An essential resource for students of social policy and social welfare as well as for social welfare practitioners and other human services professionals, this text examines the policymaking activity of the different branches of the American government and of the public-at-large as well as the interactions between the branches of government and the general public in the formation and implementation of social policy. In addition to examining the role of the legislative and executive branches of government, Theodore J. Stein covers the often-overlooked role of the judiciary in policymaking. He addresses the ways social welfare practitioners should interpret (1) conflicting judicial rulings in cases where courts of equal jurisdiction rule differently on the same matter and (2) judicial rulings that signal significant changes in the law. The book looks at politics, practice, and implementation and provides a historical background of social policy and social work practice plus a wealth of descriptive and analytic information concerning policymaking processes, specific social policies, and the effect of social policy on social programs.
Theodore J. Stein is professor of social welfare at the State University of New York at Albany.