The Handbook of Social Work Research Methods represents an area that we have several other publications coming out and a market we actively reach. In addition, Bruce Thyer is the editor of the journal Research in Social Work Practice and expressed interest in updating the book along with the other two candidates. In the field of social work, qualitative research is starting to gain more prominence as are mixed methods and various issues regarding race, ethnicity and gender. These changes in the field will be reflected and updated in the second edition of the handbook. It will also contain more on meta analysis, designs to evaluate treatment and will provide more support to help students harness the power of the Internet. The original mission of the handbook was to bring together leading scholars to write about research methods in social work. The second edition will stay true to this mission but will also attempt to be more student friendly and will be offered in a paperback edition. We will also make a greater effort to promote the book as a textbook, as we will do with the other two handbooks.
This chapter introduces social workers to policy analysis research methodologies, a specialized and often sophisticated form of interdisciplinary scientific inquiry used to guide and influence decision making about policies. It focuses on governmental social policies that largely dictate the quality of life and overall well-being of residents in the United States by redistributing goods, services, and money. After defining policy analysis, major academic disciplinary affiliations and professional affiliations of policy analysts are identified and settings employing them described. Examples of qualitative and quantitative policy analysis research studies are provided, and dominant values and ethics of policy analysis research are summarized and critiqued. Models for conducting policy analysis research are introduced, and guidelines to evaluate policy analysis ...