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African Americans: Overview  

Larry E. Davis, John M. Wallace Jr., and Trina R. Williams Shanks

African Americans have been a part of the nation's history for nearly four hundred years. Although their history includes the forced imposition of chattel slavery, the strict enforcement ... More

African American Social Welfare History  

Iris Carlton-LaNey

This article discusses the African American social welfare system that began to develop during the early 20th century. This social welfare system, designed by African Americans to serve ... More

American Social Security System  

Eric R. Kingson, Dana Bell, and Sarah Shive

This entry examines why our nation’s Social Security system was built, what it does, and what must be done to maintain and improve this foundational system for current and future ... More

Asset Building Toward Inclusive Policy  

Michael Sherraden, Lissa Johnson, Margaret M. Clancy, Sondra G. Beverly, Margaret Sherrard Sherraden, Mark Schreiner, William Elliot III, Trina R. Williams Shanks, Deborah Adams, Jami Curley, Jin Huang, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Yunju Nam, Min Zhan, and Chang-Keun Han

Since 1991, a new policy discussion has arisen in the United States and other countries, focusing on building assets as a complement to traditional social policy based on income. In fact, ... More

Capacity Development and Building  

DeBrenna LaFa Agbényiga

As a profession, social workers must understand and work well within the realms of capacity development. This understanding is important because it provides a foundation for working at the ... More

Community Economic Development  

Margaret Sherrard Sherraden and Lisa Reyes Mason

Community economic development (CED) is an integrated and community-driven approach to development aimed at generating wealth, capabilities, and empowerment in low-income and low-wealth ... More

Disparities and Inequalities  

King Davis and Hyejin Jung

Online publication date:
Jun 2013
This entry defines the term disparity as measurable differences between groups on a number of indices. The term disparity originated in France in the 16th century and has been used as a ... More

Disproportionality and Disparities  

Rowena Fong, Ruth McRoy, and Alan Dettlaff

Online publication date:
Jun 2014
Racial disproportionality and disparities are problems affecting children and families of color in the child welfare, juvenile justice, education, mental-health, and health-care systems. ... More

Early Childhood Home Visiting  

Melissa Lim Brodowski, Jacqueline Counts, and Aislinn Conrad-Hiebner

This chapter provides an overview of early-childhood home-visiting programs and offers a brief summary of the research, policy, and practice issues. The first section defines home visiting ... More

Earned Income Tax Credit  

Melinda Lewis and Sondra G. Beverly

Online publication date:
Jun 2013
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit for working families with low and moderate incomes. The credit provides a substantial income supplement to families ... More

Economic Insecurity and Family Well-Being  

Janice Berry-Edwards

Online publication date:
Feb 2015
Economic insecurity and family Well-Being is a growing concern for American society. With the dramatic changes that occurred following the “great recession” of 2008, and the lingering ... More

Economic Justice  

Louise Simmons

Social work often refers to economic justice but rarely considers what economic justice truly entails. This article specifies a number of areas that comprise economic justice issues and ... More

Economics and Social Welfare  

Michael Anthony Lewis

Online publication date:
Jun 2013
This article covers basic economic concepts, as well as their relevance to social welfare policy. It defines economics, and follows this with discussions of microeconomic concepts, such as ... More

Employment and Unemployment  

Michelle Livermore

Online publication date:
Jun 2013
Different types of employment and unemployment are defined and the measurement of these concepts is illustrated. Unemployment trends among different groups in the United States are ... More

Financial Capability  

Margaret Sherrard Sherraden

Online publication date:
Feb 2017
Financial capability combines the ability to act with the opportunity to act in ways that contribute to financial functioning. As large numbers of people struggle to manage their household ... More

Food (In)Security  

Maryah Stella Fram

This entry provides an overview of current knowledge and thinking about the nature, causes, and consequences of food insecurity as well as information about the major policies and programs ... More

Foster Care  

Joyce E. Everett

Social work has long been involved in child foster care. Though its initial involvement de-emphasized the importance of infant–caregiver attachment, Bowlby’s theory of attachment is ... More

Fundraising for Human-Services Nonprofits  

Kirsten A. Grønbjerg

Of the 1.6 million tax-exempt organizations registered with the IRS as of March 2012, about one-fourth are human service nonprofits, including some 254,100 charities with about $134.5 ... More

Homelessness  

Yin-Ling Irene Wong

This entry provides an overview of contemporary homelessness as a major social problem in the United States, focusing on the definition of homelessness and its prevalence, as well as on ... More

Housing  

Tracy M. Soska

Housing, especially homeownership and affordable housing, remains essential to the American Dream but also among our most challenging social issues, particularly given the collapse of the ... More

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