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Social Policy for Children and Families

Social Policy for Children and Families
A Risk and Resilience Perspective

Fourth Edition
Edited by:

August 2021 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Written in a conversational and applied style, Social Policy for Children and Families is an award-winning book that incorporates cutting-edge research across policy sectors in the human services. 

New editors William James Hall III and Paul J. Lanier, in collaboration with Jeffrey M. Jenson and Mark W. Fraser, have carefully crafted this 4th edition to include balanced coverage across areas of poverty, child welfare, education, public health, developmental challenges, substance use, immigration, juvenile justice, and gun violence. 

This book is an ideal core text for graduate and upper level undergraduate courses and a vital resource for elected officials, policy makers, and others interested in the evolution of policies aimed at preventing problem behaviors and supporting children and families.

William J. Hall, Paul Lanier, Jeffrey M. Jenson, and Mark W. Fraser
Chapter 1. A Multisystems Risk and Resilience Approach to Social Policy for Children, Youth, and Families
Trina R. Williams Shanks, Sandra K. Danziger, and Patrick J. Meehan
Chapter 2. Anti-Poverty Policies and Programs for Children and Families
Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, Jill Duerr Berrick, and Andrea Lane Eastman
Chapter 3. Child Welfare Policy
Andy J. Frey, Myrna R. Mandlawitz, Armon R. Perry, Hill M. Walker, and Brandon D. Mitchell
Chapter 4. Education Policy for Children, Youth, and Families
Paul Lanier, Megan Feely, and Mary E. Fraser
Chapter 5. Child Mental Health Policy
William J. Hall, Hayden C. Dawes, Alexandria B. Forte, Luke E. Hirst, and Danny Mora
Chapter 6. Health Policies and Programs for Children and Youth
Kiley J. McLean, Meshan R. Adams, and Lauren Bishop
Chapter 7. Policies and Programs for Children and Youth With Disabilities
Elizabeth K. Anthony, Jeffrey M. Jenson, and Matthew O. Howard
Chapter 8. Policies and Programs for Adolescent Substance Abuse
Megan Finno-Velasquez, Anayeli Lopez, Sophia Sepp, and Marianna Corkill
Chapter 9. Social Policy for Immigrant Children and Families
Amy Wilson, Jonathan Phillips, Melissa Villodas, Anna Parisi, and Ehren Dohler
Chapter 10. Juvenile Justice Policies and Programs
Chris A. Rees and Eric W. Fleegler
Chapter 11. Firearm Fatalities and Injuries in the United States: An Unnecessary Epidemic?
Paul Lanier, William J. Hall, Jeffrey M. Jenson, and Mark W. Fraser
Chapter 12. Toward the Integration of Child, Youth, and Family Policy: Applying Principles of Risk, Resilience, and Ecological Theory
About the Editors
About the Contributors

This a book that I have been waiting for. The editors and authors adopt a multi-systems approach to a variety of youth and family policies, while incorporating anti-oppression perspectives. I am excited to teach my new class with this text this Spring.

Thomas Pineros Shields
Sociology Dept, University Of Mass At Lowell
December 30, 2021
Key features



  • Expanded from 10 chapters to 12 in order to include:
  • New Ch. 9 on Social Policy for Immigrant Children and Families, providing a current look at the needs and challenges of immigrant groups and the ability of social policies and public systems to meet those needs
  • New Ch. 11 on Firearm Fatalities and Injuries in the United States: An Unnecessary Epidemic, examines the risk and protective factors for firearm injuries in children and adolescents, including policy guidance at local, state and national levels. 
  • Expanded discussion of anti-oppression in Ch. 1
  • Examination of trends, risks and protective factors at current low income levels for families and communities in Ch. 2
  • Inclusion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the relation to COVID-19 in Ch. 6
  • Ch 10 on juvenile justice addresses disparities and inequities related to race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation



  • Each chapter is written by experts in their respective fields—such as health policy, child welfare policy, mental health policy, adolescent substance abuse, juvenile justice—to provide a holistic approach to social policy and service integration across different systems of care.
  • Case studies and discussion questions generate a framework for student thinking and knowledge development. 
  • Policy examples and web-based resources prompt critical thinking, advocacy, and future research.
  • Detailed explanations of recent policy developments are included for eight critical areas affecting children and families, such as education, health care, and poverty.
  • A consistent organizational format within each chapter applies the public health framework to each of the eight core substantive areas.

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