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The Social Services for Families, Seniors and Those with Disabilities offered by Coursera in partnership with Columbia University is part of the Social Policy for Social Services & Health Practitioners Specialization.

Visit the official programme website for more information


Social Services for Families, Seniors and Those with Disabilities offered by Coursera in partnership with Columbia University discusses four populations: families, poor families, people with disabilities, and people as they age.  

This course addresses issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy.

  • The first module identifies the needs of children and the role of the state in child development.  We will explore changes in the family and the resulting debates about how to best support families and child development.  We’ll appraise family leave and child care programs for their role in supporting paid work and in strengthening child development, as well as income support efforts including the child tax credit and proposals for a family allowance.  
  • The second module begins with a description of child poverty—both the forces leading to it, and its effects.  This module also describes public support programs and critiques the debates surrounding them.
  • The third module focuses on persons living with disabilities, evaluating the  landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.   We will also critique the processes of establishing a disability social insurance program and the public aid programs that make people with disabilities eligible for income support and health support.  
  • The final module begins with a report on the aging of the U.S. population.  Building on this, we’ll examine social insurance programs and public aid programs for seniors for their longterm viability, and assess the various reforms that have been proposed to stabilize these programs. 

The course is part of a sequence in social policy that has an HONORS TRACK. This track will prepare the learner for masters-level work in policy, which involves reading the literature, writing concise summaries and probing critiques.   Over the sequence the learner will develop a policy analysis that will create a foundation for professional policy analyst assignments.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Policies for Families and Children
  • Policies for Poor Families and Children
  • Policies for Persons with Disabilities
  • Policies for Older Adults
More Details on Coursera Plus:
  • Learn Anything: Explore any interest or trending topic, take prerequisites, and advance your skills
  • Save money: Spend less money on your learning if you plan to take multiple courses this year
  • Flexible Learning: Learn at your own pace, move between multiple courses, or switch to a different course
  • Unlimited Certificates: Earn a certificate for every learning program that you complete at no additional cost

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 1 months

Start dates & application deadlines

You can apply for and start this programme anytime.




  • Self-paced

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Tuition Fee

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  • International

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 0 USD for the full programme during 1 months.
  • National

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 0 USD for the full programme during 1 months.

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Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee. Apply for it by clicking on the Financial Aid link beneath the "Enroll" button on the left. You'll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you are approved. You'll need to complete this step for each course in the Specialization, including the Capstone Project. 

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Updated in the last 6 months

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

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Social Services for Families, Seniors and Those with Disabilities


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