By Joel Blau
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, and (3) tools for thinking critically about social welfare. Recognizing the fluidity of social welfare, the book also helps undergraduate and graduate students identify the triggers that lead to changes in social policy, and, in turn, influence what social workers actually do. This innovative text presents complex and challenging ideas so that all students can understand them. It reconfigures the discussion of basic policy issues--the construction of social problems, descriptions of major social welfare programs, and the purpose and functions of social welfare policy-in a fresh and accessible way. Covering all CSWE policy-required topics, the text breaks new ground as well by laying out a five-part policy model that shows how the forces of ideology, politics, history, economics, and social movements interact both to create and to change the social welfare system. Through full chapters on each component, this model explores and clarifies the complicated relationship between social policy and social change, including issues of race, class, and gender. This practical and real-world text empowers students. By making them aware of the persuasive influence of policy on practice, it prepares them as professionals in the twenty-first century to understand the past, present, and future dynamics of social welfare policy.