The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) specifies the ethics and values of the profession in their Code of Ethics. Section 6.04 of the Code of Ethics (1999) states:
Social workers should engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully. Social workers should be aware of the impact of the political arena on practice and should advocate for changes in policy and legislation to improve social conditions in order to meet basic human needs and promote social justice.(Preamble, p. 8)
With the requirement of social and political action among social workers, there is little political activity among clinical social workers. Why? What barriers exist that prevent social workers from fulfilling this ethical obligation?
What does it mean to be a macro social worker? A micro social worker? Do these differentiations have any real meaning? If not, why is this language used when referring to the social work profession?
In this Discussion, you will look at the obligation of social workers to engage in political action in their practice and discuss why there appear to be different perceptions of the responsibility for political action among social work professionals.
Post an analysis of historical divides (such as the schism between Jane Addams and Mary Richmond) and historical influences on current social work practice with respect to policy advocacy and action. Do such schisms exist in contemporary social work? If you think these divides exist, how do they prevent social workers from fulfilling their ethical obligation(s)? Are they important differentiation?
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.
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 1, “Joining a Tradition of Social Reform” (pp. 3–31)
Community Toolbox. (2016). Chapter 5 Section 1: Strategies for community change and improvement: An overview. Retrieved from http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/assessment/promotion-strategies/overview/main
Hill, K. M., Ferguson, S. M., & Erickson, C. (2010). Sustaining and strengthening a macro identity: The association of macro practice social work. Journal of Community Practice, 18(4), 513–527. doi:10.1080/10705422.2010.519684
Jacobson, W. B. (2001). Beyond therapy: Bringing social work back to human services reform. Social Work, 46(1), 51–61.
TEDx Talks. (2015, July 15). Inspiring change through community organizing: Dara Frimmer [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DtILpmsCcA&t=8s
Think Tank and Policy Websites
Brookings Institute (https://www.brookings.edu/) A nonprofit public policy organization that conducts high-quality, independent research and provides innovative and practical recommendations based on that research.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (https://www.cbpp.org/) Conducts research and analysis to help shape public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that policymakers consider the needs of low-income families and individuals in these debates. Also develops policy options to alleviate poverty.
Center for Law and Social Policy (https://www.clasp.org/) A national nonprofit working to improve the lives of low-income people.
Child Trends (https://www.childtrends.org/) A nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that studies children at all stages of development to improve outcomes for children by providing research, data, and analysis to the people and institutions whose decisions and actions affect children, including program providers, the policy community, researchers and educators, and the media.
Child Welfare League of America (https://www.cwla.org/) Strives to lead the nation in building public will to ensure safety, permanence, and well-being of children, youth, and their families by advancing public policy, defining and promoting excellence in practice, and delivering superior membership services.
Families USA (https://familiesusa.org/) A national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.
Finance Project—Economic Success Clearinghouse (http://www.financeproject.org) Links to resources about effective policies, programs, and financing strategies that help low-income and working poor families.
Institute for Research on Poverty (https://www.irp.wisc.edu/) A center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality in the United States.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research (https://iwpr.org/) Conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women, promote public dialogue, and strengthen families, communities, and societies.
Mathematica Policy Research (https://www.mathematica-mpr.com/) Strives to improve public well-being by bringing the highest standards of quality, objectivity, and excellence to bear on the provision of information collection and analysis.
MDRC (https://www.mdrc.org/) Created to learn what works in social policy and to make sure that the evidence it produces informs the design and implementation of policies and programs.
National Center for Children in Poverty (http://www.nccp.org/) The nation’s leading public policy center dedicated to promoting the economic security, health, and well-being of America’s low-income families and children.
Urban Institute (https://www.urban.org/) Conducts nonpartisan economic and social policy research.