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Social Work: Policy Research

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Legal Research: The Basics

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Government Sources and Policy Organizations (Think Tanks)

Government Resources

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - "The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves."

Adminstration for Children and Families - "A division of HHS, ACF promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities."

Administration for Community Living - "ACL brings together the efforts and achievements of the Administration on Aging, the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the HHS Office on Disability to serve as the Federal agency responsible for increasing access to community supports, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities across the lifespan."

National Center for Health Statistics: Fast Stats A to Z

National Institute of Mental Health The mission of NIMH is "to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure."

Congressional Social Work Caucus - The SCWC was launched in March 2011 to "create a platform on the Hill representing the interests of over 600,000 social workers throughout the United States who positively impact the lives of the elderly, the disadvantaged, children, veterans, or other individuals in need of guidance and direction in their lives."

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance - "Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) provides a full listing of all Federal programs available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals."


Policy and Professional Organizations

Society for Social Work and Research Resources  SSWR is "a free-standing organization dedicated to the advancement of social work research."

Institute for Research on Poverty - "IRP is a center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality in the United States."

Institute for Policy Studies - "IPS is a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment in the U.S. and globally."

Social Welfare Action Alliance - "The Social Welfare Action Alliance (SWAA) is a national organization of progressive workers in human services."

National Association of Social Workers - "The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 145,000 members. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies."

Pew Research Center for People and the Press - "Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts."

Public Agenda Online - "Public Agenda is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps diverse leaders and citizens navigate complex, divisive issues and work together to find solutions."

The Urban Institute - "The Urban Institute gathers data, conducts research, evaluates programs, offers technical assistance overseas, and educates Americans on social and economic issues — to foster sound public policy and effective government."

National Council of La Raza -NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - "The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination."

National Council of Nonprofits - The nation’s largest network of nonprofits works to identify emerging trends, share proven practices, and promote solutions that benefit charitable nonprofits and the communities they serve.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - "The Center conducts research and analysis to help shape public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that policymakers consider the needs of low-income families and individuals in these debates."

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation - "Kaiser is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., as well as the U.S. role in global health policy." 

-For more policy organizations, check out this directory from the Harvard Kennedy School. For a global view, check out NIRA's World Directory of Think Tanks



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