SHS 103-Survey of Institutions
Social and Human Services Department
Seattle Central Community College
Fall, 2010


Danie Eagleton, M.Ed and Karen Strickland, M.S.

Office Number and Phone

3212A – 903-3280 (Danie); 3195 - 587-6911 (Karen)

Email Address & Web site; Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

Division Office and Phone

3220; 587-6900

Office Hours

Mon. & Wed. 12:30-1:30;

Tues. & Thurs. 12:30-1:30 and 5:30-6:00

Text:     Social Work and Social Welfare:  An Introduction, 6th Ed.  Ambrosino, Heffernan, Shuttlesworth and Ambrosino.  Thomson:  Brooks/Cole, 2008.  ISBN-13:978-0-495-09512-5

A reading list is included in this syllabus; these can be downloaded and printed from any computer with internet access or you can photocopy our hard copy.

Disability Notation:
 If you need course adaptations or accommodation because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with us or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment or talk with us as soon as possible.

Course Description:
 This is an introduction to social welfare institutions. We will explore social problems such as poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, racism, sexism etc. with an emphasis on the social service systems set up to solve them. We will look at these in general and as they occur in our local community and nationwide.

Course Objectives:
 In this course, the student will:

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking skills in class discussion and in written assignments.
  2. Identify and explain the factors that contribute to social problems that are addressed by human services.
  3. Exhibit respect towards others' viewpoints and perceptions regarding the topics explored.
  4. Identify opposing viewpoints pertaining to social problems and approaches to solving them.
  5. Use data bases to gather information pertaining to social problems and social services,  including research, resources and institutions.
  6. Understand the meaning of bar graphs and pie charts depicting data relevant to social problems.
  7. Calculate and understand the meaning of the mean and median as relevant to social problems.
  8. Understand how statistics can be presented in a variety of ways to convey varying  messages.
  9. Explain the differences and similarities between privately and publicly funded services.
  10. Work productively with a team of students toward a common goal.

    Educational Philosophy
    Danie –
    My hope for you as students is that you will gain a more in depth understanding of the social and human service systems in Washington state,King County and the City of Seattle.  We will discuss the mental health system, substance abuse (CD), housing, public assistance (TANF), CPS and the adult and juvenile detention/legal system.  Several guest speakers from all of these areas will come to class to discuss their jobs and how the systems they work in assist the clients they serve.
    Karen -
    I believe that students learn best when they are actively involved with the course content. I am also certain that all students can learn; there are barriers to learning that occur, however, and it is the responsibility of both the teacher and the student to eliminate these barriers. Below I have listed the responsibilities of each of us; by fulfilling these we can maximize your learning potential. I also believe that developing your ability to critically think through problems and information is an important part of your education. In this class I will ask you to be aware of your thinking processes; for example, are you considering all the relevant information? Are you clear about your understanding of the material? Are your ideas logical? When presented with a situation can you draw on the knowledge you have to problem solve and make decisions?

Instructor Responsibilities

  1. To create a safe learning environment that allows for an exchange of ideas and exploration of the concepts and issues we encounter in this course.
  2. To make clear my expectations of you in regard to preparation for class, class activities and assignments.
  3. To maintain reasonable and high expectations and to hold you accountable to these.
  4. To be available to help you individually and to provide referrals to other services that may be of help to you.
  5. To give you feedback on your work so that you can increase your skills and knowledge throughout the quarter and beyond.

Student Responsibilities

  1. To arrive in class on time and be prepared to actively participate in the class session.
  2. To complete assignments on time and in accordance with the guidelines defined by me.
  3. To stay in contact with me throughout the quarter, especially if you are having difficulty, i.e. absences, not understanding the material etc. You can contact me by phone, email or in person.
  4. To develop professionalism in the following ways:


These are brief summaries of each assignment. 

Quizzes  (20% of grade) - Dates are 10/18, 11/1, 11/17 and 12/8.

Client Portfolio (20% of grade) – You will be given a client profile and the task of identifying the client’s needs along with the best services to meet those needs.  Details will be provided in a handout.  Due date:  11/24.

Site Observation (20% of grade) – On Wednesday, Oct. 6, instead of coming to class each of you will visit two of four human service system sites:  Social Security Office, Employment Securities, Community Service Office (DSHS), Harborview Medical Center.  You will spend one hour at each of the two offices you select and document your observations.  You will write a reflection paper about your observations and bring it to class on Monday, the 11th, to discuss with classmates.  Throughout the rest of the quarter you will work with a group to identify the problems you observed at one of the systems and work together to redesign it.  Finally, you’ll present your ideas to the rest of the class at the end of the quarter.

Take home final (20% of grade) – This will be your opportunity to integrate your learning from the quarter.  Details will be provided one week before its due date of 12/13.

Professionalism (20% of grade) - You are part of a learning community in this class and your behavior and attitude affect your learning as well as the learning of your classmates.  Please be a positive influence on the community by arriving on time and being prepared for class.  Use class time to practice professionalism, defined as behavior appropriate to a human services workplace.  Some specific examples of unprofessional behavior include: coming in and out of the classroom several times while class is in session, making sarcastic comments to or about classmates or instructors, texting or using electronic equipment for nonclass related activity, carrying on side conversations and being noisy by eating, passing around food, shuffling papers, etc.  These activities will result in a reduction in professionalism points.  You are allowed two absences without any effect on your grade.  You must be present 70% of the time to pass the class.

Comments on plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as "taking and using another person's ideas and/or writing as one's own" (Oxford American Dictionary).  It may be interpreted as the result of misunderstanding or of cheating.  It's becoming a greater problem as information is so readily available on the internet.  The forms of plagiarism I run into include quoting material from a source without identifying it as a quote and citing it and cutting and pasting material from other sources, as if written by the student.  Sometimes a student will cut and paste an entire paper and pass it off as their own work.  All of these examples are unacceptable.  If we notice that it looks like you include a quote in a paper without acknowledging it, we’ll make a note on your paper and ask that you use your own words to explain the concept.  If we find that paragraphs or the entire paper are plagiarized you will receive no credit for the assignment.

Late Policy:
Do everything you can to turn your work in on time. We have planned the assignments to coincide with the content we are covering in class and they are designed to enhance your understanding of the material. Therefore, if you don't do the assignment when it is due you are not going to get the full benefit of it. If you have an emergency and cannot complete an assignment on time, let one of us know ahead of time. 10% will be deducted for work turned in up to one week late. 

Work will not be accepted more than one week late during the quarter.  No assignments will be accepted after August 19th. 

Point and Grade Breakdown:

Site Observation


95-100% = 4.0

Quizzes - 4


90-94% = 3.5-3.9

Client Portfolio


80-89% = 2.5-3.4



70-79% = 1.5-2.4

Take home exam


60-69% = .7-1.4


SHS 103 Required Reading List

Below are several articles and two websites that you will read or survey in preparation for class on the dates listed.  You do not have to print everything-pay attention to the notes for each item.  I have a hard copy you can photocopy if you prefer.


    You don't need to print the entire report, but do print and bring to class the causes of homelessness, the six principle strategies and who the subpopulations are.

November 3rdTake a look at the website,  What are three interesting or important pieces of information you found on this site?  How could your clients benefit from this site?

November 3rd- "A 'gravely disabled' mental health care system."  Seattle Post Intelligencer, Sept. 8, 2008.

November 3rd - "Western State Hospital patients waiting to get out."  Seattle Times, Dec. 29, 2008.

November 8th -  Browse around and find three interesting pieces of information from this site.  How might this site be useful to you as a human services provider?  You do not need to print anything.

November 10th - Americans with Disabilities Act  A Guide to Disability Rights Laws-Review the various areas that are covered by the ADA.  What are three things you learned about disabilities or the ADA from this site?  You do not need to print anything.

November 29th -There are several parts of the Committee To End Homelessness website that you should read in preparation for class.  Go to  to get started.  Then...
    1.  Click on
 Scope of problem and read the "Causes of Homelessness," "Homelessness in King County" and "FAQs on Homelessness" sections.
    2.  Click on
 Our Plan, open the 10 year plan, and read the report.  Be sure you understand the six principle strategies as well as strategies for specific subpopulations

SHS 103 - Survey of Institutions




Sept. 27

Introductions and syllabus



Defining Social Services and Influences on them

Textbook, Ch. 1 & 3

Oct.    4

Community Safety Net:  The Slender Thread



Site observation

Observation reflection due


Debrief site visit; Wealth and Poverty Activity

Text, Ch. 7


Wealth & Poverty



Children, Youth and Family Services

Quiz #1

Textbook, Ch. 10


Children, Youth and Family Services

Textbook, Ch. 11



Textbook, Ch. 9




Nov.    1

Mental Health

Quiz #2

Textbook, Ch.8;


Mental Health

Reading list-"A Gravely 'Disabled'..." and "Western State Hospital..."


Substance Abuse







Diversity and Social Justice

Quiz #3

Text, Ch. 4


Criminal Justice

Text, Ch. 13


Criminal Justice

Client Portfolio due



King County’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness

Dec.     1








Quiz #4


Wrap up

Take Home Final Due