Discussion 1: Planning for Practice
As you have begun to acquaint yourself with the world of social work, you may have noticed stories in the media and elsewhere that seem connected to the field and even your specific interests. Perhaps you have become aware of the large numbers of military veterans returning to the United States who may require social work support. You may have noticed other emerging groups whose experiences are defined by a particular set of needs. Perhaps you wonder how you would best serve individuals with very different life experiences from your own.
1. For this Discussion, consider potential challenges to social work practice. Select an example of an issue or circumstance that might pose a challenge to you.
2. Post a description of issues or situations that may impact you in the field of social work.
3. What areas do you predict might be difficult for you?
Support your posts and responses with specific references to the Resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
Advocacy might conjure images of speaking at a congressional hearing or soliciting petition signatures at library entrances. Yet, social workers engage in advocacy as an agent of social change in numerous ways. The scenarios presented in this week’s introduction are examples of three types of advocacy:
o Case advocacy—When a social worker addresses the lack of services, or resources at the micro level, educates the client about available resources and programs, or fights for clients’ rights.
o Legislative advocacy—When a social worker addresses a policy gap at the macro level, and provides information and suggestions to legislators, in order to close that gap.
o Community advocacy—When a social worker represents the needs of a community at the mezzo level by engaging in group-oriented activities, such as holding a town meeting to educate the neighborhood about a particular issue they are facing.
Another type of advocacy, not represented by the earlier scenarios, is agency advocacy. For example, you might conduct agency advocacy as a social worker when you identify a gap in services at your agency and pursue additional services for a particular population the agency serves. Or, you might pursue a change in current policy that you deem to be unfair to some of your clients.
How do you envision becoming an agent of social change through the use of advocacy?
, review this week’s Resources. Think about whether advocacy is a vital aspect of social work. Then, consider what section within the NASW code of ethics requires advocacy of social workers. Finally, search for a local, state, or federal legislative website for a pending law that relates to an issue and a population that social workers encounter. Consider the importance of passing this legislation to the population, to the community, and to social work practice.
1. an explanation of whether you think advocacy is a vital aspect of social work. Be sure to reference this week’s readings to support your position.
2. Then, explain what section within the NASW code of ethics requires advocacy of social workers.
3. Finally, describe the pending law you selected and explain why its passage might be important to the population effected by the issue, the broader community, and social work practice.
Ezell, R. (2001). Understanding advocacy. In M. Ezell (Ed.), Advocacy in the human services (1st ed., pp. 20–36). Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks Cole.
Hoefer, R. (2012). Social justice and advocacy practice. In R. Hoefer (Ed.), Advocacy practice for social justice (2nd ed., pp. 25–41). Chicago, IL: Lyceum. Advocacy Practice for Social Justice, 2nd Edition by Richard Hoefer.
Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2015). Understanding generalist practice (6th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Chapter 14, “Advocacy” (pp. 513