The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy

The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy

The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy reinvents the contemporary social welfare policy textbook. Organized around the explicit premise that every kind of social work practice embodies a social welfare policy, the book develops three types of knowledge:

  1. a description of social welfare policy
  2. a model for understanding any social welfare policy
  3. tools for thinking critically about social welfare

Recognizing the fluidity of social welfare, this knowledge is then used to identify the factors that trigger policy change and influence what social workers actually do.

The book begins by examining how social problems are constructed. It then goes on to discuss social welfare policy, its purposes and functions. After describing the main social welfare programs, the book breaks new ground by laying out a five-part policy model, which shows, through full chapters on each subject, how economics, politics, ideology, social movements, and the history of social welfare define social welfare policy. In each instance, the analysis helps to explain how these factors operate, highlights the relationship between them and social policy, and provides the tools for understanding and criticizing the world in which social policy evolves.

The text then lucidly applies this model of policy analysis to five key social welfare policy issues: income security, employment, housing, health, and food. Since the same policy-template is used in chapter-long discussions of these issues, the text affords students an opportunity to compare how different parts of the model affect different social policies and points to the model's broader utility. Unique among policy textbooks, this seamless narrative combines an easily understood model of social welfare policy analysis and the application of that model to five policy areas in the same volume.

Framed by the notion of fluidity and change, this comprehensive text provides students with the knowledge and skills to analyze past, present, and future social policies.

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