The course aims at helping students to examine the changing conceptions of social welfare, major theories of social welfare and social policy, the role and functions of social welfare in meeting needs and tackling social problems. Major social welfare systems of the West and East Asia (Hong Kong, China, etc.) will be introduced. The course will put emphasis on the development of social welfare programmes in Hong Kong in relation to poverty, unemployment, family problems and other social deprivations. Social work as a helping profession will be discussed, with particular attention on how they address and advocate for the cause of the vulnerable populations.