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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 Social Policy.docx

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McMaster University
Social Work
Sandra Preston

1 Social Work 1A06: Introduction to Social Work Nov. 12 2012 Lecture 9: Social Policy Notes: - Fierce Light will be shown in the last class before the exam for those who haven’t seen it - Discussion groups will take place next term for the extra credit book and movie Social policy - What is social policy o All about social purposes and the choices btw them o Form the base that directs the goals and objectives of various groups that deliver social services - Why is it important o Social policy impacts practice/service/resources which impacts the context of our daily lives - Levels of social policy o Global o National o Provincial o Local - Shared social responsibilities o Federal  Tend to be resp for those things that are nation wide o Provincial  Resp for most social issues o Municipal  Resp for local things  Sewage, public transit, animal control etc.  Municipalities are often resp for delivering programs, even if they are funded by the province (provincial responsibility) o Taxation  Federal has a lot more power over this than the provincial  They can impose any kind of tax they want  Resp for things like corporate taxes  Provinces limited to direct taxation  Income/sales/property  Municipal is limited to property taxes  People with the most resp have the least money o Municipalities have the most resp/least money  The shell game 2  The federal, provincial and municipal gov’t play this game about responsibility o Point the finger at each other, it’s not our problem, it’s those guys fault o Push blame around  In that way, the issue doesn’t get dealt with  Downloading o Because municiplaities are born by the provincial gov’t, the prov can do things like throw resp on the municipalities  E.g. housing  Municiplaities get burdened by things they don’t have the ability to deal with quite yet  Who gets blamed when this doesn’t get dealt with? - The social policy process o Agenda setting  policy determination  implementation  evaluation  Agenda setting: deciding what we are going to change/going to create social policy about  Complicated: has to be either driven by the public (public issue that becomes of interest to the politicans) or driven by the politican o Decides which things are going to be on the agenda that year  Agenda: what is important and what needs to be dealt with o Important question  who gets to decide?  Canadian soc:  The gov’t – cabinet  Ordinary people o Through activism  Rallying, boycott, petitions, media events, voting, unions, letters to the MP or MPP  If you write a letter to an MP or MPP, they calculate that 50-60 people feel the way that you do o Various ways to get things on the social polic agenda  Formal and informal ways o How do issues become the subject of policy dev or change?  Public discourse  Convo in public between media & everybody else o Advocacy groups etc. 3 o Makes people/politicians pat attn.  Academic discourse  Research in universities o Raise issues  Public service  Those who work in the gov’t (not by election)  Bring about things they see as important  Influence of elites  Rich white men as the stereotype for this group  Final decision is politicans  So us? Because we vote in the politicans  These politicans make decisions within constraints  Policy determination  Policy proposals come from various areas o Policy institutes  One of the richest areas policy comes from  Tend to be on a polictical continuum  E.g. fraser institute – on the right, Canadian centre for policy alternatives – on the left o Advocacy groups o Public service  Gov’t sees these alternatives, decide which alternative to put into place  Implementation  Can have the best policy everrrrrrr but still have to go through process of implementation to get it out there  Various ways it happens, or doesn’t o Legislation  Sets social policy  Taking social policy and putting it into the law  Determines law, but also determines things to do with social assistance, child welfare, how young offenders should be dealt with outside of the criminal justice system  Regulation  About how the law will be implemented  Very strict guidelines about how certain things should happen o E.g. Child and Family Services Act has all kinds of regulations that determine how 4 things like the children’s aid soc should work o Judicial Processes  Interprets the law, figures out how they think it should be implemented  Supreme court can totally disagree with your law o In Canada – gov’t has supreme authority, so if this happens, it is up to the gov’t to figure out if they want to invent a better law that will get thru the courts o Back and forth process between the judiciary and the gov’t  The way that a law is interpreted can impact social policy o By individuals  E.g. child and family services act  Don’t have the person who wrote that law dealing with family and children – it is social workers doing that – they interpret the law everyday  The front line o The people providing the service o Lots of things btw making that perfect policy and having it enacted in real time with real people  Evaluation process  All policies go thru evaluation process o First – does it work – does it do what you intended it to do?  All of our gov’ts
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