Social Policy for Effective Practice : A Strengths Approach book cover
6th Edition

Social Policy for Effective Practice
A Strengths Approach

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 28, 2023
ISBN 9781032226385
March 28, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
592 Pages 113 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $105.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Social Policy for Effective Practice: A Strengths Approach sharpens students' awareness of social welfare policy and offers a considerable array of resources and knowledge foundations to both understand and thrive within a continually evolving policy landscape. Throughout the text, the authors tell the stories of social workers who impact policy, incorporate frameworks for policy analysis, center social work values and strengths principles, and integrate the series' interactive and downloadable cases to demonstrate policy's relevance and application to practice settings and situations in concrete ways. Students may use the text as an introduction to social policy, a tool for deeper examination of policy topics, and as a lifelong companion for their policy-relevant practice.

Now in its sixth edition, the textbook is fully updated to reflect substantial changes in policy arenas such as health care, family economic support, immigration and asylum, criminal justice, housing, reproductive rights, substance use disorder, mental health treatment, and childcare, as well as the implications of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

With additional support and extensions available at, Social Policy for Effective Practice makes policy relevant, accessible, and meaningful for social work students and is a perfect complement to undergraduate and graduate courses on social policy and practice.

Table of Contents



  1. Social Work and Social Policy: A Strengths Perspective
  2. The Historical Context: Basic Concepts and Early Influences
  3. The Historical Context: Development of Our Current Welfare System
  4. The Economic and Political Contexts
  5. Basic Tools for Researching Need and Analyzing Social Policy
  6. Social Policy Development
  7. Civil Rights
  8. Income- and Asset-Based Social Policies and Programs
  9. Policies and Programs for Children and Families
  10. Health and Mental Health Policies and Programs
  11. Policies and Programs for Older Adults
  12. The Future




View More



Dr. Rosemary Kennedy Chapin is an award-winning teacher and researcher, possessing extensive program development experience in the social policy arena. After receiving her PhD, she worked as a research/policy analyst for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, where she was involved in crafting numerous long-term care reform initiatives. In 1989, she joined the faculty at the University of Kansas, where she established the Center for Research on Aging and Disability Options (CRADO). CRADO’s mission is improving social service practice and policy for older adults and people with disabilities, particularly those with low incomes. Her social policy research and strengths-based training initiatives can be viewed at Dr. Chapin retired from the University of Kansas in 2018. A prolific author, she is renowned for her work on the strengths perspective, home-and community-based supports and services, and social policy. In 1995, she reformulated basic strengths principles to guide policy practice in an article published in the journal Social Work. This textbook grew out of that foundational strengths policy practice scholarship. Many of her other research publications have helped shape Medicaid long-term care policy reform. Dr. Chapin has been recognized by many groups at both the state and federal levels for her years of cutting-edge research and advocacy. In 2016, NASW chose her to join the ranks of pioneers in social work honored by the profession. If you would like to learn more about the work of past and present leaders in the field, including Dr. Chapin, do a web search for NASW Social Work Pioneers. She has also been singled out for her pioneering policy practice work by the national organization Influencing Social Policy. Dr. Chapin and her husband have three children and live in Lawrence, Kansas.

Melinda Lewis is an Associate Professor of Practice in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas and Associate Director of the School’s Center on Community Engagement and Collaboration. The instructors’ materials for this text were informed by her teaching of foundation and advanced-level MSW social policy and policy practice courses, and she also has years of experiencing advising students and field agencies on policy analysis and policy practice. Melinda spent more than a decade consulting to nonprofit organizations in fields such as safety-net health care, violence prevention, community economic development, immigrant rights, child welfare, and early childhood education. Her practice aims to enhance their strategic communications, advocacy strategy development and execution, and evaluation of social change efforts. Before joining the KU faculty, she worked on policy advocacy and community organizing at the local, state, and federal levels, in pursuit of economic justice and human rights. From 2012-2018, she was Assistant Director of the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion, based at the University of Michigan. She co-authored three books examining various aspects of the relationship between wealth inequality and children’s educational outcomes.