Dynamics Of Social Welfare Policy

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This book examines ten key issues-poverty, taxation and the economy, health, criminal justice, child welfare, education, housing, elderly issues, civil rights, and global issues-confronting social work professionals and places them in their larger context. The introduction to each issue identifies its genesis or the reasons that the issue became a dominant theme in the policy-making agendas of Congress. The second and third sections of each issue provide actual arguments written and spoken by elected officials, both in the U.S. Congress and the presidency, representing liberal versus conservative viewpoints on the issues. By providing the actual text of the arguments and refraining from interpreting and biasing the political viewpoints of the legislators, the book enables students to critically evaluate each side of the debate and to become empowered to bring about change. The vantage point of Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy is that both liberal and conservative policy makers have good reasons for upholding their respective beliefs. Students are thus provided with the opportunity to learn about both sides. This knowledge will improve students' confidence when approaching policy makers and enhance their ability to be effective advocates. Understanding both sides of issues central to social work will facilitate the development of arguments and policy options that satisfy decision makers of either political orientation.

Special features of this volume: -presents a wide variety of social welfare issues important to social workers from the perspectives of the "right" and "left" using original congressional speeches paired in a clear "pro-con" format, -familiarizes the reader with themain issues of contention and sets a context for reviewing the speeches presented, -engages social work students in the policy-making forces that influence the scope and efficacy of interventions in social work practice, -emphasizes the role that values and ideology play in the policy-making process, -fosters development of critical thinking skills by freeing students to form their own opinions and interpretations of policy-makers' speeches, -identifies carefully selected resources for additional reading that provide a basis for further learning and discussion, -constitutes a valuable supplement to social welfare policy textbooks whose breadth typically hinders in-depth exploration of the issues and value positions of the different political orientations.

About the Author:
Gardenia Harris, Ph.D., MSW, is assistant professor at Illinois State University where she teaches social welfare policy and field practicum courses.

About the Author:
Bernard Ivan Tamas, Ph.D., is assistant professor of politics and government at Illinois State University

About the Author:
Nancy S. Lind is professor of politics and government and associate department chair at Illinois State University

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Editorial Reviews

December 2008 Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
The authors of this informative book have compiled an interesting collection of excerpts....The authors are to be commended not only for coming up with an innovative idea but for compiling an informative collection of excerpts that clearly reveal the differences between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans.
April 2008 CHOICE
The use of original narratives from each side of these value-laden legislative debates makes this book useful...as a supplement to most policy textbooks on the undergraduate or graduate levels. Recommended.
December 2008 Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare
The authors of this informative book have compiled an interesting collection of excerpts....The authors are to be commended not only for coming up with an innovative idea but for compiling an informative collection of excerpts that clearly reveal the differences between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742559493
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.45 (w) x 9.41 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

As an assistant professor at Illinois State University, Gardenia Harris, Ph.D., MSW, teaches social welfare policy and field practicum courses. Her research interests include racial disparities in the provision and outcomes of social services, the differential impact of child welfare policies on minorities, the effectiveness of drug treatment courts, and HIV among middle-aged African American women. She began her career working as an in-home family therapist, and later served as a manager of an adolescent residential treatment facility. Subsequently she was employed as an academic skills counselor at a private college. Bernard Ivan Tamas, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Politics and Government at Illinois State University. Professor Tamas has been a Fulbright scholar to the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard-MIT Data Center, a visiting scholar at Harvard's Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences, and a visiting professor at both Brandeis University and Williams College. This is his third authored or co-authored book. Nancy S. Lind is professor of politics and government and associate department chair at Illinois State University. Her specializations include public administration and policy as well as bureaucracy and the American presidency. She has four edited books including Violence and Its Alternatives, Presidents from Reagan through Clinton, Controversies of the George W. Bush Presidency, and Comparative Public Administration.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
Poverty     7
Taxation and the Economy     27
Health     69
Criminal Justice     99
Child Welfare     125
Education     145
Housing     177
Elderly Issues     189
Civil Rights     207
Global Issues     231
Index     265
About the Authors     273
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