SW209: The Welfare State and Social Welfare Policy

Policy Analysis Assignment

Due: February 22, 2021 (Week 6) – 20% of semester grade


The effectiveness of social policy is a critical consideration for evidence-based social work policy practice. Social workers must be able to identify social policy that impacts well-being, service delivery, and access to social services; assess how policies impact the delivery of and access to social services; and be able analyze the history and impact of social policy. This policy analysis paper provides students with the opportunity to critically analyze some aspect of a federal policy, using the Karger & Stoez policy analysis framework (See Chapter 3; there is a helpful chart on p. 51).


Develop a 5-7 page paper, not including references, charts, or a cover page. It must be typed and follow APA format (12-point font, double-spaced, standard margins) and include proper in-text citations and references. Your paper must cite as your primary resources at least six academic articles and three on-line websites dealing with social policy (for a minimum of at least 9 sources). Please use the headings as indicated in the assignment.


The Policy Analysis Assignment


1) Choose an existing Federal policy related to social policy (Chapters 9 through 17 in Karger & Stoez are a good place to find ideas for these policies).


2) Introduction (Heading)

a. Description of the Social Policy (Heading)

i. Name of legislation, when introduced, and by whom?

ii. What does the statute state?

iii. Briefly describe the following… (These will be covered more in-depth in Part 2)

1. What is the overall mission or goal of the social policy (and or program)?

2. Who is covered and how?

3. What does the policy provide? How is it expected to work?

b. Description of the Social Problem (Heading)

i. What social problem is the policy attempting to address?

ii. Who is affected by this problem and how?

iii. How widespread is the problem? How many people does it impact? What are the most recent statistics? Who is primarily impacted by this issue? Why might that be?

iv. What are the causes of the problem?

c. Historical Background of the Social Policy (Heading)

i. How has this social problem been addressed in the past? Did that fail or need to be changed? How?

ii. Legislative history of social policy, when did it originate? Has it changed over time? i.e. Reauthorizations?

iii. How does this policy fill that gap?

d. Karger & Stoez Framework (Heading)

i. Brief description of how the Karger & Stoez (2008) framework fits with your policy.


3) Components of Policy Analysis Framework (Heading)

a. This section of your paper will focus on Part 4 of the Karger & Stoez (2008) framework—“The Policy Analysis.”

b. You must provide a clear understanding of Element 1—Policy Goals, using the questions provided by the framework to guide your analysis. Label this section with the heading, “Policy Goals.”

c. Then you choose two other elements to further analyze the policy. Use the questions provided by the framework to guide your analysis. Label these sections accordingly. Pick two of the following:

i. Political Feasibility,

ii. Economic Feasibility, and

iii. Administrative Feasibility.

d. Present your analysis of the policy using the various components included in the framework. Support your analysis with information from peer-reviewed journal articles, books, reports, government documents, etc.


4) Conclusion (Heading)

a. Briefly summarize your thoughts & conclusion to the policy analysis.

b. How did this analysis impact your overall learning?

c. How did this assignment help you in relation to the course readings and materials?



Policy Analysis Evaluation

Evaluation of this assignment will be based on how clearly you respond to the above criteria, in particular:


a) The clarity with which you introduce and describe the policy (5 points);

b) The depth, scope, and organization of your analysis of the social policy, as outlined using a specific framework (5 points);

c) Your ability to incorporate research & class materials to substantiate your analysis (5 points);

d) Completeness (2.5 points); and

e) The quality and proficiency of your writing (2.5 points).

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