The second-cycle degree in “Social Services Planning and Management” is designed to train professionals who are capable not only of working with people seeking social services, but can conduct social analysis, plan, organise, and manage social and health services, facilitate group projects, coordinate interdisciplinary teams and supervise services and the staff involved in delivering them.
Second-cycle-degree graduates must acquire in-depth knowledge of social services theory, and of the psycho-social dimensions of social change and disadvantage, as well as the ability to use and experiment with advanced and innovative social service methodologies and skills to identify and understand the complex needs of individuals. In particular, the degree enables students to examine certain innovative welfare-related paradigms (e.g. generative, community and participatory) in relation to families, groups and regions, as well as various forms of institutional transition that
challenge previous regulatory and operative paradigms (e.g. changes in judicial operative systems, with a particular focus on hardship after prison, penal mediation etc.).
In fact, the progression of the training provided, as per the degree programme, is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills applicable in the field of social work, within a cultural and social setting currently undergoing profound welfare-related changes that are characteristic of the age of globalisation, including restructured labour policies and emerging phenomena such as an increasingly impoverished middle class; phenomena that challenge the traditional methodological framework of social services and call for an innovative approach to interacting with the resources of the so-called third sector and private social-service providers.
Accordingly, the programme structure is designed to provide students with knowledge across the various relevant disciplines, such as law and economics (courses in individual rights, labour law and administrative law); sociology and political science (courses in the sociology of law and social change, the sociology of globalisation and general sociology broken down in terms of social services organisation and legislation); and psychology and methodologies, with a particular focus on group and family psychology.
To achieve this objective, the programme favours avant-garde teaching approaches (group work, “participatory” learning - i.e. learning that is focused on contributions from people with direct experience of social hardship - “situated” learning - i.e. learning set within the local social context). To this end, the programme includes courses on family welfare (Prof. Mazza), the sociology of globalisation and the social participation workshop course (Prof. Pellegrino).
Finally, the degree aims to train future specialist social workers (subject to registration under section A of the Association of Specialist Social Workers) and/or social planners and/or managers of services and organisational structures who are able to supervise the organisation of resources, both in the public and private spheres; provide psycho-social counselling services; and design mediation interventions in family, social and penal contexts, as well as those involving minors.
In particular, the degree programme is designed with the following learning outcomes in mind: the development of specialist skills related to public policy design and to social and family policies.
In terms of expected learning outcomes, students must possess and be capable of applying and demonstrating the knowledge and skills taught on the course in relation to the above-mentioned phenomena, in view of the challenge posed by the latter to the traditional methodological framework of social services and subsequent demand for innovative skills in interacting with the resources of the so-called third sector and of non-profit private bodies.
The learning outcomes are defined by the Course of Study to correspond with the training requirements deriving from the above-mentioned phenomena; they are, therefore, structured to progress in a way that enables students to obtain the knowledge/skills they need in order to meet external training requirements.