As a profession that emphasizes serving the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, our curriculum traditionally reflects a commitment to creating a social work workforce that can adequately meet the needs of at-risk individuals. Yet, while the social work code of ethics calls on us to prioritize disadvantaged groups, the social work profession can do much more to address homelessness. To increase and encourage the inclusion of homelessness curricular content, we have developed resources for social work educators interested in expanding their own knowledge and/or incorporating homelessness content into new or existing courses.

Homelessness Prevention and Intervention in Social Work: Policies, Programs, and Practices (Textbook) – Coming in 2018

Homelessness course offerings are inconsistent across schools of social work, and we lack a current textbook outlining service needs and effective social work practices with this population. Homelessness Prevention and Intervention in Social Work: Policies, Programs, and Practices will fill this gap by: (1) describing the service needs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, (2) examining community and policy responses to homelessness, and (3) reviewing effective policies, programs, and practices for homelessness prevention and intervention. Published by Springer Publishing, this textbook is expected to increase and support homelessness course offerings as well as curricular integration.

Homelessness in Social Work Education (CSWE Learning Academy Series)

In partnership with CSWE’s Learning Academy, we developed a series of on-demand webinars intended to raise awareness of homelessness-related issues and topics among social work educators and to support the integration of homelessness content across the social work curriculum. Educators can use the webinars for their own professional development and also incorporate the entire series or individual modules in courses for in-person, online, or blended instruction. The learning series is available here and is free and available to the public. Topics in the series include:

  • Housing First
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Continuum of Care
  • Critical Time Intervention
  • Trauma and Adversity
  • Trauma-Informed Care


Reading Lists

The Selected Readings List consists of scholarly articles related to homelessness and is organized into subtopics (e.g. chronic homelessness, criminalization, and prevention).

The Selected Books List consists of books on homelessness-related topics across multiple disciplines in addition to social work, such as sociology and public health. The list is broken down into topic areas, including history/overview, housing, personal experiences/case studies, and special populations.

Homelessness Course Syllabi

Recognizing that educators interested in developing new homelessness courses would benefit from having access to example syllabi, we asked partner school faculty who currently teach courses on homelessness to share their syllabi. We hope these examples will provide a foundation for course development and inspiration for designing class sessions and assignments. Additionally, educators interested in integrating homelessness content into other courses can use the syllabi to identify relevant readings and resources. Each syllabus includes a note explaining the content of the syllabus and the instructor to whom questions can be directed.

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