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  Subjects -> SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELFARE (Total: 224 journals)
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Journal of Policy Practice and Research
Number of Followers: 0  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Online) 2662-1517
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • Correction to: Influence of Political Ideology on Coping and Personal
           Protection Practices During the Early Days of the COVID‑19 Pandemic

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      PubDate: 2022-08-04
       
  • Influence of Political Ideology on Coping and Personal Protection
           Practices During the Early Days of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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      Abstract: Abstract Even prior to COVID-19, it was clear that political ideology was defining experiences and attitudes of Americans. Responses to the societal repercussions brought about by the pandemic quickly seemed to follow the same pattern of difference across the spectrum of political beliefs. This study explores the relationship of political ideology to personal responses to COVID. The present article reports on the results of an online survey in the USA conducted in June 2020 that explored the impact of personal political ideology on individual responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that political ideology was related to the likelihood of respondents following government guidance on personal protective practices. Ideological identification was not a significant predictor of the likelihood to specifically follow guidance from state officials, specifically, when satisfaction with state and federal leaders were controlled for. Differences in responses to COVID, including use of personal protection strategies and coping mechanisms are related to political ideology. Practice and policy should be responsive to these differences.
      PubDate: 2022-07-15
       
  • Strategies of Social Workers’ Policy Engagement—a Qualitative Analysis
           Among Swiss Social Workers Holding Elected Office

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      Abstract: Abstract While ethical documents all around the globe call upon social workers to actively participate in policymaking processes, there is little evidence of their actual engagement in this type of practice. In particular, the fact that social workers also engage in party-politics by running for or holding elected office has been neglected in most of the existing research. Therefore, this article focuses on this very specific route of policy engagement by examining strategies for influencing policymaking processes used by Swiss social workers holding political office. To do so, 31 social workers holding elected office in the German-speaking part of Switzerland were invited to write a book chapter in an edited volume. The authors were explicitly asked to describe in detail their strategies and methods for influencing policymaking processes, and to place social work issues on the political agenda. Based on a qualitative content analysis of the book chapters, the following strategies were identified: (1) bringing social work’s professional expertise into policymaking processes, (2) doing good and talking about it, (3) presenting facts and figures, (4) organizing the profession, (5) networking, and (6) “normalizing” policy engagement in social work. The findings suggest that political content should be strengthened in social work education and further promoted by professional associations. This would empower more social workers to run for political office and enable them to contribute their specific skills, knowledge, and expertise to policymaking processes.
      PubDate: 2022-06-02
       
  • Institutionalism as a Theory for Understanding Policy Creation: an
           Underused Resource

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      PubDate: 2022-06-01
       
  • A Policy Mapping Analysis of Goals Related to Bank Accounts in Federal
           Legislative Proposals

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      Abstract: Abstract The US struggles to fully bank the unbanked and underbanked populations. This paper examined the policy landscape around these efforts by exploring the following research questions: (1) What policy goals that may impact the availability of low-cost, basic bank accounts that have been introduced in Congress as legislation' (2) How far in the legislative process did the legislation advance' (3) What populations did these proposed laws target' and (4) What related policy goals were pursued most ardently over the past 20 years' We conducted a policy mapping content analysis of all bank account-related bills (N = 32) proposed in Congress between 1999 and 2020 (May) (106th–116th Congresses). Two researchers independently coded basic characteristics (e.g., type, status, sponsorship), focal populations, and illustrative mechanisms for policy goals using a taxonomy developed by the researchers. Researchers compared codes and addressed discrepancies through consensus. New codes were created as needed. Goals appearing most often were expanding access to bank accounts (81.2%), increasing consumer protection (81.2%), and reducing costs of basic accounts (78.2%). Increasing consumer disclosure (37.5%) and expanding the type of institutions that offer basic accounts (9.4%) were addressed infrequently in the legislation. No legislation addressed the policy goal of expanding account access in minority populations and communities. Explicit attention toward unbanked and underbanked households, racial/ethnic minorities, and other vulnerable populations was rare. This study represents the first systematic analysis of key features of the US congressional response to the problem of affordability and accessibility of bank accounts. Legislative attention to the policy goals of expanding access and types of institutions that offer accounts is needed.
      PubDate: 2022-06-01
       
  • “People Nowadays Will Take Everything They Can Get”: American
           Perceptions of Basic Income Usage

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      Abstract: Abstract Universal basic income (UBI) is a centuries-old policy proposal in which every citizen is granted a regular cash payment to provide basic security. One defining concept of a UBI is that it is unconditional, unlike most modern social welfare programs. While decades of pilot data suggest UBI to be superior to traditional means tested assistance, public support is divided and heavily based on stereotypes of dependency and negative consumption effects. A mixed-method research design was utilized to explore the projected behavioral response to UBI of current and former recipients of traditional assistance, in regard to themselves and others. Responses indicate that the majority of participants would not alter their current work arrangements and would rather plan for future financial stability while assuming that other Americans would quit working and spend the money irresponsibly. These results suggest that even among welfare recipients, neoliberal and conservative narratives of dependency and irrationality persist.
      PubDate: 2022-06-01
       
  • Politicized Social Work Future — A Quantitative Study Comparing Social
           Work Students’ Voluntary Political Participation in Austria, Germany,
           and Switzerland

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      Abstract: Abstract This quantitative study focuses on the political engagement of social work students by comparing the extent of voluntary political participation and the factors that influence this type of engagement among Austrian (n = 197), German (n = 2998), and Swiss students (n = 453). Findings indicate that Swiss students are most engaged in political activities, followed by Austrian and German participants. Consistent with the findings of previous scholarship, the results of this study show that social work students prefer to participate in passive activities rather than in active forms of political participation. The study identifies internal political efficacy, political ideology, political interest, membership, and the country of residence as main factors influencing voluntary political participation among social work students. Along with similarities among the countries, this article also identifies and discusses differences between the three countries. Finally, ideas for future research directions are discussed based on the findings of this study.
      PubDate: 2022-04-13
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-022-00057-2
       
  • Demographic, Economic, and Geographic Factors Associated with Uptake of
           the Earned Income Tax Credit

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      Abstract: Abstract The US federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is an economic support program for low- and moderate-income workers. About 80% of individuals eligible for the EITC participate in the program. However, improving awareness and full uptake of the EITC program has proven a challenge, and few studies have examined factors associated with EITC participation. The purpose of this study was to use county-level data to model the association of demographic, geographic, and economic factors with EITC participation rates in North Carolina from 2010 to 2017. We calculated three rates of EITC uptake: per capita, per persons in poverty, and per persons with low-income. Multilevel linear growth modeling was used to examine between-county variability in within-county trajectories of change in EITC uptake. County rurality and proximity to Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites were not associated with EITC participation. We found no evidence that residents of urban and rural counties had differences in EITC uptake but findings suggest that counties with larger proportions of African American, Hispanic, and Native American individuals had higher levels of uptake. Our findings have implications for policymakers and researchers seeking to understand EITC participation and set an empirical foundation for future research.
      PubDate: 2022-04-06
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-022-00054-5
       
  • Policy Mapping of US Congressional Proposals on Climate Change: Informing
           Social Work Advocacy

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      Abstract: Abstract Climate change is a major threat to health and well-being, rendering it a critical social justice and policy issue for social work to address. Social workers have a window of opportunity to pursue federal policies that protect people, ensure basic needs, and advance social justice in the face of the climate crisis. This study aims to inform social work advocacy and action on climate change at the US congressional level. Policy mapping methodology is used to examine congressional trends (2011–2021) and the status and scope of climate-related proposals from the 116th US Congress (2019–2021) that also recognize socially vulnerable or minoritized groups. Forty-one proposals met the study criteria for the 116th US Congress. The most frequently identified groups were people in poverty or with low income, Indigenous or Tribal groups, and groups related to gender and women. Proposals varied in the extent of their focus on climate change, and 11 had some form of bipartisan support. Strategies for climate change mitigation tended to be more specific than for adaptation to it. Most proposals required federal appropriations, which may be a barrier to proposal progress. Given the unfolding climate crisis and its disproportionate harm to some groups more so than others, social workers should advocate for policies that equitably protect people in the face of climate change. Next steps for congressional advocacy can include raising awareness, calling for committee hearings, providing testimony at hearings, building relationships with Congressional representatives, and pursuing bipartisan support for legislation.
      PubDate: 2022-03-30
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-022-00055-4
       
  • Youth Detrimentally Affected by Exclusionary Immigration Policies: a Call
           to Action for Social Work Practice and Education

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      Abstract: Abstract The exclusionary immigration policies in the USA negatively impact the health and wellbeing of undocumented immigrant youth or those who have parents with undocumented status. This note briefly explains how these youth, who have already endured significant trauma and are at greater risk of poor outcomes, face hurdles in accessing prevention and intervention services mainly because of restrictive immigration policies. It further argues that such policies are in contrast to the core values of the social work profession and its mission to help meet the basic human needs of all people. Finally, social workers and educators are called to actively respond to those unmet needs through policy advocacy, direct service provision, and training the future and current workforce.
      PubDate: 2022-03-24
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-022-00053-6
       
  • The Effect of Work Requirements on Mental Health of Subsidized Housing
           Recipients: Evidence from the Housing Authority of Champaign County,
           Illinois

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      Abstract: Abstract This study examines the early effect of work requirements on mental health of subsidized housing recipients. The Housing Authority of Champaign County (HACC) enforced work requirements for working-aged and non-disabled recipients and supported their transition to work with case management services. In addition, non-compliance with work requirements might result in the loss of housing subsidy. We collected survey data 1 year prior to and 1 year following the implementation of HACC’s work requirements to compare changes in mental health measures between work-able recipients who were and were not subject to work requirements. We calculate the average treatment effects on the treated estimates obtained from difference-in-differences with propensity score matching to control potential bias stemming from unobserved time-invariant variables and support the model’s parallel trend assumption. Our main results show that, during the early phase of work requirements, impacted heads of households were predicted to increase depression scores and decrease hopefulness scores relative to changes in mental health measures of the matched control groups over the same period. Recipients’ mental health would play a critical role in the success of HACC’s self-sufficiency strategies, and therefore the housing authority may strengthen the transition of hard-to-employ recipients into the workforce by offering careful assessment and screening to identify recipients with serious mental health problems or other employment barriers and reinforcing their access to supportive health and social services.
      PubDate: 2022-03-09
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-022-00052-7
       
  • “It’s Not a Cookie-Cutter Scenario Anymore”: the COVID-19 Pandemic
           and Transitioning to Virtual Work

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      Abstract: Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic forced human services agencies, including child support agencies, to find ways to continue providing services. Many agencies considered changes to where and how staff work, in addition to new modalities for service provision. This paper explores how five Wisconsin child support agencies approached staff work arrangements and service delivery during the pandemic; challenges and opportunities encountered; changes agencies expect to persist; and implications for policy and practice. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with child support directors and staff in five Wisconsin counties between January and February, 2021. Data were analyzed thematically. Despite limited information and little prior experience working virtually, county agencies rapidly adapted staff work arrangements and service delivery methods to facilitate service continuity. Strategies used by agencies varied across counties, given local directives, resources, and constraints, and as the pandemic evolved. Despite variation, counties contended with a similar array of decision points, including changes to physical spaces, office closures, and staff work locations. Agencies also implemented creative strategies to connect with customers and keep services accessible. Findings suggest that innovative combinations of traditional and newer methods can help agencies maximize reach. Further, the infrastructure and experiences counties gained by working in new ways offer increased flexibility and improved capacity for service continuity in the future. Policymakers could support these efforts by providing guidance related to confidentiality and data security; supporting and facilitating crisis contingency planning; coordinating information exchanges; procuring technology and resources; and advocating for infrastructure, particularly broadband internet.
      PubDate: 2022-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-022-00050-9
       
  • The Two Pandemics: the Disparate Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the
           K-Shaped Recovery

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      Abstract: Abstract When Covid-19 appeared in the USA at the beginning of 2020, there was no treatment or vaccine. The only way to deal with the virus was containment, which resulted in business and agency closures. The impact on the economy was enormous, particularly on the lives of minorities and financially vulnerable people. The present study investigated the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of vulnerable people through qualitative interviews of major social service and healthcare agencies. The results show how the pandemic furthered existing disparities in access to a variety of services and supports.
      PubDate: 2022-02-25
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-022-00048-3
       
  • Service Providers as Street-Level Bureaucrats: Evidence of Rationing
           Services and Discriminating Among Clients in Northern Ghana

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      Abstract: Abstract This article employs Michael Lipsky’s Street-Level Bureaucrat framework to examine two discretionary practices — rationing services and client discrimination — adopted by service providers of the Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP). The article’s primary focus is to demonstrate how these two discretionary practices impact the delivery of the GSFP. To achieve this objective, 25 in-depth semi-structured interviews with service providers of the GSFP were conducted. Through thematic analysis, the paper found evidence of service providers in Northern Ghana rationing services and discriminating among the clients of the GSFP as a coping strategy to the structural and financial challenges they encounter in their line of work. By presenting empirical evidence on the impact of discretionary practices on policy implementation, the paper underscores the critical role played by frontline staff in determining the success or failure of public programs. Thus, the paper contributes to public and social policy literature by bringing into focus developing countries’ experience in implementing social policy within a context of implementation challenges. This is important because most social policy research dwells a lot on cases from the Global North — this paper gives us further insights into policy implementation and confirms earlier research.
      PubDate: 2022-02-24
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-022-00051-8
       
  • Problem-Based Learning in Social Policy Class: a Semester-Long Project
           Within Organizational Policy Practice

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      Abstract: Abstract Social work educators are challenged to engage students in social policy classes and inspire their interest in policy practice. Despite the profession’s ethical commitments to social justice and social and political action, there is less interest in policy practice among social work students and practitioners. This exploratory qualitative study reviews an undergraduate policy course designed as a semester-long, problem-based learning project to effect organizational policy change within students’ own campus community. The study is based on a series of student focus groups and analysis of students’ written assignments in a junior-level social policy class. Over the semester, students gained insights and skills in leadership, teaming, and policy practice. Students also identified overarching benefits including exposure to real-life policy, professional preparation, and personal investment in their projects and learning. Students were challenged by problem-based learning, particularly by the self-directed workload and time demands. Social work educators may increase students’ interest in policy practice by utilizing innovative, experiential teaching methods focused on skill development to build competence and confidence. Findings may encourage educators to apply more experiential and problem-based learning in policy classes to increase student engagement, skill development, and interest in future policy practice.
      PubDate: 2022-02-24
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-022-00047-4
       
  • The Multiple Streams Framework: Understanding and Applying the Problems,
           Policies, and Politics Approach

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      PubDate: 2022-02-22
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-022-00049-2
       
  • Corporal and Cognizant Barriers to Voting: the Impact of COVID-19 on the
           2020 Election Season in St. Louis

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      Abstract: Abstract In 2020, two key elections in St. Louis, Missouri, took place in the midst of the intertwined pandemics of COVID-19 and racialized violence. Local community leaders in St. Louis emphasized a need to mobilize voters, particularly in communities of color, to engage in the elections in August and November 2020 as a tool for advancing health and racial equity. COVID-19 created a new set of barriers to voting. This study documents two typologies of challenges that organizers faced in their efforts to mobilize voters and increase participation in the election. The first is corporal — the use of one’s physical body and the risk within. The second is cognizant — the regulatory proficiency needed to navigate the shifting rules of the voting process. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of twenty-eight mobilizers working within low-income, poverty-impacted neighborhoods in St. Louis City and St. Louis County, which disproportionately consist of residents of color. Findings suggest COVID-19 created additional unforeseen barriers to voting. Corporal: Local ordinances that mandated limited in person gatherings and social distancing were serious obstacles to traditional voter mobilization efforts and created trepidation about in-person voting for fear of being exposed to the virus. Cognizant: The state of Missouri in an effort to address some of the public health concerns created additional rules for absentee or mail-in voting for limited populations with a complicated set of rules that confused mobilizers and voters.
      PubDate: 2022-01-15
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-021-00046-x
       
  • Early Incarceration, Marriage, and the Risk of Poverty Across the Life
           Course: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study

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      Abstract: Abstract This research examined whether the putative effect of incarceration on income poverty over the life course differs by marital status among a sample of male high school graduates. The purpose was to better understand the effects of imprisonment on a study population with relatively stronger economic prospects who have not been the focus of prior studies on the topic. Data were drawn from the 1975, 1992, and 2004 waves of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to yield an analytic sample of 2678 male high school graduates. We then estimated discrete-time hazard models to investigate (1) whether incarceration is associated with marital dissolution among married men, (2) whether incarceration is associated with marriage among unmarried men, and whether the effect of incarceration on income poverty differs by marital status among an aggregated sample of both married and unmarried men. Event history analysis revealed that men who experienced incarceration before age 25 were significantly more likely to fall into income poverty relative to men who were never incarcerated. However, men who experienced incarceration after marriage were also significantly more likely to separate or divorce, and unmarried men who experienced incarceration were significantly less likely to marry in the first place. The results imply that marriage as a path towards avoiding economic hardship in old age is seldom available to returning prisoners. Thus, the findings reinforce policy efforts aimed at education, job skills, and training as well as comprehensive family case management programs for formerly incarcerated individuals, couples, and families.
      PubDate: 2021-10-07
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-021-00043-0
       
  • Correction to: Examining the Early Impact of COVID-19 on Single-Parent
           TANF Caseloads: a Brief Analysis of New Jersey

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      PubDate: 2021-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-021-00044-z
       
  • Examining the Early Impact of COVID-19 on Single-Parent TANF Caseloads: a
           Brief Analysis of New Jersey

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      Abstract: Abstract Hard economic times often force a greater number of families to turn to public benefits and programs for financial help. These larger safety net caseloads are more diverse than those of strong economic times, including families who are brand-new to the safety net as well as families who, under different economic circumstances, may have needed only short-term assistance. These families may differ from traditional recipients in terms of characteristics and circumstances. To understand how the New Jersey single-parent Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) caseload changed in response to COVID-19 between April of 2019 and April of 2020, we conducted a two-step cluster analysis that identified six different types of families. Compared to the April 2019 (pre-pandemic) caseload, we found that the number of the TANF participants increased in April 2020 (during the COVID-19 pandemic). Interestingly, we also found that the largest proportional increases in the caseload were driven by single jobless adults who are older, have at least a high school education, do not have a disability, and have fewer and older children, while the largest declines were driven by single adults with a job. Taken together, it seems that single adults with relatively better demographic circumstances are having a harder time finding jobs, and so turned to or remained on TANF in April 2020. In response to the pandemic, some, but not all, states have relaxed or temporarily suspended TANF work requirements and time limits. Our findings suggest that such changes in TANF requirements reflect empirical changes in the caseload and merit further attention, particularly in terms of federal and state budget strain.
      PubDate: 2021-09-20
      DOI: 10.1007/s42972-021-00036-z
       
 
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