Find books, article databases, and trusted websites to explore and research all aspects of social work.
Last Updated: Nov 6, 2012
See Purdue's excellent guide to creating annotated bibliographies: lists of scholarly sources with brief descriptions.
Articles relevant to Social Work can be found in multiple databases, including newspaper collections. The first two below are your best bets to get started; check the others for more focused research, or see the Topics tab.
- Social Services Abstracts
Find current research about social services and welfare, including mental health services, crisis intervention, evaluation research, gerontology, policy and planning, poverty and homelessness, violence, and more.
- Academic Search Premier
With both scholarly and popular articles, this database is great for multidisciplinary topics, including social work issues from different perspectives.
- PsycINFO / PsycArticles
With articles and books, PsycINFO covers all aspects of psychology. Use it for social work topics that overlap with psychology, mental health, mental disabilities, addictions, and more.
- Sociological Abstracts
Find sociological research, including family and social welfare, substance abuse, criminology, health, social development, and more.
- Political Science Complete
This is an excellent place to research the laws, legislation and the politics behind most social issues, nationally and internationally.
- CQ Researcher
Though not considered scholarly, this is a great source for easy-to-understand overviews of contemporary issues, including social services, disability, health, human rights, etc.
- ProQuest Newspapers
Use newspaper articles to find local perspectives (both policy and opinion). Here you can find the Star Tribune and other major U.S. newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
- LexisNexis Academic
Great for comparing policy in foreign countries, LexisNexis provides full-text coverage of major national and foreign newspapers. It also includes TV and radio transcripts and federal and state cases and codes.
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Explore a wide range of Social Work topics using the books below.
Encyclopedia of Social Work
Call Number: Reference HV35 .S6 v. 1–4
Use it online!
This superb set is a great place to start investigating all aspects of social work: social policy and history, practice and interventions, social environments, and social conditions and challenges.
Comprehensive Handbook of Social Work and Social Welfare
Call Number: Reference HV40 .C635 2008 v. 1–4
Your go-to source for in-depth discussions, here you can find the basics of the profession (v. 1); theory (v. 2); assessment, intervention, and specific populations (v. 3); and social policy (v. 4).
Encyclopedia of Social Work with Groups
Call Number: Reference HV45 .E53 2009
Find a comprehensive overview of different group work approaches, working with specific populations and ages, and more.
Encyclopedia of Counseling
Call Number: Reference BF636.54 .E53 2008 v. 1–4
Find a comprehensive overview of the major theories, approaches, and contemporary issues in counseling. Volume 3 in particular focuses on cross-cultural issues.
Social Work Diagnosis in Contemporary Practice
Call Number: Third Level HV40 .S6178 2005
With a focus on diagnostic skill development, this work underscores developmental stages, various situations, diverse populations, and innovative approaches to practice.
- National Association of Social Workers Research Page
The NASW provides information to inform policy, practice, and education. Find reports and links to other organizations for dozens of topics such as child welfare, homelessness, mental health, poverty, AIDS, veterans, etc.
- The Urban Institute
- Amhest H. Wilder Foundation
This St. Paul health and human services organization provides and promotes social welfare for the poor, youth, the elderly, and others. See their research reports
and learn more about their programs
- Greater Twin Cities United Way
- Hennepin County Health, Housing, and Social Services
Find information on various social services in Hennepin County, including adoption, abuse and neglect, homelessness, mental health, and much more.
- Ramsey County Community Human Services
Learn how Ramsey County serves children and families, the low income and homeless, the elderly, the chemically dependent, people with disabilities, and the mentally ill.