Rutgers University Libraries Intro to Social Work: Basic Resources

The Basics

Restricted Access

Many of the resources listed in the sections below are marked Restricted Access. You should have no problem connecting to these from any networked computer on campus. However, in order to use these from off-campus you must log in with your Rutgers NetID. For instructions see the Libraries' Remote Access to Library Resources.

Off-Campus Links

If you are not on-campus, use these links to connect to Rutgers' library resources. If you haven't already logged in with your NetID [your pegasus username and password] these links will take you to the login page.

IRIS: Find Books

IRIS is the online catalog for all the Rutgers University Libraries except the Newark and Camden Law Libraries. Many of the sections below include suggestions for searching IRIS to locate other books on the topic(s) covered in that section. Show Me How

Getting Books From Other Rutgers Libraries

If a book that you need is not available (not owned/checked out) at the Dana Library, but is available from another Rutgers Library, you can request delivery of that book to Dana by bringing up the record for the book in IRIS and clicking on tbe Deliver/Recall button. Show Me

Book Not Available/Not Owned by the Rutgers Libraries?

The fastest way to get a copy of a book that is not owned or not available (checked out/on Reserve/missing etc.) at the Rutgers Libraries is to request it through E-Z Borrow. E-Z Borrow books are normally received within about five working days. Tell Me More

If a book is not owned by the Rutgers Libraries and is not available via E-Z Borrow, you can place an Interlibrary Loan request. Tell Me More

Becoming an 'Expert' User

Want to maximize your use of Library resources? Check out Searchpath, the Libraries' interactive tutorial.

Citing Your Sources

You will be using MLA (Modern Language Association) style when citing the sources that you use in your research papers. The MLA Style Manual is available at the Dana Library Reference Desk. The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison also has a nice introduction to MLA Documentation that will give you the basic information you need to create MLA citations and a Works Cited list.

You can also import references from IRIS and many of the electronic databases into RefWorks, a web-based bibliography and database manager. RefWorks will build your bibliography for you based on whatever style sheet you specify (MLA, Chicago, etc.). For information on setting up your (free) RefWorks account see the RefWorks FAQ.

Not sure when you need to cite something? Check out the Plagiarism Guide

Getting Started: Basic Reference Works

Not sure where to start your research?

The Encyclopedia of Social Work is a good place to begin. This three volume set has 290 lengthy signed articles on topics felt to be of particular relevance to social work and related disciplines. The third volume has a separate biography section with articles on about 150 individuals who had a major impact on the profession; the appendices include the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics.

Use the Table of Contents at the beginning of each volume, or the detailed index at the back of each volume, to identify articles on your particular topic.

Rutgers Library Locations:
Dana Library: Print/CD-ROM editions: Reference Desk
Alexander & Camden Libraries: Ref. HV35 .S6 v.19

What's in here that I can use? Encyclopedia articles usually present a good overview of the topic, and identify the current issues, approaches, and scholarship relating to that topic. Knowing the issues can help you focus your research on a particular aspect of a topic.

Anything else? Yes, at the end of each article there's an extensive bibliography, a long list of articles, books, reports, etc. that relate to this particular topic. You can use that list to identify sources that you can look for and use in your own research.

Social Welfare & Social Work History

Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North America
John M. Herrick and Paul H. Stuart (eds.). Thousand Oakes, California: Sage Publications, 2005.
180 essays, most signed, on the people, topics, and organizations that were important to the development of social welfare policies, services, and institutions in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Most entries have suggestions for "Further Reading," and many include references to relevant primary source collections as well as to published primary sources. A "Reader's Guide" (pp. x to xvi) lists entries by country and category.
Dana Call Number: Ref. HV12 .E497 2005 List of Entries
Social Work History Station
Includes Progress and Reform: A Cyberhistory of Social Work's Formative Years [1860-1940], as well as a picture gallery and links to related sites and resources. Compiled by Dan Huff (Boise State University).
Platt, Anthony M. and Cooreman, Jenifer L. " A Multicultural Chronology of Welfare Policy and Social Work in the United States," Social Justice 28(1), Spring 2001, 91-137.
"This chronology is designed to introduce future social workers to significant events, policies, people, and publications in the history of welfare policy and social work in the United States...Issues of race and racism, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality are central to the chronology's perspective." Includes a extensive bibliography.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access

Social Policies and Programs

"The Top 5 Social Justice Issues Facing Social Workers Today," Social Work Today 7(2), March/April 2007, p.24
Essays on the five issues identified in an informal survey of social workers.
Overview of Entitlement Programs: 2004 Green Book
Biennial publication of data as well as the history and description of the social and economic programs including Social Security, employment, welfare, child support, the elderly, and families with children, under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Ways and Means.
Social Work Speaks: National Association of Social Workers Policy Statements: 2003-2006
National Association of Social Workers. 6th edition. Washington, D.C., 2003.
63 policy statements, including 21 new statements approved by the 2002 NASW Delegate Assembly, designed to guide policy advocacy and legal action. Topic areas include adolescents, aging, behavioral health, child welfare, community, discrimination and equity issues, education, employment, ethnicity and race, families and children, family planning, gender issues, health, 'macro issues,' political action, social work professional statements, substance abuse, and violence. Each statement includes background information, a statement of issues, the policy statement, and a list of references.
Dana Call Number: Ref HV88 .N686 2003

Directories of Agencies and Programs

Health & Human Services Resource Locators
General Assistance Resources; Health-Related Resources; and Human Services-Related Resources.
New Jersey Community Resources
Very useful directory with links to statewide organizations, governmental agencies, and nonprofits providing social services in New Jersey. Organized by region.
Directory of Homeless & Housing Advocacy Coalitions: New Jersey
Directory of Local Homeless Service Organizations: New Jersey
Domestic Violence - Hotlines and Resources
Links to National and State agencies and organizations. From the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Domestic Violence and New Americans: Directory of Programs and Resources for Battered Refugee Women.
Rockville, Md., U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Center for Mental Health Services, Refugee Mental Health Program. 2002.
Dana Call Number: Ref. HV6626.2 .D664 2002
Eldercare Locator
Information and links to state, local, and community-based agencies and organizations serving older adults based on type of information needed and locality.
New Jersey Long-Term Care Facilities Database
Search by location, type of facility, funding sources, and specialized care.
Directory of Local Health Departments in New Jersey

Target Populations

Women and Children


Women's Rights in the United States : A Documentary History
Edited by Winston E. Langley and Vivian C. Fox. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1994.
Key primary documents including speeches and letters, congressional testimony, court decisions, government reports, position papers, statutes, and news stories. From the Colonial period through 1993.
Dana Call Number: Ref. HQ1236.5.U6W68 1994
Violence Against Women - Federal Legislation and Regulations
From the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women.
Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003


The State of America's Children 2005
"In-depth analyses of the current status of family income, child health, child care and early childhood development, education, child welfare, and youth development." From the Children's Defense Fund.
America's Children 2007
Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office.
Annual report from the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.
National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) 1997-2010
Survey mandated by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. Looks at the characterisitcs of the children and families that come into contact with the child welfare system; the pathways and services they experience while in the system; and the short and longer-term effects of the experience for these children and families.
The Cost of Protecting Vulnerable Children IV: How Child Welfare Funding Fared During the Recession
Cynthia Andrews Scarcella et. al. Washington, D.C., The Urban Institute, 2004.
Examines "the amount states spent on child welfare activities in state fiscal year (SFY) 2002, the funding sources they used, how funds were used, and how funding has shifted since federal welfare reform and ASFA."
Federal Foster Care Financing: How and Why the Current Funding Structure Fails to Meet the Needs of the Child Welfare Field ASPE Issue Brief. Updated August 2005.

The Elderly

Some relevant subject headings that you can use in IRIS include:

Older People United States
Older People Services For United States
Aging United States
Older Americans 2004: Key Indicators of Well-Being
Washington, D.C., Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics. 2005.
Chartbook relating to the health and well-being of Americans 65 and older.
Issues in Focus: Social Security Reform
Finding and links from the Urban Institute.
Innovation in the Aging Network: The Future of Social Services for Older Americans
Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 2006.
Hearing before the Special Committee on Aging, United States Senate, 109th Congress, 2d session, Washington, D.C., May 3, 2006.
Gratton, Brian. " The Poverty of Impoverishment Theory: The Economic Well-Being of the Elderly, 1890-1950," Journal of Economic History 56(1), 1996, 39-61.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access
Hudson, Robert B. " The New Political Environment in Aging: Challenges to Policy and Practice," Families in Society 86(3). July/September 2005, 321-7.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access


Some relevant subject headings that you can use in IRIS include:

African Americans Social Conditions
African Americans Civil Rights History
Segregation in Education United States
Discrimination in Employment United States History
Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980
Charles A. Murray. New York, Basic Books, 1984.
Dana Call Number: HN59 .M87 1984
Race, Poverty and Public Policy
Mary Jo. Bane. March 2005
Williams, David R. and Jackson, Pamela Braboy. "Social Sources of Racial Disparities in Health," Health Affairs 24(2), March/April 2005, 325-334.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access
Alston, Reginald J. "African Americans with Disabilities and the Social Security Administration's Return-to-Work Incentives," Journal of Disability Policy Studies 14(4), Spring 2004, 216-221.
Review of SSCI policies and the cultural variables specific to African Americans that may negate return-to-work incentives.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access
Quadagno, Jill. " Race and American Social Policy," National Forum 76(3), Summer 1996, 35-38.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access
Minter, Thomas K. and Alfred E Prettyman. "Education," Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. New York, Macmillan, 1996, vol. 2, pp. 846-876.
Overview of the history of African-American education from slavery thru current issues involving school choice. Includes a lengthy bibliography.
Dana Call Number: Ref. E185 .E54 1996.


Latino Encyclopedia
Richard and Rafael Chabran, editors. New York, Marshall Cavendish, 1996. 6 vols.
More than 1900 entries ranging from several paragraphs to signed full-length articles with annotated bibliographies relating to the Latino experience in the United States.
Dana Call Number: Ref. E184 .S75L57 1996.
Martinez-Ebers, Valerie et at. "Latino Interests in Education, Health, and Criminal Justice Policy," PS: Political Science and Politics 33(3), September 2000, 547-554.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access
The Social Security Program and Reform: A Latino Perspective. June 2005
From the National Council of La Raza.
Canino-Arroyo, Maria Josefa. "Reflections on Latino Advocacy and Welfare Reform in New Jersey," Centro Journal 15(1), Spring 2003, 176-195.


To find books on immigrants in the United States search IRIS, the Rutgers online catalog. Some relevant subject headings include:

Immigrants United States
Immigrants United States Social Conditions
United States Emigration and Immigration
United States Emigration and Immigration Government Policy
Encyclopedia of American Immigration
James Ciment, Immanuel Ness, editors. Armonk, N.Y., M.E. Sharpe, 2000. 4 vols.
Immigration history; immigration issues (causes, demographics, acculturation, laws and legislation, politics, economics, etc.); and immigration documents (laws, treaties, court cases, reports, etc.).Volumes 3 and 4 contain articles on specific immigrant groups in America.
Dana Call Number: Ref. JV6465.E53 2000
Padilla, Yolanda C. " Immigrant Policy: Issues for Social Work Practice," Social Work 42(6), November 1997, 595-606.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access
Executive Summary: U.S. Immigration: A Legislative History
"Highlights the history of U.S. immigration legislation and the parallel rise and fall in numbers and changing ethnic makeup." From the Population Resource Center.
S.2611: Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006: Summary
Summary of the bill passed by the U.S. Senate on May 25, 2006.
2007 Enacted State Legislation Related to Immigrants and Immigration. August 6, 2006
"As of July 2, 2007, no fewer than 1404 pieces of legislation related to immigrants and immigration had been introduced among the 50 state legislatures. From January to July 2nd 2007, 170 bills became law in 41 states." From the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Immigration Debate: Politics, Ideologies of Anti-Immigration Forces. June 17, 2005.
Tom Barry. An Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC) Americas Program Special Report.


Veteran Data & Information
From the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans Benefit History
Brief overview of benefits from the Revolutionary era to Vietnam. From PBS.
"This research Web page provides links to the Veterans Affairs network and highlights the broad spectrum of social work research wherein veterans are the study population." From the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

The Mentally Ill

To find books on the treatment of the mentally ill search IRIS, the Rutgers online catalog. Some relevant subject headings include:

"History of Mental Health Services," IN Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, Md., National Institute of Mental Health, 1999. Chapter 2, pp. 75; 78-80.
Grob, Gerald N. " The Transformation of the Mental Hospital in the United States," American Behavioral Scientist 28(5), May/June 1985, 639-654.
Off-Campus Link Rutgers-restricted Access.

The Mentally Disabled

To find books on the treatment of the mentally disabled search IRIS, the Rutgers online catalog. Some relevant subject headings include:

Goode, David. "A Short History of the Treatment of Persons With Mental Retardation," IN "And Now Let's Build a Better World": The Story of the Association for the Help of Retarded Children, New York City 1948-1998. New York, AHRC, 1998. Chapter 1, pp.6-17.

Finding Articles

Social Sciences Full Text
The basic index for finding articles in the social sciences. Indexes over 550 of the core, English language journals in social science disciplines including sociology and social work, public administration, political science, public welfare, and urban studies. Indexes many journals back to 1982 and, beginning with 1995, includes many full-text articles.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access.

Need More?

While Social Sciences Full Text will usually give you what you need for a basic research paper in the social work, if you're working on a more extensive project, or a more specialized topic, you may need a more focused index. Check out the complete list of Rutgers online indexes and databases.

Keeping Up With the News

Today's News

Many newspapers allow you to register and receive free access to at least a portion of that day's published articles.

The New York Times
The Washington Post
The Star-Ledger

All the News

Access World News
Access to the full text of over 600 U.S. and over 700 international newspapers. Includes access to the Newark Star-Ledger back to 1996.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access

Need Some Data?

The New Jersey Municipal Data Book
Montclair, N.J., New Jersey Associates, 1981- Annual
One page summaries [sample] of the population, government, finances, schools, and other characterisitics of each of New Jersey's towns and cities.
Dana Call Number: REF HD4606.N49N5. Most recent volume at Reference Desk.
Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007
The basic annual U.S. statistical compilation. You can also links to tables from the 2001-2006 editions. Print copies of latest edition of the Statistical Abstract are available at the Dana Reference Desk.
Adoption and Foster Care Statistics
From the Children's Bureau (CB), one of the bureaus within the Administration for Children and Families, of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Domestic Violence Statistics
Compiled by the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence.
National Elder Abuse Incidence Study Final Report, September 1998.
Child Welfare in New Jersey
Data from the Children's Defense Fund.
New Jersey Health Statistics
Annual statistical reports on New Jersey births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and domestic partnerships, and general population from 1993 to the present.

Professional Resources

NASW Code of Ethics
Ethics & Professional Liability
Links compiled by the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Licensing and Certification Directory
State-by-state summary tables of licensing requirements. From the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).
New Jersey State Board of Social Work Examiners
New Jersey licensing and eligibility requirements.

Natalie Borisovets (
John Cotton Dana Library
September 10, 2007