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SW 6278: Social Intervention: Policies and Services - Fry

What counts as social policy?

"Social policy may be defined as any formal government enactment that affects the well-being of people, including laws, regulations, executive orders, and court decisions."

Source: Mizrahi, T., & Davis, L. (2008). Encyclopedia of social work (20th ed.). Washington, D.C. : New York]: NASW Press.

For the Policy Analysis Paper, focus on legislation only. Talk with your professor if you'd like to focus on a different policy type.

Bill Tracking Tips

  • Bill = proposed law. Enacted = signed into law. Res = resolution (not usually policy issues so avoid these). Need a civics refresher? Watch I'm Just a Bill.
  • Federal bills tend to be a bit easier to research than state bills.
  • Depending on the time in the legislative session, there may lots of bills or not very many. To get more options, you can search bills from previous years using most of the suggested tools below.
  • Don't worry too much if the % chance of a bill passing is pretty low. That's common & doesn't make the issues any less important.
  • Keywords matter when you search. A search for an Iowa bill using the keywords Planned Parenthood turned up no results because that phrase is not in a bill. But a search for family planning did show results. Try synonyms and related (broader/narrower) terms.
  • Think about policy research as about issues, not about politics.

Find a Federal Bill or Law

Find News Articles & Issue Reports

Find Support/Opposition