SW 5235: American Indians and Social Policy
What is Social Policy?
- The activities and principles of a society that guide the way it intervenes in and regulates relationships between individuals, groups, communities, and social institutions.
- These principles and activities are the result of the society’s values and customs and largely determine the distribution of resources and level of well being of its people.
- Thus, social policy includes plans and programs in education, health care, crime and corrections, economic security, and social welfare made by governments, voluntary organizations, and the people in general.
- It also includes social perspectives that result in society’s rewards and constraints.
Barker, R., The Social Work Dictionary, 3rd Ed., (1997) p. 355.
NASW Press, Washington, D.C.
Social policies are “those principles, procedures, and courses of action established in statute, administrative code, and agency regulation that affect people’s social well being”.
Popple, P.R. & Leighninger, L. (2004, p. 27). The Policy Based Profession: An Introduction to Social Welfare Policy Analysis for Social Workers.
How does policy affect direct practice?
- Determines the major goals of service
- Determines characteristics of clientele
- Determines who will get services
- Specifies or restricts certain options for clients
- Determines the theoretical focus of services
- Policy establishes a course of action to be followed by the agency/practitioner
- Policy involves the principles, guidelines, or procedures that serve to maximize the uniformity in decision making
Popple, P.R. & Leighninger, L. (2004). The Policy Based Profession: An Introduction to Social Welfare Policy Analysis for Social Workers.