Social Work - Part 1

This is a Social Work research guide. It offers a variety of information to help you with your research needs

Introduction and Social Welfare Problem/Time

Questions to address:

  1. Describe the social welfare problem and the societal importance of this problem.
  2. Discuss why this social problem was a concern at the time, consider:
    • How many individuals or groups were begin affected to the point that a law was passed to address it?
    • Describe events, influences that affected public opinion to act.
    • Who/what political party or groups advocated for the bill to pass?
  3. Summarize findings and provide conclusions, including reflections about what you learned and how the information affected your perspective and attitudes about the social welfare problem and policy.


  • ProQuest Congressional - find your original law, amendments, recent version, and congress proceedings and cases related to our law/problem
  • Google search for searching several government websites at once
    • (food stamps OR SNAP OR supplemental nutritional assistance program)
  • SocINDEX - One of the best databases for looking at social work and sociology-focused, scholarly work.
  • Academic Search Complete - Well-regarded scholarly database that is multi-discplinary.
  • America's Newspapers - find information from other 2,000 newspapers including by state. 
  • Alice Catalog - searching for books and government reports on your law/problem
    • ex. Search keywords in any field: Food stamps OR SNAP
  • CQ Researcher - basically this is a more legitimate version of Wikipedia and a good place to look for background information on topics/problems.
  • LexisNexis - especially good for news, legal sources, and business. Includes national and regional newspapers, wire services, broadcast transcripts, international news, and non-English language sources.
  • ArticlesPlus - first green tab on library's main page. Can search by topic and find books, newspapers, videos, articles, etc. on topic. You will get a lot of results, but you can narrow down to specific kinds of information. Does not search everything the library has, but a good place to start.

Example from Exemplar Paper

Below are quotes, segments, etc. from the Exemplar Paper that directly apply to some of the questions to address.

With the “baby boom” came a need for children and family services, especially of those families living at or below the poverty line. Of children living in rural poverty, 50% failed to complete the 8th grade (Humphrey, 1964). Unfortunately, most of this poverty was completely hidden to the middle and upper classes until the early 60s, when awareness began to emerge (Vinovskis, 2005).

One in six of the nation’s children lived in poverty (Humphrey, 1964).

In John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign, he promised social reform in the areas of education and medical insurance (Jansson, 2015). After Kennedy’s assassination in November of 1963, his vice president Lyndon B. Johnson announced his plans to create a “great society” in his state of the union address given on January 8, 1964 (Head Start: An Office of the Administration for Children and Families Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge, 2015). Johnson believed that providing education was key to fighting poverty (Head Start: An Office of the Administration for Children and Families Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge, 2015). 

The Economic Opportunities Act of 1964 was passed, which created the Office of Economic Opportunities in the Executive Office, which was directed by Sargent Shriver (Economic Opportunities Act of 1964). This allowed President Johnson to mobilize the United States’ resources in order to launch his war on poverty, which included poverty relief programs such as Job Corps, Vista, Urban/Rural Community, Community Action Agencies, and Project Head Start (California Health and Human Services Agency, 2015).


California Health and Human Services Agencies (2015). History. Retrieved from

Humphrey, H. H. (1964). War on poverty. Toronto, New York, McGraw-Hill (1964).

Head Start: An Office of the Administration for Children and Families Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge (2015). Head Start Timeline. Retrieved from