Social policy refers to the practice of social intervention aimed at securing out-comes which influence the welfare and wellbeing of citizens. Social care workers are charged with implementing and to a certain degree interpreting policy while taking account of the law and their own professional codes, principles, values and purposes. This can be a difficult and demanding role to discharge particularly when the political climate and government ideologies of the time are supporting or advocating interventions which go against the grain of positive social care practice. Social care workers implement policy in order to get things done. They are employed for benevolent purposes, to meet social needs, compensate socially caused dis-welfares and promote social justice. This requires social care personnel and other public service professionals to create policy through their practice- to ‘broker’ the imperfect obligations which society has placed on them. The five articles in this special IJASS edition, under the guest editorship of Karen Smith (UCD), Anne Marie Shier (DIT), Margaret Fingleton, (ITT) and Kevin Murphy (ITB) explore how and why policies have developed and how they are operationalised in different social arenas and sectors. Answers and evidence are provided that can contribute to new policy directions and the crafting of enhanced practice responses for all social care workers. We especially welcome the critical research inquiry focus of the edition, how it reframes the social care task itself and offers new insights and understandings on how best to advance the interests and wellbeing of women experiencing homelessness, lone parents, older citizens and migrants in third level education. These articles will also positively contribute to academic discourse and reflection in these areas.
To access the Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies Special Edition please click here.