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Social Welfare Policy

Responding to a Changing World

Second Edition

Author John G. McNutt and Richard Hoefer

Publication Date - 13 November 2020

ISBN: 9780190948795

400 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

A brief - yet comprehensive - topical introduction to social welfare policy


Social Welfare Policy: Responding to a Changing World is a topical, comprehensive introduction to social welfare policy. It uses a contemporary framework that explicitly addresses three forces that have redefined the social policy arena: the growth of the information economy, the rise of globalization, and our current environmental crisis. This framework is applied to the six traditional arenas of policy--child and family services, health and mental health, poverty and inequality, housing and community development, crime and violence, and aging, and explores how to find solutions to both long enduring and brand new problems. John McNutt and Richard Hoefer's introductory text represents a move forward in social welfare policy thinking that is built on the latest scholarship and teaches students that the time to create social policies for the future is in the present.

New to this Edition

  • New Chapter 7: "Theories of Policy Making" covers the policy process at both state and federal levels and explains how an idea becomes a law
  • Coverage of both social and police violence (Chapter 12) highlights an important ongoing struggle
  • Increased information regarding robotics and artificial intelligence (Chapter 4) enhances the conversation surrounding our information society
  • Inclusion of the Trump administration and its policies brings the book up to date
  • Information on pandemics speaks to the COVID-19 crisis


  • Contemporary framework emphasizes the forces currently redefining the social arena: the growth of the information economy, the rise of globalization, and our current environmental crisis
  • Discussion questions at the end of every chapter encourage critical thinking and reinforce key ideas
  • An enhanced ebook, complete ancillary package, and OfCourse! video module provide instructors and students with a wealth of learning resources

About the Author(s)

John McNutt is Professor in the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware.

Richard Hoefer is Roy E. Dulak Professor for Community Practice Research in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington


"MuNutt and Hoefer's book is a fascinating introductory text for anyone interested in learning about social welfare policy. This book stands out as truly refreshing and engaging, not only because it offers a wonderful forward-looking perspective on the evolution of social welfare policy and its relationship with social policy and public policy more broadly, but also because of its strong emphasis on actually doing policy analysis and advocacy. A must read for aspiring and experienced social workers, nonprofit leaders, and public managers." - Chao Guo, University of Pennsylvania

"McNutt and Hoefer's social welfare policy text should readily engage our students in learning and appreciating the relevance of policy to the practice of social work. The book grounds analysis of social welfare policy within contemporary forces driving change in the US and the world. It is truly unique among social welfare texts in its systematic integration of content on the information revolution, pressing environmental crises, and globalization across social welfare policy topic areas. The present and future are not afterthoughts in this book." - Pamela C. Twiss, California University of Pennsylvania

Table of Contents

    1. Welcome to the Future: Your Many Roles as a Social Worker
    2. Society and Social Welfare in Agrarian and Industrial Societies
    3. Social Welfare History in Developmental Context
    4. Current Conditions and the Coming of the Information Society
    5. Values, Ideology, and Political Philosophy in Social Welfare Policy
    6. Policy Analysis: Tools for Building Evidence-Based Social Policy
    7. Policy-Making for Social Welfare
    8. Advocacy in the Information Age World of Social Policy
    9. Poverty, Inequality, and Income Maintenance Policy
    10. Physical and Mental Health Care Policy
    11. Social Services for Children and Families
    12. Crime and Violence in an Information Society
    13. Housing and Community Development
    14. Aging and Social Policy

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