School of Social Policy & Practice

Founded as one of the nation's earliest schools of social work in the United States, the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) has trained social work professionals for over 110 years. In the 21st century, its scope expanded to include public policy and nonprofit leadership as natural extensions of applied social research. Today, SP2 offers masters programs in social work, public policy, and nonprofit leadership; doctoral programs in social welfare and clinical social work, and a wide range of certificate programs and specializations. The school is home to several research centers, including the Center for Carceral Communities, the Center for Guaranteed Income Research, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, the Center for Social Impact Strategy, the Center for Social Mobility and Prosperity, the Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice and Research, and the Ortner Center on Violence and Abuse. Faculty and graduate work is rooted in social justice, community care, and advancing equity-based policies worldwide.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 43
  • Publication
    Education for Social Development: Curricular Models and Issues
    (1994-09-01) Estes, Richard J
    Education for social development is emerging as an important component of professional education in the human services. This paper identifies the underlying assumptions, knowledge base, and goals of social development practice. The paper also identifies four models of social development practice of relevance to the education of social workers for social development: the Personal Social Services Model; the Social Welfare Model; the Social Development Model; and, the New World Order Model. Eight levels of social development practice are identified as are the dominant institutional sectors within which development practice occurs. The paper also discusses organizational issues associated with the introduction of varying degrees of social development content into individual educational programs.
  • Publication
    Shelters Lead Nowhere
    (1993-12-19) Culhane, Dennis P
    The city should take state and Federal financing that goes to the shelters and use it to keep people out of them.
  • Publication
    Volunteering for Human Service Provisions: Lessons from Italy and the U.S.A.
    (1997) Ascoli, Ugo; Cnaan, Ram A
    The increased reliance on volunteers in all industrialized democracies has been parallelled by growing fiscal crises in most states, widespread criticism of welfare, and increased demand for social services. While volunteer work is presumed to be an alternative to public services, its feasibility is not yet clear. We suggest that a cross-national comparison of two significantly different countries would provide more information about volunteerism as a partial substitute for public services. We compared the United States where volunteerism is a widespread tradition and Italy where there has been a "rediscovery" of volunteerism since the 1980s. Differences between the two countries in the practice of volunteerism are examined from several perspectives. They include the relationships between volunteers and the statutory sector, the professionalization of volunteer activity, the role of citizen participation in a capitalistic society, and the Lockean principle of limited government. Finally, we conclude that while there are many differences in welfare provision between the United States and Italy, they do have a common element: increased reliance on volunteers for every aspect of day-to-day life; however, this reliance is mostly ideologically-based and may prove unfounded and costly.
  • Publication
    Cultural Participation and Civic Engagement In Five Philadelphia Neighborhoods
    (1998) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C
    One of SIAP's goals has been to examine the links that connect arts participation to other form of civic engagement. In previous papers, the team used a variety of perspectives--the location of organizations, levels of community participation, observation of behavior and physical traces, and levels of regional cultural participation--to examine this process. This paper uses a community participation survey conducted in five Philadelphia case study neighborhoods to examine links between community participation, community arts participation, and regional arts participation. This paper and other SIAP studies have found that the socio-economic status of a neighborhood is a consistent predictor of residents' level of participation. Yet, the paper also suggests that cultural participation is more complex than either the economic model or the cultural capital theory would predict. A neighborhood’s cultural infrastructure is a stronger predictor of participation than either income or education. Moreover, decisions about cultural participation are closely related to engagement in other types of community activities, such as schools, community groups, and social clubs. Thus neighborhood residents effectively function as connectors between arts and non-arts institutions. The paper documents a strong relationship between neighborhood cultural participation and other forms of community engagement. The fact that residents make connections that remain elusive for organizational leaders suggests an avenue for strengthening institutional networks.
  • Publication
    Cultural Organizations in the Network Society
    (1999-10-01) Seifert, Susan C; Stern, Mark J
    Community arts programs are embedded in a variety of social networks, including those with institutions, artists, and participants. This paper uses data on the institutional networks for four community arts programs to understand how these programs use social networks. The database for this paper was compiled from organizational reports on their institutional contacts as well as a review of documents and observation. The data were then geocoded and linked to the SIAP’s other organizational databases, including data on the presence of other types of social organizations in their neighborhood. Community arts organizations are under two—often contradictory—pressures. Efforts to “rationalize” their organizational structure often come in conflict with their commitment to serving and engaging communities and neighborhoods. As a result, organizations are forced to be strategic in their choices of contacts, pursuing those that further their interests while reducing those that might sap their resources.
  • Publication
    Poverty and the Life-cycle, 1940-1960
    (1991-03-01) Stern, Mark J
  • Publication
    Applying Cluster Analysis to Test a Typology of Homelessness by Pattern of Shelter Utilization: Results from the Analysis of Administrative Data
    (1998-04-01) Kuhn, Randall; Culhane, Dennis P
    This study tests a typology of homelessness using administrative data on public shelter use in New York City (1988-1995) and Philadelphia (1991-1995). Cluster analysis is used to produce three groups (transitionally, episodically, and chronically homeless) by number of shelter days and number of shelter episodes. Results show that the transitionally homeless, who constitute approximately 80% of shelter users in both cities, are younger, less likely to have mental health, substance abuse, or medical problems, and to over-represent Whites relative to the other clusters. The episodically homeless, who constitute 10% of shelter users, are also comparatively young, but are more likely to be non-White, and to have mental health, substance abuse, and medical problems. The chronically homeless, who account for 10% of shelter users, tend to be older, non-White, and to have higher levels of mental health, substance abuse, and medical problems. Differences in health status between the episodically and chronically homeless are smaller, and in some cases the chronically homeless have lower rates (substance abuse in New York; serious mental illness in Philadelphia). Despite their relatively small number, the chronically homeless consume half of the total shelter days. Results suggest that program planning would benefit from application of this typology, possibly targeting the transitionally homeless with preventive and resettlement assistance, the episodically homeless with transitional housing and residential treatment, and the chronically homeless with supported housing and long-term care programs.
  • Publication
    Making Homelessness Programs Accountable to Consumers, Funders and the Public
    (1997) Culhane, Dennis P; Eldridge, David; Rosenheck, Robert; Wilkins, Carol
    This paper discusses how different types of performance measurement can be used to improve the accountability of homeless programs to consumers, funders and to the public. A distinction is made between the kinds of data used in formal research projects and data that can be practically obtained in a practice setting. Consumer outcomes are discussed in terms of accountability to consumers, program outcomes in terms of accountability to funders, and systems outcomes in terms of accountability to the public. Cost-benefit analyses are also discussed as providing another critical dimension of accountability to funders and the public.
  • Publication
    Entrepreneurship in the Public Sector: The Horns of a Dilemma
    (1995) Perlmutter, Felice D; Cnaan, Ram A
    What are local public administrators expected to do in an era of tax-based decline, diminishing state and federal support, and intensified public demand for more and better services? Felice Perlmutter and Ram Cnaan argue that a policy of fundraising and development is one solution to this dilemma. The authors acknowledge that private support for public services is not a new idea or practice; however, an institutionalized policy of capital campaign and donation seeking from private sources on an ongoing basis to fund traditional public services is the essence of this new policy. Perlmutter and Cnaan provide us with a case study of the Department of Recreation in the city of Philadelphia which, through the proactive leadership of a new commissioner, took on the mission of establishing a development unit and annual fund campaign. The authors describe the background of the new policy, its formulation, and implementation. This policy, however, is not without its risks, and Perlmutter and Cnaan detail some of these risks as a precaution for those wishing to hastily adopt the new policy.
  • Publication
    Art and Social Change: AIDS Activism in Philadelphia
    (1997-02-01) Petty, Mary Stuart
    This study examines the social and political aspects of the AIDS epidemic through the lens of local arts and culture in the city of Philadelphia, asking these questions: What are the social roles of arts production and cultural activities arising in response to the AIDS epidemic? Are the categories of AIDS politics, such as treatment activism and prevention activism, or distinctions among infected populations reflected in cultural production? Is the concept of a “day without art” relevant only to those who count as artists and to their affluent patrons? How have the changing demographics of the epidemic affected AIDS related arts and culture? Does art work to communicate to the public information about the AIDS epidemic? Can art mobilize people and institutions for social change? As the study site, Philadelphia provides an opportunity to extend a social and cultural analysis of the AIDS epidemic to an urban area other than New York or San Francisco. And, while Philadelphia’s proximity to New York City affects all aspects of its relation to the AIDS epidemic (and to its entire arts and cultural scene), AIDS-related activism and culture are embedded in the city’s own history and politics and are certainly worthy of study on their own terms.