SOCW 6361 Week 2

Week 2: Social Policy and Advocacy Skills

The focus of Week 2 is on policy advocacy skills and the impact of social policy on the practice of social work. You will identify an agency or organization, examine one of its policies, and describe that policy as well as the social problem it addresses. You will also work in small groups this week, discussing the responsibilities and obligations of the social worker to the community and society affected by social policy.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze agency or organizational policy
  • Apply policy advocacy skills
  • Evaluate impact of policy on social work practice
  • Generate Social Change Project ideas

Learning Resources

Required Readings

SOCW 6361 Webliography
These websites will be required throughout the semester. Become familiar with these websites, especially when doing research for your assignments.

Jansson, B. S. (2018). Becoming an effective policy advocate: From policy practice to social justice. (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning Series.
Chapter 2, “Articulating Four Rationales for Participating in Policy Advocacy” (pp. 31-69)
Chapter 3, “Obtaining Skills and Competencies for Policy Advocacy” (pp. 70–98)

Martin, M. E. (2012). Philosophical and religious influences on social welfare policy in the United States: The ongoing effect of Reformed theology and social Darwinism on attitudes toward the poor and social welfare policy and practice. Journal of Social Work, 12(1), 51–64.

Moyes, J., & Quadagno, J. (2002). Political theories of the welfare state. Social Service Review, 76(1), 34–57.

Optional Resources

MSW home page
Use this link to access the MSW home page, which provides resources for your social work program.

Discussion: Policies and Social Problems

Why is it important for social workers to understand policy? When you think of policies, you may tend to think of the federal policies that support services such as Medicare and state policies that support education and welfare services. However, sometimes the policies that have the greatest impact on clients are the policies of agencies and organizations.

Note: An “agency or organizational policy” is a policy. For example, it might be part of a county welfare agency that requires an administrator at a juvenile correction facility to report any individual that is an illegal immigrant that comes to that facility.

In this Discussion, you will identify a policy at an agency or organization with which you are familiar. It can be a public agency, a for-profit human service provider, or a not-for-profit community agency. Describe the organization, the policy, and the social problem it addresses.

By Day 3

Post the policy at an agency or organization with which you are familiar. Describe the organization, the policy, and the social problem it addresses.

Be sure to support your post with specific references to this week’s resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.

By Day 5

Respond to a colleague in all of the following ways:

  • What changes would you make to the policy described by your colleague? Explain. Describe the specific policy advocacy skills you will use.
  • How, as a professional social worker, will you work to ensure policies adequately represent the needs of oppressed and marginalized populations? Describe the specific policy advocacy skills you will use.
  • What is your ethical responsibility as a social worker to engage in policy practice within your own practice or agency?
Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 2 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 2 Discussion

Small Group Discussion: Social Change Projects

What does policy have to do with clinical social work? Connecting policy to direct practice can be a challenge for some micro social workers. However, policies affect the lives of each and every client who walks through your door. Policies affect clients ability to access and pay for services. Policies also affect environmental conditions that influence individual experience.

During this term, you will have an opportunity to create a Social Change Project. In Week 3, you will identify a social problem and a policy related to this problem. In Week 6, you will present a proposal for your social advocacy project that you will complete this term. In Week 8, you will analyze the strengths and weakness of the current policy. In Week 9, you will present a policy alternative. Finally, in Week 10, you will submit the final project by compiling the Weeks 3, 6, 8, 9 assignments and revising based on instructor feedback. You will also present on the actions and outcomes of your advocacy.

For this week’s small group discussion, you discuss ideas for your individual Social Change project. The Project will be completed individually; however, you discuss your Project in this week’s small group discussion to help you develop your idea based on peer feedback.

By Day 4

Post your responses to the following question presented for the Group Discussion:

  • Explain what area you are interested in engaging in advocacy.
  • Briefly, identify the related social problem and types of policies that may impact the social problem.
  • Identify 2-3 ideas you are considering for your Social Change Project.
  • Explain how the project may impact clients in a clinical social work setting.
By Day 6

Respond to two of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.
Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 2 Small Group Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 4 and Respond by Day 6

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 2 Small Group Discussion 2

Week in Review

This week you analyzed agency or organizational policy and applied policy advocacy skills. You also evaluated the impact of policy on social work practice.

Next week you will submit Part 1 of your Social Change Project to identify and describe a current social problem.

Looking Ahead

In Week 6, you will submit your proposal for a Social Change Project that you will complete during this term. You will present on this Social Change Project in Week 10. You are encouraged to begin working on these assignments now.

 

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