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Library Research Guides

Social Policies/Programs

Resources to research policy for social work practice.

Finding Federal Domestic Assistance

  • is a government site created to help citizens identify sources of assistance and benefits available. The site provides information from 17 federal agencies about more than 1,000 government programs. Users can search by categor, browse by state or by federal agency and find links to other federal resources providing programs and benefits.

  • - Government Benefits, Grants & Financial Aid
    This site provides links to information on government programs by broad topics, such as housing assistance, educational assistance, help for seniors and people with disabilities, assistance for children and families, and assistance related to health and nutrition.  

Government Accounting Office

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) works to improve the performance of federal programs established to benefit the citizens of the United States. It is responsible for both financial and performance audits of government programs and, according to their web site advises "Congress and the heads of executive agencies about ways to make government more efficient, effective, ethical, equitable and responsive." 

Browse GAO reports on their web site by date, topic, or agency. 

GAO Reports and Testimonies

Example GAO Summary Report - Elder Justice: More Federal Coordination and Public Awareness Needed  - June 10, 2013

Find Journal Articles on Government Programs

Search Library databases for journal articles or books written about specific government programs. Enter the name of the program in quotation marks to search by the title of the program.


  1. Find this program in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. I did a general search on the word Hispanic, hoping to find programs serving this population and found this title, "Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers"

  2. Search for the title of this program using ArticlesPlus and find several newspaper articles, journal articles and even a dissertation which mentions this program. 

screenshot of articlesplus search tab