Subject areas


The portal offers information on all aspects of social welfare in the UK and overseas, with a particular emphasis on policy development, implementation and evaluation.

To help you browse the collection, the full text reports in the portal are arranged by the broad subject areas below.



Acts as passed before parliament, these include explanatory memoranda, impact assessments, and post-legislative assessments. The focus is on UK law.

Social Policy

The study of social services and the welfare state. This section includes reports on health, housing, education and issues affecting public services.

Services by activity

Community Development and Regeneration

Including the role of third sector organisations and their volunteers in public service delivery.

Criminal Justice Services

Policies and interventions aimed at stopping people getting into trouble as well as offender management.

Education and Skills

Initiatives aimed at raising standards in schools, offering access to vocational training and widening participation in higher education.


This section covers aspects of employment policy and labour market activity. It focuses on support for the unemployed and welfare-to-work programmes.

Health Services

The provision of healthcare services including hospital care, primary care, and public health. This section also covers aspects of health policy and National Health Service reform.

Housing and Homelessness

Current housing policy is considered alongside a growing demand for social and market rented housing, and alternative forms of home ownership.

Mental health services

This collection focuses on policies and practice aimed at improving the mental health of the population, promoting recovery, and combating stigma and social exclusion.

Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion

Including pensions and tax credits as well as other government interventions, such as the minimum wage.


Social policies relating to resettlement of vulnerable groups including refugees, asylum-seekers, ex-offenders and homeless people

Social Work, Social Care and Social Services

Reports on human rights and social justice. Promoting services for older people, younger adults and disadvantaged groups.

Substance Misuse

Substance abuse is fast becoming a major health concern in Britain. Here we cover policy approaches to dealing with the harms arising from drug and alcohol misuse.


Studies and academic papers on the impact of public policy on volunteering in community based organisations. This section provides practical advice for those who wish to become involved in the voluntary sector.

Services for client groups

Children and Young People

Including protection and safeguarding, the care system, adoption and fostering, parent support and youth services.

Disabled people

The reports in this area focus on the debates on such issues as human rights, discrimination, definitions, policy and practices.


This section covers a diverse range of topics including the provision of child care and child support. Other topics include divorce, family violence and juvenile crime.

Minority Groups

As the ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity of the UK population increases, this section considers the likely outcomes for minority groups.


This collection focuses on the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders. It focuses on policy reform and covers work with offenders in prisons.

Older Adults

Including health and social care, residential and community care, living arrangements, financial inclusion, independent living, citizenship, and rights and risk

Young Offenders

This section includes material on juvenile offending, antisocial behaviour, and gang crime. It includes reports on crime prevention and offender management.