Respond to a colleague with suggestions on how he or she can put his or her policy advocacy into action. Discuss which policy advocacy skills you can use as a social worker in all levels of practice.
As a social worker, what is your responsibility to engage in political action?
As social workers, it is our responsibility to join social reform traditions in society and in the social work profession and engage in political action (s) at every level, micro, macro, and mezzo. But we cannot fulfill this ethical obligation if we are not knowledgeable about the policies that affect the ones that we represent. “The Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) requires social workers to engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully” (Jannson, 2018, p. 17).
Identify an area of social welfare where social work policy advocacy is needed.
There is a need for social work policy advocacy when working with opioid drug users. Many states still do not have needle exchange programs and many people have the misconception that if we have these programs it is just enabling addicts to use drugs which is not the case. These are people too that need help just as much as the next person. These programs make the community safe, reduce the number of HIV transmission cases, and provide other resources that increase the likelihood of them getting future drug treatment, counseling, and rehabilitation.
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.
Responsibility in Political Action
Social work is founded on the ethics and values established by the NASW. The NASW asserts that primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty (NASW,2017). Furthermore, the NASW states that it is a social workers duty to promote social justice and change with and behalf of clients (NASW,2017) Therefore, it is believed that is my duty to empower the individuals I come in contact with by connecting them to the resources, information, and opportunities necessary to ensure their success. It is also believed that it is my duty to engage in political action when current policies are negatively affecting and perpetuating the harmful cycles in their lives and community. Subsequently, I have the obligation to advocate for my client(s) on micro, mezzo, and macro levels despite the challenges or opposition I may face. I am called to be bold in the face of such to ensure that the voices of the vulnerable and oppressed are heard.
Needed Advocacy in Special Need Care
I believe that further advocacy efforts are needed in the area of abuse of special need individuals. Advocacy efforts are especially needed for those individuals whom cannot verbally communicate their needs, desires, safety concerns, or negative experiences. In these cases, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of abuse. It is also important to understand that all forms of communication are valid and should be recognized as such. This extends to nonverbal communication and behavior patterns. I believe that this population is extremely vulnerable and more attention should be brought to this population to highlight the enhanced forms of protection that are needed.
NASW (2017). Code of ethics. Retrieved from: https://www.socialworkers.org/about/ethics/code-of-ethics/code-of-ethics-english
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