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SW 3001: Social Welfare Policy I: Home

Suggested resources for the Fall 2021 Social Work 3001 assignment on Social Welfare Policy.

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Pfau Library Resources for Articles

Pfau Library Resources for Law

Anything labeled "Secondary Source" will provide background, interpretation, or commentary.


The assignment has three parts, all of which require outside sources:

  1. The Social Problem.
    • Think about background information and statistics. What are the outlines of the problem? What is its context?
    • Look for summaries that will fill the gaps in your personal knowledge.
    • Check statistical sources & advocacy organizations
    • Wikipedia is a place to start, not a place to end!
  2. Policy Responses.
    • What laws, regulations, or programs have been developed already? Look for official names of programs or the legislative acts that govern them; these names make good search keywords!
    • What agencies administer these programs? Check the web sites of relevant agencies. (Are they state, federal, or both?)
    • Consider legal databases and scholarly articles, which may examine policy successes or failures.
  3. Policy Recommendations.
    • Look for analysis, such as peer-reviewed articles and research reports.
    • Check advocacy organizations' web sites.

Strategy tip: it may be simplest to start with #2: a policy or program you know about, then work backward to #1: the problem it addresses. 

Useful Web Links

Legal Abbreviations

What is U.S.C. or U.S.C.A.? Example: 42 U.S.C. 1751 

  • Short for United States Code, or United States Code Annotated. It's a Federal law (or statute).

What is Pub. L. or P.L.? Example: P.L. 111-296

  • Short for Public Law. The Public Laws reprint the official text of bills passed by Congress, before they are codified into law in the U.S. Code.

What is C.F.R.? Example: 7 C.F.R. § 245.6

  • Short for Code of Federal Regulations. Legally-binding rules governing agency operations; also known as administrative law.

Try putting the legal citation into WestlawNext to find the original document. Googling will often work too, since these are government documents and therefore widely available free.

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Stacy Magedanz
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