Social Work *: Policy and Legislation Resources

Library resources for the social work profession.

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Use the resources below to find research, legislation, and policy reports from research centers, think tanks, advocacy groups. 

Finding Federal and State Legislation and Policies

Finding policies and policy information often involves strategic searching. This section includes some effective tips for finding federal and state policies: 

  • For STATE policies, you can do a Google search or go directly to a state's legislature website. 
    • In Google, include the topic and state you are looking and limit your search to .gov websites. For example: homelessness mental health California site: .gov
    • The California State Senate website includes legislation being considered – legislative calendars, details on policy committees, helpful resources, live-streamed and archived videos, information on each of the Senators who represent the state’s 40 districts.

Finding Statistics and Data

Data is the raw information that is analyzed to create statistics, or interpreted data. Data can be numerical, or qualitative (interviews, opinion data, etc). 

Journal and Newspaper Articles

Articles provide research and analysis of a particular topic. Journal articles are more in-depth and specialized. Newspaper articles can provide the latest information about a topic. Use the recommended resources below to find articles on your topic. 

Journal Articles/Dissertations/Book Reviews
Newspaper Articles

Social Services Abstracts

Contains current research focused on social work, social welfare, social policy and community development.

ProQuest News and Newspapers

Contains articles from local and regional news in the U.S. across publications.

Social Work Abstracts

Covers social work and social services, including juvenile justice, the war on drugs, and foster care.

Los Angeles Times

National, international and local news from 1985-present

Google Scholar

Covers a broad range of subjects and issues. Includes book chapters, peer-reviewed articles and dissertations.

New York Times

Coverage of national and international news, plus coverage of important speeches and documents, Supreme Court decisions, and presidential press conference transcripts


Related Research Guides

Policy Briefs and Reports

Use these resources (databases and websites) to find background information, analysis and current developments of the policy you are researching, and for examples of policy briefs.

Think Tanks, Research Centers, and Policy Organizations