The Policy-Based Profession An Introduction to Social Welfare Policy Analysis for Social Workers

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/10/2010
  • Publisher: Pearson
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This social welfare policy text shows the crucial connection between social policy and the everyday practice of social work and encourages the development of policy analysis skills. This text is part of theConnecting Core Competencies Series, designed to guide students in becoming skilled at the Council on Social Work's core competencies. Each chapter reflects and integrates the latest CSWE competency standards (EPAS). End-of-chapter assessment reinforces this integration, andMySocialWorkLabprovides activites and supports the mastery of CSWE's core competencies through activities, tests, an extensive library of videos and cases, and much more.

Author Biography

Philip R. Popple, BS,  University of North Texas; MSW, Washington University (St. Louis); Ph.D, Washington University (St. Louis). Dr. Popple has seven years social work practice experience as a child welfare worker, a program evaluator, child welfare training specialist, and training administrator. He began his academic career in 1976 and has served as an advanced standing program coordinator, a baccalaureate program director at two schools, a school director/chair at two schools, and is currently serving as Baccalaureate Program Director at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he served as Interim Dean in 2008/2009. Dr. Popple is co-author of three social work texts: Social Work, Social Welfare, and American Society, 8th ed., 2008 (with Leslie Leighninger); The Policy Based Profession, An Introduction to Policy Analysis for Social Workers, 5th ed., 2011; and Child Welfare Social Work: An Introduction, 2007 (with Francine Vecchiolla). He is currently under contract with Allyn & Bacon for a book to be titled Compassion and Protection: A History of Social Work and Social Welfare in the United States.

Leslie Leighningeris a Professor Emerita at the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. She has degrees from Oberlin College, Syracuse University, and the University of California  Berkeley.  She is the author of Social Work :  Search for Identity, and Creating a New Profession:  The Beginnings of Social Work Education in the United States.  Her research specialty is social work and social welfare history.  She was a Vice President of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Social Work and the Council of Social Work Education.

Table of Contents


1 The Policy-Based Profession    

The Target of Social Work--The Individual and Society    

The Social Function of Social Work    

The Dual Targets of Social Work    

The Dominance of Micropractice

Social Work’s Pursuit of Professional Status    

The Policy-Based Profession    

Expert Technique    

Professional Practice within an Organizational Context    

Summary and Practice Implications   

Policy Determines the Major Goals of Service    

Policy Determines Characteristics of Clientele    

Policy Determines Who Will Get Services    

Policy Specifies, or Restricts, Certain Options for Clients    

Policy Determines the Theoretical Focus of Services 




2 Defining Social Welfare Policy    

Social Welfare Policy--Basic Definition    

Factors Complicating the Definition of Social Welfare Policy    

Social Welfare Policy and Social Policy    

Social Welfare Policy as an Academic Discipline and a Social Work Curriculum Area    

Social Workers Are Interested in Social Welfare Policy in All Sectors of the Economy    

The Multiple Levels of Social Welfare Policy 

Social Welfare Policy--A Working Definition    



PART II  Social Welfare Policy Analysis    

Policy Analysis Outline

3 Social Welfare Policy Analysis: Basic Concepts    

The Many Meanings of Policy Analysis    

Methods of Policy Analysis    

Descriptive Analysis    

Process Analysis    


Policy Analysis Methods as Ideal Types 

Policy Analysis as Science, Art, and Politics    




4 Policy Analysis from a Historical Perspective    

Historical Context of Social Welfare Policies    

The Role of History in Understanding Policy    

Examples of Policy History    

Historical Analysis of Agency Policy

Methods of Social Work History    

The Benton Park Crisis Center    




5 Social/Economic Analysis    

Delineation of the Policy under Analysis    

Social Problem Analysis    

Facts Related to the Problem    

Completeness of Knowledge Related to the Problem    

Population Affected by the Problem    

Theory of Human Behavior Undergirding the Policy    

Social Values Related to the Problem    

Achievement and Success    

Activity and Work    

Moral Orientation    

Humanitarian Mores    

Efficiency and Practicality    


Material Comfort   



External Conformity    

Science and Secular Rationality    



Individual Personality    

Racism, Sexism, and Related Group Superiority Themes    

Contradictions in the U.S. Value System    

Goals of the Policy under Analysis    

Hypotheses Underlying the Policy    

Economic Analysis    

Macroeconomic Analysis    

Opportunity Cost    

Effects on Individual Consumer Behavior 




6 Politics and Social Welfare Policy    

The Politics of Policy Making   

Models of Policy Making    

Who Makes Policy?    

How Are Policies Made?   

Phases in the Policy Process



PART III   The Framework Applied   


7 Fighting Poverty: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families    

Historical Analysis   

Recent Welfare Reform Efforts    

Social Analysis   

Problem Description   


Relevant Research   

Values and Welfare Reform 

Economic Analysis    

Macroeconomic Issues    

Microeconomic Analysis   


Is TANF Succeeding?    


American Values Related to Welfare Have Permanently Changed    

Welfare Is Not the Problem; Poverty Is the Problem   

Public Assistance Is a Social Condition, Not a Social Problem  

Selected Web Sites on Welfare Reform    



 8   Aging: Social Security as an Entitlement   

The Problem That Social Security Was Developed to Solve   

The Social Security Act of 1935   

Historical Development of Social Security Programs in the United States   

Precedents of the Social Security Act    

Creation of the Social Security Act    

Changes in Social Security   

Contemporary Analysis of Social Security   

Social Analysis    

Political Analysis    

Economic Analysis and Proposals for Reform   



Selected Web Sites on Social Security and Pensions   



 9 Mental Health: Managed Care    

The Problem That Managed Mental Health Care Was Developed to Solve    

The Costs of Mental Health Care    

Incidence and Treatment of Mental Health Problems

Managed Mental Health Care   

How Does Managed Mental Health Care Work?  

Managed Care in an Agency Setting   

Managed Mental Health Care in the Public Sector    

The History of Managed Care   

The Economics of Managed Care    

Social Analysis of Managed Care   

The Political Context of Managed Care   

Social Workers and Managed Care    

Influencing the System    

Interview with an Advocate   

Current Proposals for Policy Reform    


Selected Web Sites on Mental Health and Managed Care    



10 Substance Abuse Policies    

The Problem of Substance Abuse   

The History of Substance Abuse Policies    

Social and Economic Analysis of Substance Abuse Policies    

Political Analysis   

Analysis of Two Policies: Drug Tests for Welfare Clients and Separation of Treatment for Those Who Are Dually Diagnosed    

Drug Tests for Welfare Clients

Separation of Treatment for Those with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Problems  


Selected Web Sites on Substance Abuse    



11 Child Welfare: Family Preservation Policy   

Historical Analysis    

The Child Rescue Movement    

Social Work Takes Over   

Child Abuse Becomes the Dominant Theme    

Foster Care--From Solution to Problem   

The Emergence of Family Preservation  

Social Analysis    

Problem Description 

Political Analysis   

Economic Analysis   

Policy/Program Evaluation    

Current Proposals for Policy Reform    


Selected Web Sites on Family Preservation   


12 Taking Action Policy Practice for Social Workers

Analytical Skill – Program Evaluation                   

Interactional Skills – Negotiation and Pursuasion              

Subprocesses of Negotiation             

Stages of Negotiation         

Strategy and Tactics of Negotiation    


Political Skills                 

Building Coalitions           

Information Dissemination             


Political Action for Candidate Electtion          

Running for Office 




13 Conclusion    

Lessons from Policy Analysis    

The Bottom Line Is the Bottom Line   

Compassion and Protection: Dual Motivations for Social Welfare Policy   

Ideology Drives Out Data in Social Welfare Policy Making   

Policymakers Are Generally More Sophisticated Than They Appear    

Our Expectations for Social Welfare Policy Are Unrealistic 

Taking Action--Policy Practice for Social Workers   

Program Evaluation   

Building Coalitions    

Information Dissemination    


Political Action for Candidate Election    

Running for Office 




Appendix  Historical Policy Analysis Research    


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