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Washington, D.C.

Current Issues in Social Work and Social Welfare Policy: Issues and Action

Washington, D.C.

Program Summary:

  • Dates of Course: January 6 - 10, 2014
  • Location: Washington D.C.
  • Housing: TBA (to be arranged by program staff)
  • Total Credits: 3 Credits. This course fulfills the 3 credit Advanced Social Policy course requirement.
  • Prerequisites: Policy 1 is a prerequisite to enroll in this course. You can either take this course as Advanced Social Policy or as an elective.
  • Available for: Graduate Masters, Advanced Undergraduates, and Continuing Education students with an MSW (on a space available basis).

Academic Details/Program Curriculum:

  • Since the beginning of the profession in the 1900s, social workers have engaged in systematic efforts to promote federal legislation and policies that protect the vulnerable populations they serve and that advance access to social work services. The current Congress will be considering much legislation of interest to social work. This course will bring social work students to Washington DC to learn about how advocacy work is carried out on Capitol Hill and to learn from social policy experts based in DC about key legislative issues that social workers must engage with in the 113th Congress.
  • Among the issues critical to social work that will be before the 113th Congress are comprehensive immigration reform, opposition to and implementation of the Patient Access and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and voting rights. In addition, there are social work specific bills, such as Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr., Social Work Reinvestment Act and the Social Work Safety Act, that will still need action. Students in this course will be briefed on these issues by experts, receive coaching on effective advocacy in Congress, and conduct visits to the offices of their members of the House and Senate, with debriefing and further action plans following.
  • The final assignment will be a paper to be completed and submitted during the spring semester.
  • Holding the course in Washington, D.C. will afford students the opportunity to participate in visits to Capitol Hill and provide access to guest lecturers and policy experts who are based in Washington.

Program Faculty:

Jeane Anastas, PhD, Professor and President, NASW (National)


  • Graduate tuition: $3,674 (estimated) for 3 graduate credits. $4,190 (estimate) for 3 undergraduate credits. **Continuing Education non-credit participants pay 2/3 graduate tuition of $2,462 (estimate).
  • Estimated Housing: $370
  • Estimated Travel: $100-$300 (train travel)
  • Meals: Meals will be provided at a Welcome Banquet and concluding luncheon. Students are responsible for any additional meals.
  • Excursions: Visits to selected Capitol Hill offices and relevant museum trips and evening activities
  • All personal expenses are additional.

For General Inquiries Contact

Eileen Wolkstein, PhD
Director, Global and Lifelong Learning

Stephanie Kaplan
Coordinator, Office of Global and Lifelong Learning

The Legislative Advocacy course in Washington, DC, was instructive and empowering. Through informative lectures and meetings with congressional staff on Capitol Hill, students experienced the important role that social workers can play in the legislative process. Even if your focus is micro- or mezzo-level social work, your takeaway will be that all of us can make a difference on the macro level."
- Judith Rosen, MSW '13