The knowledge, values, and ethics base of social work education uniquely call on social workers to take on advocacy roles. This advocacy may be both on an individual basis, as you advocate for your client’s needs, and on a wider scale within community and governmental systems, as you address rules and regulations affecting those in need.
Social workers see firsthand the difficulties faced by clients who lack the resources for maintaining basic human needs for themselves and their families. Social workers frequently work diligently to foster relationships that empower and encourage those in need.
As social workers, you will work with social service agencies to facilitate economic justice, protect a social safety net, or ensure the availability of mental health and welfare systems to those you serve. As the voice for those needing resources, the social worker often advocates for both individual needs and social reforms.
Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:
- Apply understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in micro social work practice. (PO 2)
- Create empathic client engagement that leads to empowerment and growth. (PO 6)
- Analyze intervention and program processes. (PO 9)
- Textbook: The Practice of Generalist Social Work
- Website: National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
- File: How to Engage in Substantive Discussion Post.pdf
In this activity, you will visit the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) website and explore an advocacy issue of interest to you. In the discussion forum for this activity, you will identify your advocacy issue and discuss your position on the issue with your peers.
- Read “Straight Talk about Evaluating and Reclaiming Our Knowledge,” beginning on p. 229 of your textbook The Practice of Generalist Social Work.
- Visit the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) website at https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English.
- Explore the “Issues” tab and review the many issues that social workers are engaged in advocating. Some of the issues you will see include Medicare Reimbursement, Affordable Care Act Integration, the Older Americans Act, and Child Welfare.
- Now it’s your turn. Navigate to the discussion prompt below and respond to the following prompts:
Identify: What you believe is the most important social welfare issue facing consumers of the social welfare system today? For example:
- Domestic violence
- Poverty and related child welfare concerns
- Veteran homelessness and poverty
- Employment and continuing education for those in need of training and employment opportunities
- Provide Background: Provide a background statement stating your position. Include in your background at least two documented examples of the groups being affected by the issue you have chosen. Please establish the issue in a real time and place.
Advocate: Imagine yourself as an advocate for the group(s) you have chosen and describe a solution that will lead to empowerment and growth as you confront the issue on behalf of the group you are helping. Include in your solution:
- Who will benefit from this solution?
- What does empowerment look like and, in your vision, how will it be actualized?
- As a social worker, how will you resolve conflicts that currently exist in the system?
- How will you measure success for your vision? Will it be an elimination of poverty, for example, or ensuring that all humans have equal access to education?
- Reference: Cite one reference at the end of your post (in addition to your textbook).
- Identify: What you believe is the most important social welfare issue facing consumers of the social welfare system today? For example:
- Use the headings in 4.a-c to organize your posting and your responses.
- Read and respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings, as well as all instructor follow-up questions directed to you, by the end of the workshop. Your responses to your classmates’ postings should include:
- Do you agree or disagree with your peer’s solution? Why or why not?
- Do you anticipate any pitfalls that may result from his or her proposed solution?
- Provide one reference supporting your position.
- Your initial post is due by the fourth day of the workshop.
- Your postings also should:
- Be well developed by providing clear answers with evidence of critical thinking
- Add greater depth to the discussion by introducing new ideas
- Provide clarification to classmates’ questions and provide insight into the discussion
- Be posted on two different days during the workshop
- Read the How to Engage in Substantive Discussion Post.pdf document and apply the guidelines to your weekly discussion posts.
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