Departmental Papers (SPP)

The School of Social Policy & Practice contributes to the advancement of more effective, efficient and humane human services through education, research and civic engagement. In pursuit of this mission, our theory-based masters and doctoral programs in social work, social welfare, non-profit leadership and social policy encourage students to think and work across disciplinary lines and cultures as well as across national and international boundaries. The pursuit of social justice is at the heart of the School’s knowledge-building activities. Our innovative educational and research programs reinforce our vision of active student engagement in their own learning as well as that of social agencies and larger social collectivities organized at the local, national and international levels.




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Now showing 1 - 10 of 230
  • Publication
    Individual and Organizational Factors in the Interchangeability of Paid Staff and Volunteers: Perspectives of Volunteers
    (2014-01-01) Mook, Laurie; Farrell, Eddie; Chum, Anthony; Handy, Femida; Schugurensky, Daniel; Quarter, Jack
    This study builds upon earlier studies of the degree of interchangeability between volunteers and paid staff in nonprofit organizations. While these earlier studies were from an organization perspective, this study is from the perspective of volunteers, and looks at individual and organizational characteristics in all types of organizations—nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies, and others. The findings indicate that 10.8% of volunteers reported replacing a paid staff member, 3.1% permanently. Volunteers also reported being replaced by paid staff: 7.6% reported being replaced, 2.1% permanently. The study suggests that organizations utilize a co-production model and appear to interchange their paid staff and volunteers when needed in tasks requiring higher-level skills.
  • Publication
    Towards a Practice-based Model for Community Practice: Linking Theory and Practice
    (2012-03-01) Cnaan, Ram A; Boehm, Amnon
    Careful examination of the literature of community practice shows that existing community practice models do not ad- equately respond to the unique and changing needs of vari- ous communities. This article provides an alternative model that challenges the existing models. Based on extensive content analysis of the literature and practice knowledge, this alterna- tive model offers sufficient flexibility to adapt to any particular community. The model is also participatory, process-oriented, and reflective. Herein we first review existing models, provide criteria for assessing their applicability, then introduce the new model, and subsequently discuss its applicability and merit.
  • Publication
    Student Volunteering in China and Canada: Comparative Perspectives
    (2012-01-01) Hustinx, Lesley; Handy, Femida; C'naan, Ram A
    While many of the theoretical frameworks for volunteering have been developed and empirically tested in the west, our understanding of volunteering in non-Western countries, such as China, is relatively limited. Nevertheless, in recent decades enormous efforts have been made by the Chinese government to encourage and support volunteering among its citizens, especially youth. Chinese youth are volunteering in greater numbers in response to these initiatives. Given the strongly state-led nature of volunteering in China, as opposed to the voluntary, more citizen-initiated nature of volunteering in Western societies, this paper seeks to understand the impact of these contextual differences on student volunteering. Using data from 1892 questionnaires completed by university students in China and Canada, we examine differences in their volunteering. The findings show clearly the impact of the differences in socio-political structures that are reflected in the nature of students’ volunteer participation and perceived benefits.
  • Publication
    Correlates of HIV Risks Among Women on Probation and Parole
    (2017-01-01) Engstrom, Malitta; Winham, Katherine M; Golder, Seana; Higgins, George; Renn, Tanya; Logan, TK
    This article examines HIV risks among a sample of 406 women on probation and parole with lifetime histories of victimization who were recruited from an urban community in the southern U.S. Guided by the Comprehensive Health Seeking and Coping Paradigm, we analyze the significance of sociodemographic characteristics, substance use, posttraumatic stress disorder, and social support in relationship to three sexual risks and one drug use risk using multivariable regression. Findings indicate that substance use is a significant correlate of nearly all HIV risks examined, including lifetime sexual partners and sexual partners during the past 12 months. Age, race/ethnicity, homelessness, lifetime traumatic event exposure, regular use of alcohol to intoxication and other drugs, functional social support, and substance use treatment in the past 12 months are associated with specific HIV risks. The findings identify potential targets to address in HIV prevention with women on probation and parole who have experienced victimization.
  • Publication
    Education for Social Development: Curricular Models and Issues
    (1994-09-01) Estes, Richard J
    Education for social development is emerging as an important component of professional education in the human services. This paper identifies the underlying assumptions, knowledge base, and goals of social development practice. The paper also identifies four models of social development practice of relevance to the education of social workers for social development: the Personal Social Services Model; the Social Welfare Model; the Social Development Model; and, the New World Order Model. Eight levels of social development practice are identified as are the dominant institutional sectors within which development practice occurs. The paper also discusses organizational issues associated with the introduction of varying degrees of social development content into individual educational programs.
  • Publication
    Nonprofits and the Promotion of Civic Engagement: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding the “Civic Footprint” of Nonprofits within Local Communities
    (2014-01-01) Handy, Femida; Shier, Micheal Lynden; McDougle, Lindsey M
    The literature suggests that nonprofit organizations provide civic benefits by promoting engagement within local communities. However, there exists minimal empirical evidence describing the ways in which nonprofits actually undertake this role. In order to address this omission, we conducted interviews with personnel of nonprofit organizations in one rural community in the United States. Our preliminary findings indicate that nonprofit organizations promote civic engagement through programs and activities that: 1) engage volunteers and donors; 2) bring community members together; 3) collaborate with organizations within and beyond the community; and 4) promote community education and awareness. Together, these findings help to develop a working model to understand the civic footprint of nonprofit organizations with methodological implications for future research that would seek to measure the extent to which nonprofits promote civic engagement.
  • Publication
    Health and Development in Asia: Regional Priorities for a New Century
    (1996) Estes, Richard J
    Asia is one of the world’s most rapidly developing regions. Even so, the majority of Asian countries continue to experience slow-moderate rates of economic growth, high inflation, rapid population growth, and comparatively high levels of ethnic tension and civil unrest. Poverty, ill-health, and broad-based maldevelopment also continue to be major features of Asian social development. In general, the absence of strong intra-regional cooperation on a broad range of social, political, economic, and health issues compounds Asia’s asynchronous development patterns.
  • Publication
    Non-Fatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review of the Literature
    (2016-09-01) Sorenson, Susan B; Schut, Rebecca A
    Guns figure prominently in the homicide of women by an intimate partner. Less is known, however, about their non-fatal use against an intimate partner. Following PRISMA guidelines, we searched eight electronic databases and identified 10 original research articles that reported the prevalence of the non-fatal use of firearms against an intimate partner. Results indicate that: 1) There is relatively little research on the subject of intimate partners’ non-fatal gun use against women. 2) The number of U.S. women alive today who have had an intimate partner use a gun against them is substantial: About 4.5 million have had an intimate partner threaten them with a gun and nearly one million have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner. Whether non-fatal gun use is limited to the extreme form of abuse (battering) or whether it occurs in the context of situational violence remains to be seen. Regardless, when it comes to the likely psychological impact, it may be a distinction without a difference; because guns can be lethal quickly and with relatively little effort, displaying or threatening with a gun can create a context known as coercive control, which facilitates chronic and escalating abuse. Implications for policy, practice, and research are discussed, all of which include expanding an implicit focus on homicide to include an intimate partner’s non-fatal use of a gun.
  • Publication
    The 2007 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress
    (2008-06-01) Khadduri, Jill; Culhane, Dennis P; Cortes, Alvaro; Buron, Larry; Poulin, Stephen
    The 2007 AHAR is the first AHAR based on an entire year of data about persons who use emergency and transitional housing programs. In addition, the report contains new information about the seasonal patterns of homelessness and long-term users of shelters and presents new appendices that provide community-level information on the number of homeless persons.
  • Publication
    The Demand for Volunteer Labor: A Study of Hospital Volunteers
    (2005-12-01) Handy, Femida; Srinivasan, Narasimhan
    The authors challenge the assumption that organizations are willing to use all the volunteer labor available to them. Rather, they are influenced by the costs incurred of utilizing volunteer labor. This article provides a modest first look at the demand for volunteers by nonprofit institutions. Specifically, the article presents an economic analysis of the demand of volunteer labor by hospitals in the Toronto area and examines some of the factors that may determine the hospitals’ willingness to use volunteer labor. Using data generated from 28 hospitals in Toronto, which use a total of more than 2 million volunteer hr per year, the authors show that the quantity of volunteer hours demanded is a decreasing function of their costs. Other factors such as productivity, output, and labor market institutions also influence the demand for volunteers.