Social Welfare and Justice

What is social welfare and justice? 

Social welfare concerns the collective well being of members of a society and the social responsibility for its ongoing improvement. The study of social welfare examines the quality of human life in a society, in all its dimensions, and explores the types of resources needed to enhance it, including but not limited to social work and social welfare policies and programs. Social justice intersects with social welfare in its concern for the extent to which persons have equitable access to resources for human development, both within a society and globally. Social justice research investigates whether some groups have privileged access to resources while others are systematically excluded and social justice advocacy explores ways to remove social inequalities.

Upon completion of the Social Welfare and Justice degree, a student should be able to:

  • Strive to improve individual and collective human well-being. 
  • Express a value system consistent with social justice.
  • Know important US social welfare policies and programs.
  • Exhibit a complex understanding of the social, economic, and political contexts that have driven debates on social welfare policies and programs.
  • Apply skills learned in the major — such as empathy, ethical behavior, active listening, and restorative practices — to interpersonal relationships and professional practice.
  • Engage constructively with people whose perspectives challenge their views without compromising a value system consistent with social justice.
  • Understand that people have a diverse range of cultural backgrounds and perspectives, and be able to work effectively with each person in culturally appropriate ways.

Additional Information