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You can still access the UC Berkeley Library’s services and resources during the closure. Here’s how.

Social Welfare 110: Social Work as a Profession: Home


This course requires a term paper in which you analyze the ways that a social worker may address a particular social welfare problem that is important to you, and that you can imagine yourself engaging with in your future career. Only choose one problem, but describe two specific ways that the social work profession attempts to solve the problem.

What Social Workers Do:

According to the NASW's section on practice, "Social work practice consists of the professional application of social work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve social and health services; and participating in legislative processes."

Starting Points

Encyclopedia of Social Work from the National Association of Social Workers and Oxford University Press -- a great starting place.

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Social Work --  leading scholars identify the most important and significant sources in the area of social work to address social problems..

Comprehensive Handbook of Social Work and Social Welfare

Find Articles

The Berkeley Libraries subscribes to hundreds of databases organized by subject and format (news, data, dissertations, etc.) Below are some of the core resources in this field.

Government Documents

The Green Book (2018)  is a key resource for federal programs. It provides updated statistics and information on programs such as Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment Compensation, Foster Care and welfare. Additionally, it includes a discussion of related issues, such as the well-being of the elderly and of children and families.

Congressional Publications contains congressional documents (hearings, committee prints, documents, and legislative histories) which are searchable through this fulltext database. CRS Research Reports are particularly helpful for overviews of federal policies on an array of topics.

Government Documents includes a vast amount of information at the state, federal and international level. More information on specific areas can be found through these guides by UC Berkeley librarians.