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Canadian Social Policy, Fifth Edition

Issues and Perspectives

Edited by Anne Westhues & Brian Wharf
Subjects Social Science, Sociology, Political Science, Social Policy, Social Services, Multiculturalism, Social Work
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Paperback : 9781554583591, 456 pages, May 2012
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554584109, 456 pages, May 2012
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554584093, 456 pages, May 2012

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
Canadian Social Policy: Issues and Perspectives, 5th edition, edited by Anne Westhues and Brian Wharf
I. Introduction
1. Becoming Acquainted with Social Policy | Anne Westhues
II. Who Makes Social Policy and How
2. The Policy-Making Process | Anne Westhues and Carol Kenny-Scherber
3. Approaches to Policy Analysis | Anne Westhues
4. Influencing Policy from Outside: Are Citizens Game Changers or Sidelined? | Joan Wharf Higgins and Fay Weller
5. Indigenous Wholistic Healing Social Policy: Rethinking, Reframing, and Re-presenting Policy Development for Indigenous People | Mac Saulis
6. Racism in Canadian Social Policy | Delores V. Mullings
7. The Quebec Model of Social Policy, Past and Present | Yves Vaillancourt
III. Current Social Policy Issues
8. Single Motherhood in the Canadian Landscape: Postcards from a Subject | Iara Lessa
9. Child Poverty and the Canadian Welfare State | Garson Hunter
10. Back to the Present: Rethinking Risk Assessment in Child Welfare | Marilyn Callahan and Karen Swift
11. Parental Benefits Policy in Canada and Quebec: Sharing the Caring? | Patricia M. Evans
12. Mental Health Policy in Canada | Geoffrey Nelson
13. Keeping Kids Safe in Custody | Judy Finlay
14. Canadians with Disabilities | Peter A. Dunn
15. Caring and Aging: Examining Policy Inequities | Sheila Neysmith
16. Toward Inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual People: Social Policy Changes in Relation to Sexual Orientation | Brian O'Neill
17. Immigration and Refugee Policy in Canada: Past, Present, and Future | Usha George
18. Housing Policy | Jill G. Grant and Tonya Munro
19. Canadian Health Care: Reclaiming Universal Legacies | Mike Burke and Susan Silver
IV. Looking to the Future
20. Social Service Workplaces: Reform Begins at Home | Anne Westhues
Author Index
Subject Index


Social policy shapes the daily lives of every Canadian citizen and should reflect the beliefs of a majority of Canadians on just approaches to the promotion of health, safety, and well-being. Too often, those on the front lines—social workers, nurses, and teachers—observe that policies do not work well for the most vulnerable groups in society. In the first part of this new edition of Canadian Social Policy, Westhues and Wharf argue that service deliverers have discretion in how policies are implemented, and the exercise of this discretion is how citizens experience policy—whether or not it is fair and reasonable. They show the reader how social policy is made and they encourage active citizenship to produce policies that are more socially just. New material includes an examination of the reproduction of systemic racism through the implementation of human rights policy and a comparative analysis of the policy-making process in Quebec and English Canada.
The second part of the book discusses policy issues currently under debate in Canada. Included are new chapters that explore parental leave policies and housing as a determinant of health. All chapters contain newly updated statistical data and research and policy analysis.
A reworked section on the process of policy-making and the addition of questions for critical reflection enhance the suitability of the book as a core resource in social policy courses. The final chapter explores how front-line workers in the human services can advocate for change in organizational policies that will benefit the people supported.


New editions of Anne Westhues' edited text on current Canadian social policies are always welcome to students of social policy in Canada. Edition five benefits from the co-editing of Brian Wharf, for years Canada's foremost scholar on community social development. Sadly Professor Wharf passed away in August, 2011, as work on the book neared completion. Some of the topics explored in this book are mental health, child poverty, child welfare, disabilities, racism, and Aboriginal welfare. Every chapter is characterized by a focus on social determinants of health, and by a critical analysis of unequal power relations in every aspect of social policy, from the Canadian Human Rights Commission to risk assessment policies in child welfare.

- Alvin Finkel, Athabasca University, Histoire sociale/Social History, 2014 January