International Exchange of Policy Initiatives and Program Models Benefits Social Welfare and Social Work

book cover

The NASW Press book, Lessons from Abroad: Adapting International Social Welfare Innovations, 2nd Edition, is edited by Amy Restorick Roberts and M.C. “Terry” Hokenstad. 

Roberts answered questions about the text.

What is new in the second edition?
As put forward in the first edition (Hokenstad & Midgley, 2004), “lessons from abroad” are potentially a key source of both policy ideas and program innovations in social welfare and social work. Although there have been changes in the scope of social problems and the nature of social interventions since the first edition, the basic premise remains the same: There is much to learn through international exchange of policy initiatives and program models.

In this context, the second edition of the book examines models of social welfare in other countries that are informative and possibly useful for policy action and program development in the United States.

New content includes more attention to lessons from the developing world and the international arena, with a chapter on the United Nations 2030 agenda, which examines a framework for international sharing and learning. This edition features chapters with distinct content areas, such as child welfare, aging and the climate crisis. Other chapters more broadly address global issues directly aligned with the values and professional ethics of social work, including environmental justice, the alleviation of poverty, and social security.

What are some of the key takeaways?
The book can be an important component of understanding and addressing social problems in the 21st century United States, inspiring and informing policy action and program development. Reading or teaching from the book can stimulate international exchange to learn more about policies and programs in other countries.

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