Discussion of relevant federal and state policies
In this section, identify and formulate the study problem. Include current statistics, if
available, which demonstrate the scope and significance, duration and intensity of the problem
area under inquiry. The social policy concerns attendant to the study problem should be identified
and its significance on a national, state or local level should be delineated.
The problem places the research question in its larger context. The discussion and
analysis of the background of the problem lend both credibility to the area of concern you will be
exploring and provide sufficient background to elaborate on the “so what” issue. By the end of
this section, the reader should be clear about the historic and current context of the problem and
its logical connection to the question you plan to address.
In the introduction section please focus on this: “As we discussed when we met, I think it makes sense to frame the question here around substance use among older Black adults, and then describe two significant challenges for this population (stigma related to spirituality and systemic racism) as sub-points of that problem. Why don’t you reorganize this section around that center, and then let’s see what you need to add or take away.”
There should also be a heading titled “Overview of the Problem”. You can decide on the remaining headings.
This assignment should include all of the following in the checklist with sources no older than 3 years old:
In preparing this section have you included?
CHECKLIST YES NO
A clear statement of the problem to which your study relates?*
Characteristics of the problem? (Who is affected, how)
Scope and intensity of the problem? (How many affected?
with what impact?)
Its place as a social work concern – historically and now?
Background of the problem within American society?
Discussion of relevant federal and state policies and/or judicial
decisions to address the problem, both historic and current?
Role of social work, if any, in defining the problem, devising solutions,
and implementing programs?
How and in what way the problem relates to social work values? The
relationship between the problem and your research question?