What Is the Definition of Social Policy?

Social policies are public services that govern the well-being of citizens, and they revolve around the five social maladies of poverty, poor health, inadequate housing, lack of education and unemployment. By implementing social policies, governments strive to improve the quality of life for citizens and correct societal maladies.

Historically, many governments took it upon themselves to initiate and carry out social policy action plans. Government agencies were tasked with addressing social ills and identifying solutions. More recently, governments have changed their approaches to collaborate with other nongovernmental and quasi-governmental agencies (including businesses, nonprofits and even other governments) to effect positive change.