Using Films to Teach Social Welfare Policy

  • Debra Anderson
  • Carol Langer
  • Rich Furman
  • Kim Bender
Keywords: Social welfare policy, contemporary film, social work pedagogy


Because social welfare policy tends to be among the least-preferred courses in the social work curriculum, using contemporary films to augment the course content may help students gain awareness of the nature of the relationship between micro- and macro-level social work. Films may also help to bring abstract policy concepts into a more grounded and focused format. The purpose of this article is to explore the use of contemporary film in teaching social welfare policy in courses by presenting three films as case examples along with suggested discussion questions for each. The article concludes by discussing a framework and criteria for the selection and use of films for social work curricula.