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Social Work

Research guide for social work.

Researching Social Policy

Researching public policies and laws at the federal, state, and local levels is an important skill for social workers and researchers. This page includes the most common resources for finding public policies related to social work topics. See the Public Policy & Administration research guide for more resources, or contact Margie Ruppel, Social Sciences Librarian, for more in-depth assistance. 

An Example of Policy Research

Core Resources for Policy Analysis

Policy Briefs

A policy brief is a concise summary of research, policies, and possible courses of action for a given issue. They help you learn about the scope of a problem, and the policy's impacts. 

Policy-related Reports & Publications

Finding eBooks and Books for Overviews

Finding Laws, Bills, and Cases Impacting Policy: Federal and State


Research Organizations, Think Tanks, and Advocacy Groups (select)

Nonprofit organizations and think tanks monitor policy in particular areas, and produce policy reports and research. TIP: View each organization's list of publications, which will lead you to research, policy papers, statistics, etc. It is also wise to read each organization's "About" section, as they may have specific goals or biases. 

Health Issues:

Women & Gender:

Children & Youth:


PPT Slides

Background Information about Social Issues

Find background information about social trends, policy, laws, cases, and issues. 

Public Opinion

Spending Analysis

Accountability for Taxpayer Dollars

Evaluating Think Tanks