Course code Soci5042

Credit points 4

Social Welfare

Total Hours in Course160

Number of hours for lectures24

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes24

Independent study hours112

Date of course confirmation06.10.2020

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developer

author Sociālo un humanitāro zinātņu institūts

Signe Dobelniece

Dr. phil.

Prior knowledge

Soci5043, Sociological Theory

Course abstract

The course provides in-depth knowledge of social welfare and the welfare state; develops an in-depth understanding of the relationship between welfare and social policy, social policy areas and comparative analysis of social policy, as well as social work as one of the instruments for ensuring welfare. During the course students develop skills to apply theoretical knowledge in the analysis and critical evaluation of specific policies and their influencing factors.
The aim is to develop an in-depth understanding of social welfare, social policy, social work, their interrelationships; of the most important challenges in the field of social policy and social welfare in modern society; and the ability to evaluate critically social policy areas, programs and activities in a comparative perspective.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge – can express in-depth knowledge in social welfare, areas of social policy and applied methods; understanding of the essence of social security, social work’s role in promotion and provision of welfare (analytical summary, presentation, discussions, exam).
Skills – is able to use theoretical knowledge in the analysis and evaluation of social policy areas in the context of social welfare. Is able to discuss current problems of welfare and social policy and justify his/her view. Can identify problems and offer possible solutions (analytical summary, group work, presentation, discussions).
Competence – is able to evaluate independently social policy programmes and activities in the comparative perspective, and analyse social processes according to the principles of scientific analysis (presentations, report, exam).

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Social welfare - 2 h
2. Welfare state - 2 h
3. Social policy - 3 h
4. Comparative analysis of social policy - 2 h
5. The concept of social security. The system of social security of Latvia - 2 h
6. Social insurance systems in the EU and Latvia - 2 h
7. Social work - 2 h
8. Basic resources, their localization and classification - 1 h
9. The system of social assistance - 3 h
10. The system of social services - 2 h
11. Main spheres of social policy (action policies) - 2 h
12. Influence of external factors on social welfare - 1 h
Seminars (24 hours):
1. Needs analysis - 1 h
2. Inequality and sustainable development of society - 1 h
3. The relationship between social policy and the economy. Financing of the social sphere - 2 h
4. Pension system - 2 h
5. Problems and possibilities of their solution in the context of social policy - 2 h
6. Institutional structure of social work, the role of social work. Social work in a rural municipality - 2 h
7. Social group work. Community work - 2 h
8. Poverty reduction and social inclusion policy. Employment policy. Health care policy - 3 h
9. Housing policy. Family policy. Gender equality policy - 3 h
10. The role of local governments in providing social services and social assistance to various client groups. Integration and social inclusion of refugees - 3 h
11. Institutional and non-institutional care of the elderly De-institutionalization - 2 h
12. The impact of demographic situation and globalization on social welfare - 1 h

Requirements for awarding credit points

Examination type – written exam. Credit points are awarded if all seminar tasks are completed (group work, discussions etc.), the report and analytical summaries are submitted and a presentation is prepared (graded 4 or more).

Acquisition of the study course in distance learning is organized in accordance with the order of the Vice-Rector for Studies “On the procedure of e-studies at LLU”, a study course acquisition schedule is created for each semester. Students acquire the topics included in the study course independently, using the materials created and inserted by the lecturer in the e-learning environment Moodle. Feedback on the acquisition of topics in lectures and seminars in distance learning is organized in the form of self-examination tests, discussion forums and individual assignments, as well as face-to-face or online consultations, lectures and final examinations according to the schedule.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Literature reading, preparing for seminars.
The report on the chosen social policy (3000 – 3500 words without annex).
Presentation on selected social work issue.
Analytical summaries (2) of the assigned material.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Examination is passed if at least 40% of answers are correct.
The report, presentations and analytical summaries are evaluated satisfactory if they meet minimum of the defined requirements.
The final mark consists of the examination (50%), and the report (20%), the presentation (20%), and analytical summaries (10%) marks.

Compulsory reading

Esping-Andersen, G. (ed.). (2002). Why we need a new welfare state. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 244 p.
Gough I. (2013). Social policy regimes in the developing world. In: Kennett, Patricia, (ed.) A Handbook of comparative social policy. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham UK, pp. 205-224.Pieejams:
Pestieau P (2006). The welfare state in the European Union: economic and social perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 169 p.
Social Policy in the EU: state of pla.y(2018). Pieejams:› file18+Social+policy+in+EU+2018+ OSE+Web+version
Webb S. (2006). A. Social work in a risk society: social and political perspectives. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.278 p

Further reading

Apmaldījušies brīvībā: anomija mūsdienu Latvijā. Zin. red. A. Zobena.(2018). LU Akadēmiskais apgāds.
Clasen J.(2006). Comparative Social Policy and the European Union. Pieejams:
Coulshed V (2006).Management in social work . New York : Palgrave Macmillan,. 322 p.
Diversity and Commonality in European Social Policies: The Forging of a European Social Model. (2009). Warsaw. Pieejams:
Ilgtspējīga attīstība un sociālās inovācijas. Zin. red. B. Bela. (2018). LU Akadēmiskais apgāds.

Periodicals and other sources

European Commission. Social Protection Committee Annual Report. ISSN 2315-1552.
Labklājības ministrija. Nozares politika. Pieejams:
Labklājības ministrija. Sociālais darbs Latvijā. 2016/1-. Pieejams:
Wiley Online Library. International Journal of Social Welfare. ISSN 1468-2397


Compulsory study course for ESAF academic master's study program "Sociology of Organizations and Public Administration"