For practitioners in social work and human services, questions of human rights, citizenship, social justice and equity are ever-present in their day-to-day work with clients of all ages. As such, social policy plays a significant role in shaping the response to need in any community or population, through the provision of financial, physical or legislative protections or resources. The extent to which social policy offers security for the most vulnerable, while addressing economic and social inequality, signals the moral and ethical compass of those who govern. There are ways for practitioners and other advocates to influence and resist where necessary, the direction of policy through community development, strategic change, research and social action.
This volume provides examples of such initiatives and examines the making and shaping of contemporary social policy in Aotearoa New Zealand across a broad range of contexts. Students, lecturers, researchers and people interested in New Zealand society in general will find a critical appraisal of current social policy within these pages.