This core text is intended for students taking social policy and social welfare policy in departments of social work. Its purpose is to provide students with a comprehensive overview of U.S. social policy and the policymaking process. It will cover the critical contextual components of social policy such as history, ideology, political ecomy, and culture across the major domains of policy including income, social security, health, mental health, child welfare, and housing. The book will contain a number of distinguishing features, including: a strong theoretical foundation, greater emphasis on inclusion of primary source materials, a focus on critical thinking development, in-depth case studies, a focus on social justice and its relationship to social policy, interwoven content on a global and international perspective. The book will also be developed to have a greater focus on engaging content delivery via the use of cultural artifacts and connections to music, art, film and photography. The primary source material will help students connect the content from yesterday within the context of social policy today. The book will cover the content as taught in social policy courses across the curriculum. It will include chapters on social work history, the political ecomy, policy analysis, marginalized populations, social security, welfare and welfare reform, mental health policy, employment, child welfare, homelessness, and social services. In addition, the book will also help students place the content in context with coverage of federal and state budgets, and local and federal policy advocacy.
Michael Reisch is the Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work. A former Woodrow Wilson Fellow and Fulbright Scholar, he has held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of California, Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, San Francisco State University and the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and been a visiting professor at universities in Europe, Asia, and Australia, . He has also directed national, state, and local policy advocacy organizations, political campaigns, social service agencies, and professional organizations. Reisch is the author, editor and co-editor of over 15 books and monographs and has written over 400 articles, book chapters, and conference papers. His work has been translated into ten languages. He is currently a SAGE advisor and series editor for Social Work in the New Century.