SOC WEL 112: Social Welfare Policy

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  • Susan Edwards
  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • Office Location: Education Psychology Library, 2600 Tolman Hall
  • Contact Info:

    510-643-6224

About this Guide

Sources for the social policy research paper -- which identifies a social problem and the policies in place to address the problem -- and then critiques those policies. The paper should emphasize federal and/or state policy rather than local policy.

This guide has been archived

Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see http://lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/course-guides. 

Find Books

UCB: Use OskiCat to find books related to your topic at UC Berkeley. Oskicat will show you where it's located, and will also show you the Library of Congress Subject Heading -- which can help you find material other relevant books.

UC: Not enough books  at Berkeley? Use Melvyl to find more books at other campuses in the UC system.  Clickon the REQUEST button (in the detailed view of a catalog record) to request the item through  Interlibrary Loan.

World: Still want more? You can search thousands of libraries through WorldCat on FirstSearch and then request the material through UC e-links or directly via Interlibrary Loan

Google Books: Library catalogs don't search inside of books. Google Books can help you identify the book you need, then click on "Find in a Library" to see if we have it.

Find Articles

We have hundreds of research databases which help you find articles (and more) on a wide variety of topics. They are organized according to academic discipline, by name, or by type of database (newspapers, articles, dissertations, etc.) A few of the core resources for this class are listed below.

Search Tips

Power search features for most article databases:

UC eLinks and Citation Linker

Sometimes the database you search doesn't link to the fulltext -- it only gives the citation. Click the UC e-links button to see if Berkeley has it online, and if not, it will check for a print version.  And if we don't have it at all, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.

What if there isn't a UC e-links button??? Sometimes you find an article in a bibliography, a book or a footnote -- and you want to see if we have it. The Citation Linker searches through our online databases to see if it's available fulltext. If not, it sets up a search for the paper journal in Melvyl. And if we don't have it at Berkeley, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Federal Policy

This definition of social policy from the Dictionary of Sociology, may help clarify what a policy is, and how it's different from a plan or a program that implements a policy.

The Green Book (in progress) is a FANTASTIC resource for federal programs. It provides updated statistics and information on programs such as Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment Compensation, Foster Care and welfare. Additionally, it includes a discussion of related issues, such as the well-being of the elderly and of children and families. (If the program you're interested in hasn't been updated yet, you can also try the 2004 Green Book.)

LexisNexis Congressional contains congressional documents (hearings, committee prints, documents, and legislative histories) which are searchable through this fulltext database.

Polisphere a very helpful custom search engine -- lets you search the web for policy related issues, and you can refine your search by limiting it to policy organizations, or federal, state, or local government.

MetaLib and USA.gov are two ways to search a variety of US Government sources at one time.

LexisNexis Government Periodicals Index Indexes over 170 periodicals published by agencies of the US Government.

News Sources

News sources can be a great way to find information about  federal and state social and educational policies. There are numerous sources of fulltext news, some available freely on the web. The ones below are all databases that we pay for, they each have specialized features.

Lexis Nexis Tips

  1. Use truncation (wildcard) to search different forms of the word (child* retrieves child, child's, children)
  2. Use 'proximity connectors' -- w/[number], for example (youth or adolescent or teen*) w/25 homeless*. (You can also use w/s for within sentence, or w/p for within paragraph but you can't also combine these with number of words.
  3. Change the display to Expanded List -- shows you your search terms, plus a few words on either side.
  4. Change display to Relevance if it is on Chronological (if date is really important to you, restrict to the date range you want in the search box).

Connecting from Off Campus?

You can access UCB Library resources from off campus or via your laptop or other mobile device using one of two simple methods. (NOTE: Using EndNote? Use VPN, not the Proxy Server)

Proxy Server
After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID or Library PIN when you click on the link to a licensed resource. See the setup instructions, FAQ, and Troubleshooting pages to configure your browser.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)
After you install and run the VPN "client" software on your computer, you can log in with a CalNet ID to establish a secure connection with the campus network.

Google Scholar and UC e-links

  1. Set up your proxy server access by following the directions at http://proxy.lib.berkeley.edu/. When you get to a point where you are accessing resources that the Library pays for, you will be prompted for your CalNet ID and password.
  2. Change your “Scholar Preferences.” Access these by clicking on the link next to the search box. 
  3. In search box next to "Library Links," type in University of California Berkeley and click on “Find Library”
  4. Check box next to "University of California Berkeley - UC-eLinks
  5. Click on "Save Preferences" at bottom of page

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Campus Library Map

Click on the image below to see a larger interactive version of the campus library map.

UC Berkeley Library campus map

You can also view/download a PDF map of library locations. For library contact information and building addresses, visit our directory.

Starting Points

The Statistical Abstract of the United States is a great compilation of national statistics from many sources -- government and private. It also is used as an index, or finding tool, to find the source of the statistics.

The Green Book is the standard reference for social policy and federal entitlement programs. It includes descriptions of the program descriptions and historical data on a wide variety of social and economic topics. 

Looking for data about children? Kids Count Data Center from Annie E. Casey provides additional data not covered in Factfinder -- such as rate of substantiated child abuse and number of hours of television watched. You can drill down on some of the indicators to county and city level data.

Demographics of people with and without health insurance coverage is tracked by Census Bureau through three surveys. A national snapshot is available of Income, Poverty and Health Insurance in the United States.

The U.S. Census Bureau provides local, state and national statistics relating to poverty, educational attainment, overcrowded housing, single parent families, grandparents raising grandchildren, etc. Much of the data can be "cross-tabulated" by another variable such as race/ethnicity, gender, immigrant status, language or age. American FactFinder is the main entry point. This isn't as easy to use as it should be -- ask your librarian if you'd like help!

Importing from CSA to RefWorks

Importing from Social Services Abstracts (or any CSA database) into RefWorks

  1. Search CSA Social Services Abstracts.
  2. Select the desired references by checking the box to the left of each citation.
  3. After all the desired citations have been selected, click on RefWorks
  4. You will be asked if you want the records added, if so click on Export to RefWorks. (If you have a pop up blocker, it will then confirm that you do want to open RefWorks.)
  5. RefWorks then displays the last citations you added, and you can choose to add them to a specific folder . Or you can just leave them in the Last Imported folder. (If you want to create a new folder, just click on Folder and the drop down arrow will let you select make a new one.

RefWorks with Oskicat

Search OskiCat. Once you have records you want to export, if you are:

A. Viewing a list of results, check the box to the left of each record you wish to add to RefWorks, then click Save Selected Records, or

B. Viewing an individual record, click the Save Records button near the top of the window and then:

  1. Click the View Saved button near the top of the window
  2. Click Export Saved
  3. Select EndNote/RefWorks under Format of List
  4. Select Screen under Send List To
  5. Click Submit
  6. Use your browser’s Select All function, then Copy
  7. Open another browser window and access your RefWorks Account.
  8. Click References from the drop-down menu and select Import
  9. In the drop-down menu next to Import Filter/Data Source, choose Innovative Interfaces (EndNote/RefWorks Format)
  10. For Database, choose University of California, Berkeley
  11. In Import References into Folder, choose the desired folder, if you have already created a folder into which you want these references to import.  If not, make no selection here
  12. Click Import
  13. Select the radio button next to Import Data from the following Text.
  14.  Put your cursor in the box below Import Data from the following Text and select Edit > Paste in your browser.
  15. By default, all newly imported references appear in the Last Imported folder. Under View / Folders, select your folder to see the citations you just imported.  Note the UC-eLinks icon next to each reference.

Thanks to the Public Health Library for creating this guide!

Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.  Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but any are easier than doing it by hand! The Library offers workshops on Endnote, Zotero, and Refworks! Or contact your librarian for individual help.

  1. Zotero: A free plug-in that works with the Firefox browser, or with other browsers via a standalone version: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service (for up to 300 mb). The library has created this handy guide to using Zotero.
  2. RefWorks - free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
  3. EndNote: may be purchased from UC Berkeley's Software Central for about $80.

It's always good to double check the formatting -- sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.

Evidence Based Practice

Evidence Based Practice, to quote Professor Gambrill, is "a new educational and practice paradigm for closing the gaps between research and practice to maximize opportunities to help clients and avoid harm.”

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