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.
PublicationIndividual 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, JackThis 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. PublicationTowards a Practice-based Model for Community Practice: Linking Theory and Practice(2012-03-01) Cnaan, Ram A; Boehm, AmnonCareful 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. PublicationStudent Volunteering in China and Canada: Comparative Perspectives(2012-01-01) Hustinx, Lesley; Handy, Femida; C'naan, Ram AWhile 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. PublicationCorrelates of HIV Risks Among Women on Probation and Parole(2017-01-01) Engstrom, Malitta; Winham, Katherine M; Golder, Seana; Higgins, George; Renn, Tanya; Logan, TKThis 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. PublicationEducation for Social Development: Curricular Models and Issues(1994-09-01) Estes, Richard JEducation 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. PublicationNonprofits 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 MThe 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. PublicationHealth and Development in Asia: Regional Priorities for a New Century(1996) Estes, Richard JAsia 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. PublicationNon-Fatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review of the Literature(2016-09-01) Sorenson, Susan B; Schut, Rebecca AGuns 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. PublicationThe 2007 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress(2008-06-01) Khadduri, Jill; Culhane, Dennis P; Cortes, Alvaro; Buron, Larry; Poulin, StephenThe 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. PublicationHurricane Katrina and New Orleans: What Might a Sociological Embeddedness Perspective Offer Disaster Research and Planning?(2008-11-01) Iversen, Roberta R; Armstrong, Annie LaurieThe Hurricane Katrina and NewOrleans situation was commonly called a "natural disaster" - an anomalous "event" that disrupted lives, spaces, and organizations. Research and planning attention then focused on particular aspects of the event and on restoring order. In contrast, sociologists and similar-thinking scholars have increasingly viewed disaster situations from multiple locations and histories, often using systems theory. Here, reanalysis of empirical material from ethnographic research in New Orleans pre- and post-Katrina suggests that a sociological embeddedness perspective illustrates the dynamic seamlessness of past, present, and future economic contexts and social actions. The perspective's constitutive concepts of weak, strong, and differentiated ties highlight the role of local knowledge, intermediary-led workforce networks, and sustained participatory planning in creating a robust economic environment. Toward this end, disaster research, planning, and theory building could incorporate network tie assessments into social vulnerability protocols, compare embeddedness with other perspectives, and learn from related international experiences.