Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Canadian Social Policy: Issues and Perspectives, 5th Edn

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Canadian Social Policy: Issues and Perspectives, 5th Edn

Article excerpt

Anne Westhues and Brian Wharf (eds), Canadian Social Policy: Issues and Perspectives, 5th edn (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012), 456 pp. Paper. $52.95. ISBN 978-1-55458-359-1.

This collection employs a broad definition of social policy, is shaped by the goals of social work training set out by the Canadian Association of Social Work educators and is aimed at social workers and social work students. The contents of this (fifth) edition have been updated, since 2006, by incorporation of new data, accounts of new policies and discussion of recent policy analysis. There are several new chapters, including policy on social housing, and violence within the youth criminal justice system.

An introductor y chapter (part I) considers definitions of social policy and locates approaches to social policy in political and governmental context. The first two chapters of part II cover the process of policy-making and approaches to policy analysis. These provide a basis for policy evaluation while asserting a commitment to social justice. Later chapters in this section include consideration of an Indigenous perspective, an analysis of racism focused on discrimination in employment in public service and an account of social policy in Quebec. A selection of current issues is covered by the 12 chapters of part III, starting with single motherhood and continuing with summaries and commentaries on policies which include care of children, mental health, disabilities, aging and housing. The final chapter (part IV) considers the role of social workers as advocates and outlines the principles for policy analysis which are offered by the Canadian Association of Social Workers. …

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