Archive for the ‘Social Work & Social Policy’ Category

Aging out: Youths’ perspectives on foster care and the transition to independence

March 20, 2013

From Qualitative Social Work

Former foster youth experience unemployment, homelessness, criminal justice system involvement, and early parenthood at higher rates than young adults in the general American population. Former foster youth seem to be particularly vulnerable during the transition from foster care to independence. This study used critical ethnography to engage youth in sharing their perspectives on the process of ‘aging out’ of foster care. Youths expressed anxiety about their subjective experiences of ‘aging out’, including economic challenges and housing instability, loss of social support, and pressure to be self-reliant. Youths’ narratives during the early stages of transition from foster care provide insights for professionals, policy makers, and future research.


Reviewing patterns of drug epidemics to consider cost effective intervention programs

February 27, 2013

Drug generations in the 2000s: An analysis of arrestee data

From Journal of Drug Issues 

Much empirical evidence indicates that the popularity of various drugs tends to increase and wane over time producing episodic epidemics of particular drugs. Drug epidemics lead to the rise of drug generations. For the past two decades, drug epidemics have been studied extensively. This article examines the drug generations present in the 2000s among arrestees in the 10 locations served by the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring–II program (ADAM). This article first reviews the drug epidemics framework and then presents how the drug generations framework follows from it. At all 10 locations, the findings show that crack use is still common among older arrestees but not among arrestees born more recently. Marijuana is the drug most common among younger arrestees. Patterns of drug use can have important implications for the development of timely, targeted drug abuse interventions. Drug scholars, analysts and policy makers need to be aware of trends in drug use to develop appropriate and cost effective programs.


Making sense of the ‘Big Society’: Social work and the moral order

November 7, 2012

From Journal of Social Work

The practice of social work has always been strongly influenced by political ideology, and its organization shaped by public policy. This article examines social work in the UK during the New Labour administrations and outlines how the idea put forward by the subsequent Coalition of the ‘Big Society’ evolved as a response to New Labour failings with consideration of possible future influence on the profession. It argues that two sides of the program are relevant for social work, the first focused on the public spending cuts and the second on increased empowered communities and collective action.  This agenda poses challenges and opportunities for a practice which is less individualistic, formal and desk-bound; but it also raises issues about the wider solidarities upon which equality and social justice depend.


Assessing policies designed to ensure more than 2 million disabled adults gain health insurance coverage (USA)

September 4, 2012

The potential employment impact of Health Reform on working-age adults with disabilities

From Journal of Disability Policy Studies

Public health insurance is a valued benefit for many working-age individuals with disabilities who would otherwise have difficulty obtaining health insurance in the private market. This article assesses the extent to which the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 has the potential to expand health insurance options for workers with disabilities and ameliorate existing employment disincentives. The study suggests the impact of the ACA on employment outcomes for persons with disabilities is a critical area for future research. At a minimum, it is expected for the ACA to result in patterns of insurance coverage among persons with disabilities that look more similar to patterns of insurance coverage among working-age persons without disabilities.  Nationally, in 2009, employed working-age people with disabilities were less likely to have insurance coverage than those who were  unemployed. It is projected that this relationship will change in 2014. More than 2 million adults with disabilities will gain coverage and that coverage rates will be higher among the employed.



Domestic abuse prevention after Raoul Moat (UK)

April 11, 2012

From Critical Social Policy

In this paper the author charts the development of domestic abuse policy between May 2010 and June 2011, a period in which the UK witnessed one of the most high profile domestic abuse cases pass almost without recognition as such. This event refers to the tragic incident where Raoul Moat went on a killing spree starting with injuring his ex partner and killing her boyfriend. After a police chase and further casualties and deaths the episode concluded when Raoul shot himself. As details of Raoul’s life unfolded it became obvious that he was a very troubled and violent man with a history of unleashing domestic abuse.  The article uses both the research literature on domestic abuse and the case of Raoul Moat to argue that preventative work in this field needs to keep issues of gender – especially masculinity – in the political frame. It suggests that the after­math of the Raoul Moat case was a missed opportunity for reflecting on the relationship between masculinity, violence and personal crisis, raising, as it did, the spectre of a dangerous man consumed by loss, whose violence could not be contained by a police service that knew him only too well. The paper also recognizes that during the time of the Raoul Moat incident, much of the infrastructure designed to tackle and prevent domestic abuse outside the criminal justice system began to be dismantled in anticipation of cost-cutting reform designated necessary to the advent of the ‘Big Society’.


The Olympic Legacy: London 2012

April 4, 2012

From Perspectives in Public Health

This podcast is the latest in the series of podcasts from Perspectives in Public Health. It offers a talk by the guest Editor of the March issue of the journal about the Olympic Legacy. The guest editor discusses amongst other things the lasting legacy of the 2012 Olympics as well as what can be learnt from building such a large scale site as the London Olympic Village, and how an outstanding health and safety performance has been achieved in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Site.  You will even find out how the humble porridge bowl helped contribute to the ODA’s exemplary health & safety record!

This special issue is free to download until the end of April 2012, it has an important place as part of the series of SAGE content highlighted to celebrate the countdown to the 2012 Olympics.


Why WikiLeaks’ bid for radical transparency failed

March 27, 2012

WikiLeaks: the illusion of transparency

From International Review of Administrative Sciences

The scale and significance of the 2010 WikiLeaks disclosures were overstated, according to this article. Analysis of the WikiLeaks debacle highlights four key reasons why radical transparency is hard to achieve, and why a technological fix alone will not achieve it.

Some regard the WikiLeaks disclosures of 2010 as evidence that conventional mechanisms for controlling government-held information are breaking down, heralding a new world of ‘radical transparency’. However, the editor argues that claims that old-style secrecy is over are an illusion, and that Wikileaks’ advocates have overstated their scale and significance. He is a proponent of stronger accountability and increased transparency, for diplomatic and national security institutions. However, he concludes that this will require hard work, rather than a technological fix. “A major difficulty with the WikiLeaks project is that it may delude us into believing otherwise,”


Free access to journal articles to celebrate World Social Work Day

March 23, 2012

To mark World Social Work Day SAGE has opened access to some articles from key titles.


Examining the impact of the Family Violence Option on women’s efforts to leave welfare

January 18, 2012

From Research on Social Work Practice

In 1997, while reforming federal welfare programs, the U.S. Congress established the Family Violence Option (FVO) to prevent reforms from adversely affecting those welfare recipients who are domestic violence victims. This research investigated if known domestic violence victims, and in particular those who received an FVO waiver, remained on the welfare rolls longer and worked less than other welfare recipients, as many critics speculated. The study wanted to assess what difference the FVO, in practice, has made on women’s ability to leave welfare and find employment. Using administrative and interview data the findings do not indicate that FVO waivers encourage women to stay on welfare longer. However, the poor outcomes of undocumented victims indicate that some individuals may be slipping through the cracks of a well-intentioned policy.


Unpaid work and social policy: Engaging research with mothers on social assistance

August 3, 2011

From Action Research

This study considers the area of unpaid care giving work as central to a gender analysis of public policy. The findings resonate with other published literature on this topic and suggest more nuanced research is needed regarding the ways Social Assistance (SA) policies impact the lives and experiences of unpaid work provided by parents living in poverty. Throughout the data gathering workshops, the women discussed the effects of social policies, shared survival strategies, came to recognize and validate their unpaid work, and eventually held face-to-face meetings with policy-makers.  This work assisted the participants in linking their unpaid work with social policy and finally, in taking significant socio-political action.


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