Program development | 704 | Council on Social Work Education


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You will conduct a detailed literature search and summarize the results of that search in order to enhance your understanding of a specific social problem and that will serve as the platform for the development of a service program. To do this you will first need to select a current social welfare issue/problem and conduct a critical analysis of the social problem and any existing programs/interventions attempting to address this problem. The focus of this paper will be on understanding the evidence and knowledge base on a particular social problem. This will require you to conduct a detailed research literature review using only peer-reviewed research literature or government reports (no less than 12 citations). This work will provide the base of knowledge and the critical lens from which you will be able to build your argument for a particular intervention strategy (i.e. program) to respond to the social problem. It will make your workload easier if you pick a social problem within the same area as your group project, however, this is not an absolute requirement. The paper can be a maximum of 7 pages (excluding cover page and references) using 12” font and 1” margins all around) and must address the following elements and be supported throughout by citations (in APA style) to the research literature. Note the content listed in italics, is what you need to think about in a critical way, but you will not necessarily directly include this in the paper. 

A. Problem statement

`1. Define and discuss the social problem. (Consider how you are defining the problem and what assumptions you are making about the problem, target for change, &/or beneficiaries. What cultural norms, myths, or popular ideas influence how we define the problem and/or help to maintain the problem? Are there other ways to define the problem, i.e. how might those most negatively affected define the problem? Is the problem widely recognized or not?)

B. Problem Description

1. Who does the problem affect (e.g. race, gender identity, age, ability, etc.) and what is their status (e.g. marginalized, privileged, powerful)? What are the racial/ethnic/gender inequities, barriers, or negative outcomes involved in this problem? (Who is burdened most and who benefits most from the problem?

2. What do we know about the problem (severity, incidence, prevalence)?

3. What factors influence or contribute to the problem? Consider not only micro-level factors but also social conditions. For example, do any unfair policies or practices            (current or historical) contribute to the problem?

4. What are the potential or existing consequences of this problem if we do nothing?            In other words, why should we care about this problem? (what are the cumulative     impacts?)

C. Evidence-based practice

1. Summarize the evaluation literature on any existing attempts to deal with or resolve the problem.

  1. Have any programs/interventions been shown to have a positive effect on the problem?       If so, what outcomes were demonstrated or not?
  2. Which populations were positively impacted by which interventions?
  3. Do any interventions address systemic change or concerns regarding equity?

D. Conclude with a brief synthesis of the knowledge base on the problem and recommendations for future action on this problem particularly addressing equity concerns.

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