Library Research Guides > Subject Guides > Social Work Guide

Social Work Guide

Welcome to the Social Work Subject Guide.

Purpose: Help CUW undergraduate and graduate students discover useful Social Work resources.

Help Available: If you need help finding resources, please feel free to contact librarians with Ask a Librarian or on the Library Tab in the Portal (phone, email, chat)

How to Use: Resources in this guide are organized by type. Click a tab to choose the appropriate type for your information need.

APA Citation Style Guide

Here are some resources about doing research in this subject area.

Evidence Based Practices

Social Work Policy Institute EBP Resources
A list of online databases and websites with EBP literature

Campbell Corporation Online Library (EBP)
Systematic reviews and EBP summaries on social work topics

SAMHSA’s Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center
A collection of scientifically-based resources including Treatment Improvement Protocols, tool kits, resource guides, clinical practice guidelines, and other science-based resources.

National Guideline Clearinghouse
Government guidelines for EBP health care research

Government Resources

Child Welfare Information Gateway (USDHHS)
Government website with news and information about child welfare related topics and services.

Other Library Research Guides

Evidence-Based Practice for the Helping Professions
Literature Reviews in Social Work (BU)
Evidence Based Social Work Research (UWM)

Recommended Help Guides

Literature Searching
Writing with Sources (Citing)


Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints (Gale) Covering today’s hottest social issues. Includes pro/con viewpoint essays, topic overviews, primary source documents, biographies of social activists and reformers, court-case overviews, periodical articles, statistical tables, charts and graphs, images, and podcasts.

Social Work Specific

Social Work Abstracts (EBSCOhost) 1965-present. Produced by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the database provides citations and abstracts dealing with all aspects of the social work field, including theory and practice, areas of service and social issues and problems.

SocINDEX with Full Text (EBSCOhost) Comprehensive sociology research database.

Sociology Database (ProQuest) Coverage of the international literature of sociology and social work, including culture and social structure, history and theory of sociology, social psychology, substance abuse and addiction, and more.

Psychology Specific

Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection (EBSCOhost) Journal articles for psychologists, counselors, researchers and students. Topics: anthropology, emotional and behavioral characteristics, mental processes, observational and experimental methods, psychiatry and psychology, child and adolescent psychology and various areas of counseling

Gale OneFile: Psychology (Gale) Provides access to academic journals and magazines that cover the study of emotions, personality, and the human mind. The database is of interest to both researchers and general users.

Psychology Database (ProQuest) Indexing and full-text. Coverage ranges from behavioral, clinical, cognitive, developmental, experimental, industrial and social psychology, along with personality, psychobiology and psychometrics.

Policy & Administration Specific

Public Health Database (ProQuest) Journals, videos, news, trade publications, reports, and more, with coverage including social sciences, business, and biological sciences. Full-text dissertations on environmental health sciences, health services administration, international public health, maternal and child health, and occupational safety and health.

MEDLINE Complete (EBSCOhost)
Covering a wide range of subjects including behavioral sciences, health policy development, life science and many more, it is an essential resource for health professionals and researchers engaged in clinical care, public health and health policy development.

Political Science Database (ProQuest) 
Access to leading political science and international relations journals plus recent, full-text political science dissertations as well as country reports and policy papers.

Database Tutorials

Using Databases Guide

Use these search techniques to locate Primary Research inside databases.

  1. Add the following row of keywords to your search: (methods AND results) OR methodology OR “case study” OR “this study” OR “a study”. You will want to copy and paste this entire row of keywords into its own search box (see first example below).

Important! From your list of results, you will still need to examine each article to see if it is primary research.

Advanced Search in ProQuest with added keywords 

  1. Filter by Document Type: on the Advanced Search page choose Case Study under Document Type or Publication Type. In SocioIndex with FullText, it looks like this:
  2. Use these search techniques to locate Primary Research inside databases.

    1. Add the following row of keywords to your search: (methods AND results) OR methodology OR “case study” OR “this study” OR “a study”. You will want to copy and paste this entire row of keywords into its own search box (see first example below).

    Important! From your list of results, you will still need to examine each article to see if it is primary research.

    Advanced Search in ProQuest with added keywords 

    1. Filter by Document Type: on the Advanced Search page choose Case Study under Document Type or Publication Type. In ProQuest Education Journals, it looks like this:Document Type drop down box with Case study highlighted

    All of these results are generally primary research articles, but not all primary research is a case study, so you will likely be missing some primary research articles on your topic by searching this way.

    1. In ERIC database, you can choose “Reports – All” and/or “Reports – Research” under Publication Type

    reports publication type in ERIC database

General Instructions: Finding Journal Articles

Finding Journal Articles By Journal Title in Primo

  1. Open  Primo Journal Title Search
  2. Search for the Journal’s TitlePrimo Journal Title Search Box
  3. Click on the Journal in the search results.
  4. Search inside the journal for keywords on the journal page.

Search Inside this journal search box


Journal Titles

Browzine eJournal Social Work Shelf

Browzine EJournal Social Policy Shelf



General Instructions: Finding Books

Library of Congress Call Numbers

HN         Social Problems

HV         Social Services


Ebook Central
EBSCO eBooks

Reference Books

Encyclopedia Of Social Work REF HV 12 .E53 2008
Encyclopedia Of World Poverty REF HV 12 .E54 2006
The social work dictionary
HV 12 .B37 2014
Issues for debate in social policy : selections from CQ researcher HN 59.2 .I798 2015
The complete guide to social work : independent study for the ASWB masters examination. HV40.52 .C66 2013

The SAGE Handbook of Social Work Research

HV11 .S254 2010
Social Work Research and Evaluation: Foundations of Evidence Based Practice HV11 .S589 2014

Background Information

Encyclopedia of Social Work
The Wikipedia of Social Work, this resource provides articles about social work, sociology, healthcare, and public policy maintained by SW faculty

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Glossary of Terms, Acronyms and Abbreviations

Information for Practice: News & New Scholarship From Around the World
News website developed by a Professor of Social Work, Dr. Holden. Includes links to new published scholarship, daily news, and  “grey literature” (for example, government documents, unpublished reports, clinical practice treatment protocols, etc.).

Social Work Education

Council on Social Work Education
Great Teaching and learning resources for faculty & students

NASW Student Career Resources
Job searching help, professional ethics, & financial programs for students


Children’s Bureau
National data on adoption, foster care, and child abuse and neglect

Kid Count Data Center
State level comparative data on child well-being presented in an interactive report-generating format

The Federal Inter-agency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics


Disability Data Resources
Web portal for U.S. disability statistics, from the U.S. Department of Labor

Demographic Data & Statistics

Gapminder  international economic, medical and social statistics

UNICEF: international data about children and women

International Database: demographic information for 228 countries with 5,000 or more people from UDS.

American Fact Finder United States Community Information based on the US Census (2010)

Open Data Network U.S. Data organized by state and metro area.

Statistical Abstract of the United States: historical census data 1889-2010

Professional Organizations

National Association of Social Workers
largest professional organization of social workers in the US

            Wisconsin Chapter of NASW

North American Association of Christians in Social Work
a non-profit Christian social work professional organization focused on promoting the integration of Christian faith into professional social work practice.

School Social Work Association of America
Largest professional organization for school social work in the US

Wisconsin School Social Work (DPI)
Information about School Social work license requirements and best practices in Wisconsin


American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work
Information on certification and national practice standards

Exam Study guides are located in the Main Stacks at call number:  HV 40

ASWB Exam Preparation Ebooks in Primo

Online Resources

LearningExpress Library
1. From the homepage select Career Preparation
2. Click on Prepare for an Occupation Exam
3. Scroll down to Social Work
4. Choose: Prepare for the ASWB Exams
5. Under ASWB Bachelors Practice Exam 1, Click Sign in or Register.
Click Register and create a free account.

Note: If you are located on-campus, your institution will be “Badgerlink”. 

Off-campus users:

1. Choose Mequon-Concordia University Wisconsin from the Choose Your Library list
2. Enter your CUW library barcode.
3. On the Find Resources page, click on LearningExpress Library and create a LearningExpress User Account.

Research Nonprofits Online

Urban Institute
Nonprofit research Organization that supports research that informs public policy affecting community well being in the United States

Congressional Research Service Reports
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) serves as shared staff to congressional committees and Members of Congress. CRS experts assist at every stage of the legislative process.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
A nonpartisan research and policy institute that support federal and state policies designed to reduce poverty and inequality

Institute for Research On Poverty (UW-Madison)
University research institute focused on IRP researches the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality in the United States.

Institute for Policy Research (Northwestern U)
Interdisciplinary research on social, family, policy, and health issues.

Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP)
An independent, nonpartisan 501(c)4 organization which supports the Congressional Social Work Caucus in the US House of Representatives

Brooking Institute
Center for the Study of Social Policy
Center for Law and Social Policy


Other Websites

GovTrack Social Welfare Page
Browse Federal Bills related to Social Welfare, including those not yet enacted.  


Global, non-partisan public policy research videos, reports, briefs, and multimedia material of think tank, university, government, and foundation-funded policy research.

National Association of Social Workers: Legislative Issues
Current activities of Congress on: child welfare, civil rights, economic equity, education, health, loan forgiveness, and mental health issues.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.

Northwestern U Social Policy Library Guide
See the websites listed under Education, Health, and Urban Policy tabs

UW-Madison Social Issues Websites
A great resources for ideas and background information for social issues

Video Tutorials

Click on the video and the CC icon for captions. 

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