Human Services

Social Welfare: A Research Guide

Researchers looking for information about social welfare may be interested in research materials that discuss how such social welfare assists people with drug addiction, mental illness, poor housing, and provide counseling to neglected or abused children or the elderly—or the impact of such ills on society. Researchers may also be seeking contact information for agencies that provide the services that counsel, support, or provide guidance to people in need. This research guide will provide some of the basic resources to help you get started. The terms and phrases listed in the subject headings below can be used to search for more materials in the library’s catalog and research databases. If you need further assistance, please ask a librarian.

Reference Books

Encyclopedia of Social Work, 20th edition. 4 vols. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers, 2008. ISBN: 9780195310368 (pbk.)

Provides an overview of more than 240 social welfare topics and definitions for social welfare and related terminology. Useful bibliographies at the end of each article. Includes biographies of prominent persons in the social work field, the NASW code of ethics, a chronology of the field, and acronyms.

Call No:  HV 12 .E53 2008


The Social Work Dictionary, 5th ed. by Robert L. Barker. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers, 2003. ISBN: 9780871013552 (pbk.).

Definitions for more than 5,000 terms, concepts, organizations, laws and historic events in the areas of social work administration, research, policy development, planning, community organization, human growth and development, health and mental health, clinical theory and practice. Also contains NASW Code of Ethics, state boards regulating social work.

Call Number:  HV 12 .B37 2003

Social Workers’ Desk Reference edited by Albert R. Roberts and Gilbert J. Greene. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN: 019514211X.

Covers the full spectrum of social work practice, focusing on the needs of frontline practitioners in private, nonprofit, and public settings (case managers, clinical social workers, supervisors, and administrators). It provides key tools and resources, such as best practices, program evaluations, step-by-step treatment plans, and validated assessment scales.

Call Number:  HV 40 .S6464 2002


Social Research Methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Main Author: Neuman, William Lawrence, 1950- 

Title: Social research methods : qualitative and quantitative approaches / W. Lawrence Neuman.

Publication Information: Boston : Pearson/AandB, c2006.

Description: 6th ed.

  Subject(s): Sociology --Research --Methodology.

 Social sciences --Research --Methodology.

 Location: University Library Bookstacks

Call Number: HM 571 .N48 2006


Periodical Indexes

Social Sciences Citation Index: USA faculty may request a mediated search here: Not full-text 

SocINDEX with Full Text (EBSCO): covers social sciences 300 + full-text journals  USA ID Subscription service provides selective coverage of more than 1500 journals in the human services and related topics. Monthly publication.

Social Work Abstracts. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers, 1965– . Quarterly. ISSN: 10705317.  Social Work Abstracts (EBSCO): USA has only 4 simultaneous users. Abstracts USA ID

Index with abstracts to approximately 100 journals in social work and related subjects as well as dissertations in social work. Also available in electronic version.

Covers the field of sociology including such topics as the family, sociology of health care, social problems, human services delivery, social policy.


Internet Resources


Population Index

Population Index is the primary reference tool to the world's population literature. It presents an annotated bibliography of recently published books, journal articles, working papers, and other materials on population topics.

Social Welfare, Directory of Web Sites Created by the University at Albany (SUNY)

Topics include advocacy; children, youth and families; gerontology; government resources; mental health and therapy; social policy; Substance abuse; support services; statistical sources; professional associations.  Some of the references listed on this web site require a UA login, but there are many links to valid open access web sites.

World Wide Web Resources for Social Workers

Database of government, higher education, journal/newsletter, association, reference, and topical sites for social workers.  Many of the resources here are not open access, but the right hand columns lists a plethora of great social services resources.

Subject Headings

•     human services

•     public welfare

•     social service—dictionaries

•     social service—guides, manuals, etc.

•     social service—handbooks, manuals, etc.

•     social service—periodicals

•     social service—United States—dictionaries

•     social welfare

•     social welfare—directory

•     social welfare—encyclopedias

•     social work

•     social work—directory

•     social work—encyclopedias