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Social Welfare Policy & Practice in Child Welfare

Learning About Federal Legislative Documents


Explore a Bill Video Tutorial from

Using Search Terms & Facets from
How to do a search on and refine the results with the facets

Researching Federal Statutes

Accessing Federal Legislative Documents

Govtrak by Subject

Govtrak Advanced Search makes federal United States legislative information freely available to the public. Launched Sept. 19, 2012, this version of the site is created as a successor to, the former public site for legislative information. The site contains legislation from 1973 the  to the present, member of Congress profiles, Committe Reports, and more.  Dates of coverage are listed for other legislative documents

Browse the U.S. Code The Code is the laws of the U.S. when they are published for the second time, organized by titles such as Title 38 Veteran's benefits and Title 20 Education.  The Code is legislation integrated with other legislation on relevant subjects.  This version of the law is sometimes referred to as "consolidated law".  It is divided by title, chapter, and section numbers.

US Code Classification Tables
" These tables show where recently enacted laws will appear in the United States Code and which sections of the Code have been amended by those laws. The tables sorted in Public Law order may be used to identify the sections of the Code affected by a particular law. The tables sorted in Code order may be used to determine whether a particular section of the Code has recently been amended. The tables only include those provisions of law that have been classified to the Code. The text of recently enacted laws may be found through the Library of Congress Thomas web site."


Provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.

HeinOnline Government, Politics and Law Collection

Includes US Code; US Congressional documents; US federal agency documents, decisions and appeals; US federal legislative history; US statutes at large; writings of the US Attorney General; law review journals; history of international law and more.


Often a federal department or agency is authorized by Congress to write regulations that flesh out details left unspecified in the U.S. Code.  These regulations are also codified, in the Code of Federal Regulations.  The numbering is parallel to the U.S. Code numbers.

The Environmental Protection Agency's explanation of the regulatory process, and how you can get involved.  Although this is not typically an agency particularly relevant for Social Workers, its explanation of the process is helpful and relevant to the process at other U.S. federal agencies