAP test completed. In other words, if you have 5 websites cited in your paper, then you should have 5 CRAAP tests included in Appendix B)
Note: A CRAAP Test must be performed for each website, not each webpage. Therefore, if you have cited more than one webpage from a particular website, you only need one CRAAP test for that website.
A CRAAP test does not have to be performed for the Encyclopedia of Social Work (found in the library) or information found on governmental websites (those with a .gov extension). In addition, peer-reviewed/scholarly journals do not require one.
Part 1. Introduction What is the social problem you have selected that deserves
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Part 1. Introduction
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