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Understanding the policy landscape is critical to social work practice—but there is no definitive, one-stop guide to policy. To meet this need, you will create your own Policy Quick Guide throughout the remainder of the course, resulting in a practical tool for policies you may encounter.

In practice, social workers engage with many programs drawn from federal polices to serve their clients. Those policies then have state or local variations that affect program delivery. At your agency, you may need to make referrals to a governmental agency or a service in your community.

In this Assignment, you begin to compile a Policy Quick Guide to reference in your future field experiences and your practice. You also consider one unique characteristic or perspective in each Policy Quick Guide. This week, you identify one opportunity for change related to a policy of focus.


Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources. 



  • Refer to the Policy Research Starter in the Learning Resources. These resources provide a start for finding information on the policies for this Quick Guide. However, you may need to do additional research.
    • Refer to the Social Welfare Policy: Search Tips site listed in the Learning Resources for tips on finding additional information. Also note that reputable non-profits and other organizations, some of which you will find throughout the Learning Resources in this course, can be good sources.
  • Explore these policies:
    • Social Security Act
    • Economic Opportunity Act
    • Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act  


For each policy (Social Security Act, Economic Opportunity Act, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act), briefly:

  • Explain how the policy is addressed at the federal, state, and local level.
  • What programs were developed from this policy?
  • Reflect on how the policy affects or may affect your community, geographic area, or potential clients.

Then, address this unique prompt for this week’s Quick Guide:

  • Identify one opportunity for change for one of the policies.

Note: For the Policy Quick Guides, there is no specific page count. Rather, strive to concisely capture the vital information for each policy, much like you would find in a reference book or other encyclopedia style resource. You must, however, use correct grammar and an academic writing style.