Social Policy Definition
"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- a rule or order issued by an executive authority or regulatory agency of a government and having the force of law (Merriam-Webster, 2012)
All legislation/law starts as idea or concept. These laws are often influenced by policymakers.
Policy is an outcome of a law.
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.
Federal law will always take precendence over state law, since state law can not conflict with federal law. However, some federal law may be written so broadly that states have leeway to enact their own regulations in order to implement exactly how the federal law is carried out.
There are a vast range of Social Welfare Programs that exist in the United States.
A few examples are:
Also check out this government site on Government Benefits, Grants and Financial Aid
Examples of Laws Governing Social Policy
Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997)
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (1974)
Civil Rights Act (1964)
Americans with Disabilities Act
Higher Education Act (1965)
Food Stamp Act (1964) (1977)
Defense of Marriage Act (1996)
Community Mental Health Acy (1963)
Social Security Act (1935) (1965)
Servicemen's Readjustment Act (1944)
Voting Rights Act (1965)
Children Nutrition Act (1966)
Forms of Social Policy
(Retrieved from O'Connor & Netting, 2011, pp. 14-15; Jansson, 2008, pp. 12-14)
Rules and Regulations
Formal or Written Policies
Informal Policies or Unwritten