Social Policy Definition
Social Policy- "Chosen courses of action within unique contexts with goals of preventing and addressing social problems ." (O'Connor & Netting, 2011)
Law- a binding custom or practice of a community a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority (Merriam-Webster, 2012)
Statute- a law enacted by the legislative branch of a government. (Merriam-Webster, 2012)
Regulation- rule or order issued by an executive authority or agency of a government and having the force of law (Merriam-Webster, 2012)
O'Connor, M. K., & Netting, F. E. (2011). Analyzing social policy: Multiple perspectives for critically understanding and evaluating policy. John Wiley & Sons.
Policy can be the outcome of a law, legislation, regulations.
The policy process is affected by rules and regulations, budget concerns, court rulings, and standards. (O'Connor & Netting, 2011)
Policies assist with the creation of social programs like TANF and help legislators decide when a new bill should be amended/introduced to Congress.
Policies tend to be created as the result or after-effect of a social problem; they are often a reactionary approach rather than preventative.
When policy is challenged it may be brought into the court system. For example, if a person claims a policy is unconstitional the challenge of the policy may eventually make its way to the Supreme Court.
Laws say what need to be done - think in terms out outcomes. Regulations specify how the laws get carried out.
There are a vast range of Social Welfare Programs that exist in the United States.
A few examples are:
Also check out USA.GOV to search for specific government-related sites.
Examples of Laws Governing Social Policy
Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997) PL 105-89
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (1974) PL 93-247
CAPTA Reauthorization Act (2010) PL 111-320
Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) PL 101-336
ADA Ammendments Act (2008) PL 110-325
No Child Left Behind Act (2001) PL 107-110
Higher Education Act (1965) PL 89-329
Higher Education Opportunity Act (2008) PL 110-315
Food Stamp Act (1964) PL 88-525
Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act (1973) PL 93-86
Hunger Prevention Act (1988) PL 100-435
Community Mental Health Act (1963)
Social Security Act (1935) PL 74-271
Voting Rights Act (1965)
Children Nutrition Act (1966)
Child Nutrition Act (2010)
Legal Cases can also affect policy.
To find out more about Supreme Court cases use these databases: