Social Welfare Policy and Social Work in the United States

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This article introduces social welfare policy in the United States and the major theories employed by the social work profession. From the Colonial Poor Laws, through the Social Security Act of 1935, to Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, this article describes the ways in which social welfare policy in the United States has evolved over time. Also described is the origin of the social work profession including the Charity Organization Societies (COS) and Settlement House Movements and their strengths and limitations in enhancing the well-being of individuals. Using resilience theory, the article introduces the empowerment tradition of social work practice that promotes reciprocity between individuals and their environment. By reflecting on the experiences of the United States, I hope social workers in China can examine their own social welfare policies and social work practice approaches. Such an effort will enhance the ability of social workers to promote a harmonious society that ensures the well-being of its people.

Original Citation

Lee, J. (2013). 美国的社会福利政策及其社会工作 [Social Welfare Policy and Social Work in the United States]. Journal of Hangzhou Normal University, 6, 99-104.

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