We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Price: $69.95

Paperback 304 pp.
10 figures; 10 tables, 7" x 9"



Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

Share on Facebook

OUP Canada Gratis request form
Add to Favourites Tell a Friend

Connecting Policy to Practice in the Human Services

Fourth Edition

Brad McKenzie and The late Brian Wharf

The fourth edition of Connecting Policy to Practice carefully examines how policies are developed and implemented, and offers future practitioners and policy-makers the knowledge and tools they need to begin building more inclusive models of policy-making - models that will empower front-line service workers and lead to improved outcomes for service users.

Readership : Upper-level undergraduate courses in social policy and social work practice in social work departments at universities and social service departments at colleges.


  • "The McKenzie and Wharf text is very good at presenting social policy analysis and development in relevant and helpful theoretical/conceptual frameworks. It also does a good job of discussing questions of 'real world' social policy implementation."
    --James Mulvale, University of Manitoba

  • "The new chapter on ideology, poverty, and inequality provides a masterful overview that encourages critical thinking."
    --Jane Arscott, Athabasca University

Note: All chapters include
- Chapter objectives
- Introduction
- Summary and conclusion
List of Figures and Tables
- General Goals
- Definitions
- The Principle of Affected Interests
- Policy-Making in the Human Services: Whose Responsibility?
- Box: Policy Practice and Direct Practice
1. Ideology and the Social and Political Environment of Policy-Making
- Ideology, Politics, and Public Policy
- Ideology and Social Welfare
- Neo-liberalism and Public Policy
- Box: Economic Globalization and the Exploitation of Workers in the Developing World
- Box: Program Retrenchment in Unemployment Insurance
- Poverty and Inequality NEW
- Box: Inequality and CEO Salaries
Brad McKenzie and Pete Hudson: 2. Making Social Policy in Canada: Structures and Processes
- Social Policy and the Federal Government
Box: Common Types of Interest Groups and Their Definitions
- Social Policy and the Provincial Government
- Social Policy and the Voluntary Sector NEW
- Box: Wood's Homes: From Charity to a Major Multi-service Agency
- Box: Barrier-Free Manitoba
- Organizational Policy-Making
3. Policy-Making and Policy-Makers
- Theories of Public Policy
- Box: Public Choice and the 2013 Senate Scandal NEW
- Who Makes Social Policy?
- Policy-Making Models and Their Connection to Practice
- Box: Incrementalism in Juvenile Justice
- Box: Assessment of Risk in Child Welfare: Mixed Scanning in Action
- Box: Policy-Making Often Involves a Combination of Planning Models
4. The Policy-Making Process
- Policy-Making Stages
- Box: Learning Activity: Formulating Alternatives for Poverty Reduction
- Box: Linking Research to Policy Development
- Box: Using Policy Research to Provide Information for Policy Analysis
- Box: Campaigning for Welfare Rate Increases
5. The Implementation Stage
- Perspectives on Implementation
- Box: An Implementation Disaster
- Implementing Complex Policies: Lessons to Be Learned
- The World of the Front-Line Practitioner
- Centralization and Decentralization: The Variable of Distance
- Building Capacity for Implementing Innovations
6. Making Policy for Social Change from Inside the System
- Citizen Participation and Community Collaboration
- Box: Action for Community Change
- Box: Rebuilding the Neighbourhood
- Small-Scale Policy-Making Processes
- Box: Developing Community-Based Innovation in Ukraine
- Enhancing Participation in General Models of Planning and Policy Analysis
- Box: Child Welfare Collaboration in Newcomer Communities
- Community-Based Services and Community Governance
7. Influencing Policy from Outside the System
- Unions and Professional Organizations
- Think Tanks
- Advocacy Groups and Social Movements
- Whistle-Blowing
- Box: The Case of Nancy Oliveri
- Box: Whistle-Blowing Protection
- Social Media, Individual Advocacy, and Legal Actions NEW
Marilyn Callahan: 8. Chalk and Cheese: Feminist Thinking and Policy-Making
- Feminist Thinking
- Feminist Thinking and the Challenge of Connecting Policy and Practice
- Box: Principles of Gender-Based Analysis
Bruce Wallace and Tim Richards: 9. Policy Resistance: The Rise and Fall of Welfare Time Limits in BC
- The Rise of Welfare Time Limits - 2001-2
- The Erosion of Time Limits from within the Ministry - Spring 2003
- A Groundswell of Public Opposition - Summer and Fall 2003
- Government Capitulation - Spring 2004
- Resisting Regressive Welfare Policies: Lessons Learned
10. Policy-Making and Indigenous Peoples in Canada
- Background
- Indigenous Knowledge, Anti-colonialism, Resistance, and Resilience NEW
- Indigenous Approaches to Policy-Making
- Box: An Indigenist Ideological Framework for Social Policy Analysis NEW
- Case Studies in Collaborative Policy-Making
- Box: Community Governance at an Agency Level
- When Collaboration Fails
- Policy-Practice for Progressive Policy-Making
- Policy-Practice, and Critical Social Work
Appendix: Annotated Websites and Selected Journals

E-Book (ISBN 9780199011070)

Brad McKenzie is professor emeritus of social work at the University of Manitoba. He has held administrative positions as the acting associate dean, the first director of the Winnipeg Education Centre's Social Work Program (1981-1987), coordinator of field instruction, and chair of the graduate program committee. His primary teaching areas have been social policy analysis, program evaluation, and child and family welfare. Between 1999 and 2003 he was the director of a $2.3 million CIDA-funded international project in Lviv, Ukraine that led to the development of a new school of social work and a consumer-directed resource centre serving people with disabilities.

The late Brian Wharf was professor emeritus of social work in the Faculty of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria. During his long career at the University of Victoria, Brian was the director of the School of Social Work; dean of the Faculty of Human and Social Development; and acting director of the School of Public Administration. He published a number of books with Oxford, including two earlier editions of Connecting Policy to Practice in the Human Services, as well as Community Organizing: Canadian Experiences (1997) and Rethinking Child Welfare in Canada (1993). He passed away in 2011.

Anti-Oppressive Social Work - Gary C. Dumbrill and June Ying Yee
Working with People - Louise Harms and Joanna Pierce
Skills for Human Service Practice - Agi O'Hara, Zita Weber and Kathy Levine
Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese

Special Features

  • Balanced coverage of approaches to policy-making and disconnect between policy and practice offers students a well-rounded perspective.
  • Presents social policy issues from a Canadian perspective, making content relevant for Canadian students.
  • Current examples and case studies help students envision how policy connects with practice in contemporary, real-world situations.
  • Promotes student engagement by emphasizing ways in which students and practitioners can become involved in and influence policy development and change.
  • Student-friendly text uses clear language, logical organization, and a new clean layout to present content in an accessible way.
New to this Edition
  • Up-to-date and relevant coverage of important issues throughout - including social policy changes and new models of planning.
  • Extensively rewritten introductory chapter explores ideology and the social and political environment of policy-making. (Ch. 1)
  • Expanded coverage of ideology and neo-liberalism (Ch. 1), poverty and inequality (Ch. 1), the voluntary sector (Ch. 2), diversity (Ch. 4), the influence of social media (Ch. 7), advocacy groups and social movements (Ch. 7), and the role of Indigenous knowledge in making social policy (Ch. 10).
  • Reorganized to improve topic organization in the first three chapters.
  • New and updated pedagogy includes chapter objectives, bolded key terms, critical thinking questions, feature boxes, recommended readings, and a glossary.
  • New tables and figures include the ideological continuum and political parties in Canada (Ch. 1), the criteria for good program development objectives (Ch. 6), and more.