The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy

By Joel Blau | Go to book overview

13
If You Want to Analyze a Policy …

In the first chapter of this book, we stressed that every form of social work practice embodies a social policy. Twelve chapters later, does what we have learned confirm this statement?

To answer this question, consider the human service jobs you have had in the past and what you are doing now in your school field placement. Picture the kind of social work you hope to do in the future. In all these settings, most of your clients probably got help from the income support programs detailed in chapter 8. Some may participate or hope to participate in the job training programs analyzed in chapter 9. If they are not actually homeless, they may still have the housing problems that chapter 10 addresses or face the health issues discussed in chapter 11. Perhaps the most desperately poor among them are even experiencing hunger, which chapter 12 described.

A look at this list supports one of our most basic contentions: no matter how hard you worked before, it always helps to learn about social welfare policies because they frame the social problems your clients face and pay you to do your job.

Learning about social welfare policy, we have repeatedly encountered five cardinal themes. The first is the premise that because practice embodies pol- icy, knowledge about policy is essential to ensure that our practice is conscious and informed. We need this knowledge to solve problems for our clients, to maintain our own job satisfaction, and to participate as members of the social

-433-

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The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • I: Introducing Social Welfare Policy 1
  • 1: Introduction 3
  • 2: Mimi Abramovitz - Definition and Functions of Social Welfare Policy: Setting the Stage for Social Change 19
  • Ii: The Policy Model 55
  • 3: The Economy and Social Welfare 57
  • 4: The Politics of Social Welfare Policy 90
  • 5: Imi Abramovitz - Ideological Perspectives and Conflicts 119
  • 6: Mimi Abramovitz - Social Movements and Social Change 174
  • 7: Social Welfare History in the United States 220
  • Iii: Policy Analyses 278
  • 8: Income Support 279
  • 9: Jobs and Job Training 312
  • 10: Housing: Programs and Policies 337
  • 11: Health Care 373
  • 12: Food and Hunger 403
  • Iv: Conclusions 431
  • 13: If You Want to Analyze a Policy … 433
  • Notes 437
  • Figure Credits 479
  • Index 481
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