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Policy and Theory Policies are principles that guide decisions in organizations, governments, or other groups. Social policy, specifically, refers to those areas of policy that deal with human welfare and social services, such as education, health care, labor, civil rights, and economic welfare. For instance, social policy in the 19th and 20th centuries was designed to limit child labor in the United States. Unions, political organizations, and social workers advocated to end child slavery, reduce hours, and eventually achieve a complete ban on employment of children under 14 years of age with the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (Child Labor Public Education Project, 2011). This change in child labor policy could not have been possible without sound reasoning and theoretical support. Consider that until the early 20th century, child labor—for children as young as 5—was seen as natural and acceptable for many people. Looked at through the theory of social constructionism (though this is not the only theoretical lens the issue could be viewed through), one could see that child labor was constructed, perceived as acceptable, and institutionalized by society collectively. As such, it became institutionalized and ingrained in the fabric of society and was difficult to dispel. It did not, however, represent a universal or natural truth. Paradigms, theories, and social policy are used in tandem within the human and social services to continue to improve services and welfare for societies and individuals. When creating or reforming social policies, theoretical underpinnings and research give policymakers a foundation to advocate in the best interest of clients.
For this Discussion, you choose your own social policy to critique and consider theories that would support the creation or reform of your policy. Reference: Child Labor Public Education Project. (n.d.). Child labor in U.S. history. Retrieved from https://www.continuetolearn.uiowa.edu/laborctr/child_labor/about/us_history.html To Prepare Choose a social policy related to a human or social services program. Consider behavioral, cognitive, or social theories that support the creation or reform of this social policy
Post a brief description of the social policy related to the human or social services program you selected. Then explain one theory that supports the creation or reform of this social policy. Explain how the creation or reform of social policies can create social change. Be specific, and provide examples from the literature to support your post.
Bliss, S., & Rasmussen, B. (2013). Reflections on contemporary psychodynamic theory in clinical social work. Journal of Social Work Practice, 27(3), 211–215. Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Gentle-Genitty, C., Chen, H., Karikari, I., & Barnett, C. (2014). Social work theory and application to practice: The students’ perspectives. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 14(1), 36–47. Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Paat, Y. (2013). Working with immigrant children and their families. An application of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 23(8), 954–966. Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Poulter, J. (2005). Integrating theory and practice: A new heuristic paradigm for social work practice. Australian Social Work, 58(2), 199–212. Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Walden University Library. (2015a). Evaluating resources. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/library/evaluating Walden University Library. (2015b). Keyword searching. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/library/keyword/search-strategy Walden University Library. (2015c). Publication comparison chart. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/peerreviewvsscholarly
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