Posted: September 19th, 2022




Assignment: Skill Building Goals

Social work is a practice profession—you apply your learning in practical ways. In the same way you apply your learning to serve clients, you can seek out and apply solutions to your academic needs in a practical way. Academic skills are not magical or illusive—they can be learned, strengthened, and applied to achieve your goals. In this case, your ultimate goal is a graduate degree in social work, applied to help those in need.

Walden University offers a plethora of resources for academic skill development. The challenge is more often finding the time and focus to utilize these resources effectively. Spending the time and energy now to develop these skills will support and enhance your overall success within the MSW program.

Paralleling the work you will do with clients, this Assignment asks you to engage in self-assessment, goal development, and implementation of a plan. The purpose here is to think about the skills you would like to develop over the next 4 weeks and simply envision how you could accomplish that goal. Like many plans, it is not permanent. It can change—think of this as a work in progress, with the focus on self-reflection.

To Prepare

· Review the Learning Resources that relate to SMART Goals and other academic skills.

· Complete the 
Walden SafeAssign and academic integrity tutorial [Interactive tutorial] found in this week’s Learning Resources under

Required Media

. This will help you evaluate your academic skills, and the certificate of completion is also required for submission in this Assignment. (COMPLETED)

· Under Course Home, review the resources on the Academic Skills Resources page. Which of those resources relate to where you think you need to improve your academic skills? Focus on those resources.

· Consider which skills develop over the next 4 weeks.

· Create 3 goals to develop your graduate level skills. Describe how you will meet each goal. 
Tip: Make goals Specific, Measureable, Acheiveable, Relevant, and Timely. Identify specific academic skill support resources at Walden to plan to use in your skill development.

By Day 7

· Complete the Academic Integrity Module and attach the certificate.

· Attach your 3 goals in a work processing document.

· Make sure that both files are attached in the Assignment link 
before submitting the Assignment.

Required Readings

Cox, L. E., Tice, C. J., & Long, D. D. (2019). Introduction to social work: An advocacy-based profession (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

· Chapter  2: “The History of Social Work” (pp. 23–37)

Introduction to Social Work: An Advocacy-Based Profession, 2nd Edition by Cox, L.; Tice, C.; Long, D. Copyright 2019 by SAGE Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications, Inc via the Copyright Clearance Center. Licensed in 2020.

Cox, L. E., Tice, C. J., & Long, D. D. (2019). Introduction to social work: An advocacy-based profession (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

· Chapter  4: “Advocacy in Social Work” (pp. 57–75)

Introduction to Social Work: An Advocacy-Based Profession, 2nd Edition by Cox, L.; Tice, C.; Long, D. Copyright 2019 by SAGE Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications, Inc via the Copyright Clearance Center. Licensed in 2020.

Reisch, M. (2016). Why macro practice matters.
Journal of Social Work Education,
52(3), 258–268.

VCU Libraries Social Welfare History Project. (n.d.).
Richmond, Mary.

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. (n.d.).

Walden University: Academic Skills Center. (n.d.).
Developing SMART goals.

Academic Skills Resources: Locate the Academic Skills Resources page under Course Home for your Assignment this week.

Required Media

National Association of Social Workers. (n.d.).
Social work history.

Note: Watch the “Legacies of Social Change” video at the bottom of this page.

Walden University: Student Affairs. (n.d.).
Walden SafeAssign and academic integrity tutorial [Interactive tutorial].

Note: Take this online tutorial for the Assignment this week. The tutorial provides a certificate to download upon completion. You must submit this certificate in the Assignment.

Walden University Library. (n.d.).
Becoming a scholar [Interactive tutorial].

Walden University Library. (n.d.).
Critical reading and evaluation [Interactive tutorial].

Why Macro Practice Matters
Michael Reisch

This article asserts thatmacro practice is increasingly important in today’s rapidly
changing and complex practice environment. It briefly explores the history of
macro practice in U.S. social work, summarizes its major contributions to the
profession and to U.S. society, and provides some suggestions for how social
work programs can expand interest in macro practice among their students and
increase the number of students who pursue macro-oriented careers.

Accepted: March 2016

  • Introduction: The changing environment of social work practice
  • The social work profession faces many challenges in today’s dynamic, complex, and uncertain
    environment, including persistent ideologically motivated attacks on the concept of social welfare
    itself and on government as a problem-solving institution; the changing role of the nonprofit sector;
    the wide-ranging impact of economic globalization; privatization of social life; the overall decline in
    civic and political participation; the devolution of political authority and power to local governments
    and the for-profit sector; the industrialization of social work; the impact of social media and the
    news cycle that runs 24 hours, 7 days a week on the public’s perception of social issues; and the
    conflicts produced by increasing demographic and cultural diversity (Reisch, 2013a).

    Although some of these issues have existed for years, they have acquired new urgency as a
    consequence of domestic and international developments. As a consequence of economic globaliza-
    tion, human migration on a massive scale, the effects of climate change, and the spread of digital
    technology, the world is much more interconnected. The effects of public health crises, civil conflicts,
    and natural disasters, once confined to nations or even to communities, now give every problem an
    international dimension. The rapidity and global reach of communication speeds the dissemination
    of information and simultaneously demands more rapid and often less thoughtful responses to
    crises. Instant communication also illuminates the persistent gulfs that exist among and within
    nations even about the meaning of these events.

    In the United States, serious divisions exist over the Black Lives Matter movement, marriage
    equality, Affirmative Action, transgender, and reproductive rights, and over what would constitute
    an effective response to terrorism, climate change, and increasing inequality. This fragmentation is
    also reflected in our vocabulary and in the composition of our society. Words such as empowerment
    and social justice are used to rationalize fundamentally different goals. By 2040 people of color will
    be the majority of the U.S. population. The backlash against this demographic certainty is already
    reflected in our politics with profound implications for our nation’s future, our sense of community,
    and social work practice (Reisch & Jani, 2012).

  • The disappearance of macro practice in social work
  • It is ironic, therefore, that in an era when macro interventions have become increasingly critical,
    macro practice has become “a marginalized subfield in social work” (Fisher & Corciullo, 2011, p.

    CONTACT Michael Reisch University of Maryland, School of Social Work, 525 West Redwood
    Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.
    This is an invited article.
    © 2016 Council on Social Work Education

    2016, VOL. 52, NO. 3, 258–268

    359). Statistics from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE, 2012) indicate that less than 9%
    of all MSW students are enrolled in all the macro practice areas combined. A 2014 survey of
    accredited MSW programs found that only 23% had advanced practice concentrations in community
    practice, management practice, or policy practice (CSWE, 2014). Data from the survey also indicated
    that in 2014 only 6% of 37,699 MSW students were in macro-oriented placements, that is, place-
    ments that emphasized community development or planning, administration, advocacy, or social
    policy (CSWE, 2014).

    Trends in social work education have implications for social work practice after students
    graduate. Research by the National Association of Social Workers’ (NASW) Center for Workforce
    Studies found that social workers spend “only two percent of time each week . . . [on] community
    organizing and policy/legislative development,” and less than 1 in 7 social workers “identify macro as
    their practice focus” (Whitaker & Arrington, 2008, pp. 7–8). These trends have produced a
    considerable shortage of macro social workers particularly in low-income, low-power communities
    where they are most needed (Mott, 2008).

    The roots of this problem may lie in the climate and curricula of many schools of social work. A
    survey conducted by Rothman (2013) found considerable resistance among social work faculty to
    integrating macro practice into BSW and MSW curricula that primarily emphasize education for
    clinical careers, and is a devaluing of macro content by some deans and directors and results in a
    general lack of interest in or understanding of macro practice among many students. Many program
    directors pay scant attention to macro content either in their course work or field placements, although
    generalist practice has been the core of social work education for several decades and is purportedly the
    focus of BSW programs and the foundation year of all MSW programs.

    Yet if the social work profession is to realize its goal of social justice in an increasingly diverse
    society, the need for the structural approach at the heart of macro practice has become more urgent
    (Hasenfeld & Garrow, 2012). Macro social workers play an essential role in transforming private
    troubles, such as unemployment, domestic violence, homelessness, and mass incarceration, into
    public issues (Mills, 1963; Schwartz, 1969) and in developing strategic interventions that translate
    awareness of these troubles into concrete policies and programs that address them. They promote
    systemic and institutional changes that address people’s problems that are not or cannot be solved
    solely by interventions at the individual or family level. Such changes often involve the replacement
    of critical actors through leadership development and enhanced civic participation, the redistribu-
    tion and redefinition of social and organizational roles, the revision of society’s reward structure, and
    policy changes that affect the allocation of resources, rights, benefits, opportunities, status, and
    obligations (Mizrahi & Morrison, 2013).

    Macro social workers play a critical role in each of these change processes by expanding our
    understanding of community structure and dynamics and the intra- and interorganizational pro-
    cesses that affect the design and delivery of social services (Homan, 2016). They help empower
    people through collective efforts, develop and administer innovative policies and programs, and
    create new, more responsive services to enhance people’s lives and well-being (Burghardt, 2013).
    They recognize how issues affect diverse communities differently and how race, ethnicity, class,
    gender, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, ability, and immigration status influence people’s
    lives and life chances. Because of their ethical commitment to individual and social change, all social
    workers need to appreciate this interconnectedness.

  • Underlying assumptions
  • One underlying assumption that guides macro practitioners is that most societal conditions often
    accepted as givens, such as poverty, are neither natural nor inevitable. Macro social workers even
    question whether the damages caused by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina are entirely
    natural. By looking at the world and our practice environment through this different lens, macro
    social workers pose critical questions such as, Who defines what is a problem in our society or in the


    organizations where we work? Who interprets why these problems exist? Who decides which
    problems get attention and of what type? Who defines what constitutes a need and acceptable
    forms of helping? Merely posing these questions helps reveal new truths and increases the possibility
    of systemic change (Mizrahi, 2015).

    Because all social workers practice in systems that are often indifferent or hostile to the interests
    of our clients and constituents, macro practitioners pay particular attention to how issues are defined
    and by whom, how their extent or severity is assessed, who or what is defined as the target of
    intervention, and what causal factors are excluded or treated as marginal. They focus on change
    goals and change processes (Reisch & Garvin, 2016). This dual emphasis is essential in today’s
    fractious political climate because of the importance of asking, Who determines a policy or
    program’s goals? Who initiates and controls a change effort? How are the people affected by a
    proposed change involved? How is the success or failure of the change defined? And, Who will assess
    the outcome of the proposed intervention and by what means?

  • Definition and components of macro practice
  • Widely accepted definitions of macro practice include two common elements. Macro practice
    involves intervention “with organizations, communities, and groups of people” (Meenaghan,
    Gibbons, & McNutt, 2005), and its goal is “to bring about planned change [emphasis added] in”
    those systems (Netting, Kettner, McMurty, & Thomas, 2011). In other words, macro practice is a
    collective and collaborative form of social work that seeks to create purposive change. The compo-
    nents of macro social work have been further divided into more specific functions (see Table 1).
    Through these forms of practice, social workers help communities perform their five major functions
    (Warren, 1978): production, distribution, and consumption of tangible and intangible goods;
    socialization; social control; social participation; and mutual support and help in creating more
    responsive organizations.

    Macro social work practice is the integration of all these forms of practice. It pushes the
    boundaries of the profession by fostering a big-picture perspective that enables social workers and

    Table 1. The components of macro practice.

    Community Practice Management Policy Practice

    Neighborhood and
    community organizing

    Developing and managing stakeholder

    Identifying and assessing the impact of
    problems and issues that affect individuals,
    families, and communities

    Organizing functional

    Modeling appropriate professional behavior Analyzing the effects (positive, negative, and
    unintended) of existing policies

    Social, economic, and

    Initiating and facilitating innovative change

    Developing alternative policy solutions and
    creating and implementing strategis to acheive

    Inclusive program

    Demonstrating effective cross-cultural
    interpersonal and communication skills

    Implementing policy decisions

    Social planning Encouraging active involvement of all staff and
    stakeholders in decision making

    Evaluating policies and programs in terms of
    their effectiveness, efficiency, and effect

    Coalition work Establishing and promoting the vision,
    philosophy, goals, objectives, and values of the

    Political and social action Planning, promoting, and modeling lifelong

    Movements for
    progressive change

    Designing and developing programs

    Strategic planning
    Building interorganizational relationships to
    enhance service delivery

    Source. From Weil, Gamble, & Ohmer (2013); Hassan & Wimpfheimer (2014); Jansson (2014).

    260 M. REISCH

    society as a whole to analyze people’s issues outside the box and focus on the prevention of
    problems, not merely their amelioration. Macro practice explicitly embodies social work’s commit-
    ment to social justice and social change by promoting structural solutions to systemic inequalities
    and various forms of oppression that go beyond individual adaptation and resilience.

    It is important, therefore, to clarify a few key points about macro practice that are often obscured
    by our professional rhetoric and, unfortunately, are sometimes transmitted to social work students.
    Contrary to frequent usage, macro social work is not indirect practice. All social work practice
    occurs in a community context, and virtually all social workers work in organizations that are
    affected by social policies. Understanding the dynamics of communities and organizations and the
    policy development process, therefore, is an essential component of effective practice with every
    population and problem with which the profession is involved.

    As with practice with individuals, couples, families, and groups, macro practice involves working
    with people, not merely with or within systems (Burghardt, 2013). As with micro practitioners, the
    changes macro social workers seek are purposeful and planned, and they make conscious use of
    evidence gleaned from research and from knowledge obtained from practice experience. As in efforts
    to produce changes in individuals and families, macro-level changes require information gathering,
    effective problem definition and issue framing, resource mobilization (of finances and people),
    strategic planning, targeted action, and reflective evaluation or praxis (Reisch, 2012). Perhaps of
    greatest importance, micro and macro social workers alike are committed to the foundational values
    of the profession: social justice, human dignity, and respect for diversity in all its forms. The means
    by which they express these values in their practice may differ, but these means are complementary
    and mutually supportive; they are neither in conflict nor occur on parallel, nonintersecting tracks.

  • Macro practice and social justice
  • Although macro practice in social work occurs in a wide range of fields and takes many diverse
    forms, certain common elements distinguish macro practice, as shown in Table 2.

    The NASW (2008) Code of Ethics explicitly and implicitly reflects the social justice values and
    goals underlying these practice skills:

    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 [emphasis added]. (pp. 23–24)

    Table 2. Common macro practice skills.

    Working with task-oriented groups
    Individual and group supervision
    Resource development, mobilization, and management
    Marketing or promoting a service or cause
    Negotiation and participatory management
    Interorganizational planning and leadership development
    Community, organizational, and policy analysis
    Program development, implementation, and evaluation
    Advocacy, lobbying, public education, and coalition building
    Media relations and public speaking
    Cultivating and exercising leadership
    Managing planned change and conflict
    Assessing the strengths and assets of communities and organizations
    Facilitating the empowerment of clients and constituents and the groups they belong to
    Communicating effectively across class, racial, and cultural boundaries
    Analyzing the structure, dynamics, and culture of human service organizations and the communities where they exist
    Determining when and how to exert influence in communities and social service systems

    Source. Paraphrased from Austin & Lowe (1994, pp. 2–7).


    Throughout the history of the social work profession, macro practitioners have played a particu-
    larly critical role in this regard. Although few in number, macro practitioners have been leaders in
    translating the profession’s ethical imperative of social justice into strategies that change the
    structures and systems that affect people’s lives and well-being (Reisch & Andrews, 2002;
    Wenocur & Reisch, 1989).

    Macro social workers embody this ethical imperative in three complementary ways. They
    emphasize the importance of expanding the genuine participation of clients, constituents, colleagues,
    and coalition partners in the identification of human needs; development and implementation of
    various strategies to address these needs; and evaluation of which strategies are most effective. This
    emphasis, which helped shape the profession’s core concept of empowerment (Simon, 1990),
    assumes that people can and should use existing institutions as a means to achieve democratically
    determined ends, and, when necessary, work to restructure these institutions or create more
    responsive, alternative institutions.

    Macro social workers also embrace a more inclusive, nonhierarchical definition of expertise that
    reflects a belief not only in the efficacy and utility of nonpartisan, scientific problem-solving
    processes by objective experts (e.g., evidence-based practice) but also in the ability of clients and
    constituents to identify their needs and interests and contribute their insights and experience to the
    processes required to address these needs effectively.

    Finally, macro practitioners value an inclusive definition of leadership that underscores the need
    for efficient decision making in community groups, social service agencies, and advocacy organiza-
    tions, and the importance of cultivating new indigenous leadership from within the diverse com-
    munities with which they work.

  • A brief history of macro practice
  • Before the emergence of professional social work in the United States at the turn of the 20th century,
    people of every racial, ethnic, and religious background organized services to meet their needs, mobilized
    their communities to fight perceived injustices, and advocated for reforms that would improve their lives
    and make the nation more democratic and more equal (Fisher, 1994). Although the label macro practice
    is a fairly recent invention, under other names its earliest practitioners recognized the interrelationship
    between meeting basic human needs and creating meaningful social and political change. Efforts to
    combine these goals were most effective when they responded with sensitivity to demographic changes
    and new cultural norms and values, were open to new ideas from multiple sources, recognized the
    relationship between social movements and community-based services, integrated research findings into
    practice in a manner that reflected the profession’s values and ethics, and took the necessary risks to
    propose, develop, and implement innovative solutions to long-standing problems.

    The roots of macro practice, therefore, cannot be found merely in the soil that produced mainstream
    social work agencies, such as Charity Organization Societies, settlement houses, and public welfare
    departments. Macro practice also emerged from workers’ struggles to organize unions, from radical
    political organizations and diverse social movements, immigrants’ rights groups, and, perhaps above all,
    from the self-help or mutual aid organizations that excluded and marginalized minorities created for
    their own survival purposes (Betten & Austin, 1990; Fisher, 1994). Over the course of the 20th century,
    macro practice in the social work field evolved in response to rapid socioeconomic and political change;
    the impact of external events, such as depression and wars; the influence of new ideologies, domestic
    and foreign; ideas developed by new identity-based social movements in the 1960s and 1970s; and the
    interaction of the heterogeneous communities that make up U.S. society (Rothman, 1999).

    The Progressive Era (1890–1918)

    During the Progressive Era when organized social work first appeared, macro practitioners such as
    Jane Addams, Florence Kelley, George Edmund Haynes, and Forrester Washington, played a major

    262 M. REISCH

    role in establishing the foundation for the U.S. social welfare system. They developed public and
    nonprofit social service organizations at the local and state levels; conducted research on poverty,
    child welfare, juvenile justice, factory conditions, and public health issues; and trained a generation
    of social researchers. They helped organize labor unions, especially for women and immigrants.
    Through their involvement in advocacy efforts, various social movements, and interracial coalitions,
    they helped pass laws that banned child labor and created mothers’ pensions; established public
    health standards, housing codes, and occupational safety requirements; and introduced many of the
    features of modern urban life (e.g., playgrounds, street lighting, and kindergartens) that we take for
    granted today. Without these efforts, the social work profession would have lacked the organiza-
    tional, community, and societal bases it required to develop and thrive (Wenocur & Reisch, 1989).

    The New Deal

    After the decline of the progressive movement, most members of the social work profession turned
    inward in the quest for higher occupational status—a pattern that has repeated itself down to the
    present. Macro practitioners, however, advocated for social reforms, such as social insurance;
    expanded the concept of community and community participation; used social scientific research
    to analyze persistent social issues; and modernized the concept of human services administration.
    During the 1930s their efforts began to bear fruit. Macro practitioners such as Harry Hopkins,
    Frances Perkins, and Mary McLeod Bethune were key architects of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New
    Deal. Others, such as E. Franklin Frazier, Jacob Fisher, Bertha Capen Reynolds, and Mary van
    Kleeck, criticized the Roosevelt Administration for its failure to provide sufficient assistance to
    millions of Americans, particularly African American and Latinos.

    Macro social workers also participated actively in the reform and radical movements of the era,
    often in leadership roles. They promoted the democratization of industry through labor unions and
    of social service organizations through the creation of more active roles for clients and the influence
    of the democratic values of social group work (Reisch, 2008). Reflecting the tenor of the times, they
    embraced a conflict model of practice in the community organizing field, first developed by Saul
    Alinsky in the working class “Back-of-the-Yards” neighborhood in Chicago (Hurwitt, 1992).

    Between the world wars, macro practitioners also attempted to define the core knowledge, skills,
    and values underlying their work. They published numerous texts and articles that articulated the
    intellectual basis and interlocking components of group, community, and organizational practice
    (Austin & Betten, 1977). As a result, just prior to World War II, the profession recognized
    community organization and group work as core social work methods.

    World War II and the postwar period

    During World War II, macro practitioners developed and administered new child care and health
    care services for the burgeoning wartime workforce, organized relief for refugees, and helped
    military personnel and their families cope with the stresses of loss, separation, and readjustment
    to civilian life. After the war, they led the struggle to expand the New Deal to include fair employ-
    ment practices, civil rights, and universal health care.

    The anti-Communist hysteria of the McCarthy era, however, repressed much of this activism.
    From the late 1930s through the early 1960s many macro practitioners endured professional black-
    listing and legislative persecution (Reisch & Andrews, 2002). Consequently, once again the organized
    social work profession redirected much of its efforts away from social and community change to the
    provision of individually focused social services and to status enhancement through credentialing
    and licensing. Even macro social workers rejected conflict-oriented approaches to practice in favor of
    more politically appealing methods, such as top-down, expertise-driven community planning; an
    emphasis on organizational efficiency and professionalism; and incremental strategies for policy
    change (Specht & Courtenay, 1994; Wenocur & Reisch, 1989).


    The War on Poverty

    The War on Poverty of the 1960s revived interest in social and political change among macro
    practitioners and the profession as a whole. Macro social workers developed new models of service,
    such as Mobilization for Youth in New York City, and directed Community Action Programs
    throughout the nation, which shifted the locus of power and resources within low-income commu-
    nities. Macro practitioners such as Whitney Young, director of the Urban League, held leadership
    positions in the NASW, the National Conference of Social Welfare, and government agencies at the
    local, state, and federal levels. They helped create Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, the
    Food Stamp Program, and the Economic Opportunity Act. Inspired by the new social movements of
    the period, macro social workers also helped organize the National Welfare Rights Organization, the
    United Farm Workers, and various civil rights and antiwar groups (Reisch & Andrews, 2002).

    Recent trends

    During the last quarter of the 20th century, the conservative political environment required macro
    practitioners, particularly those employed in large public and nonprofit organizations, to adopt defensive
    strategies to protect the fragile gains of the 1930s and 1960s and to survive during a period of fiscal
    austerity and anti–social welfare ideology. Yet, even in this climate, macro practitioners heightened public
    awareness of long-standing social justice causes, such as poverty, and raised awareness of emerging
    issues, such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, domestic violence, chronic homelessness, environmental racism,
    the needs of immigrants and refugees, and the importance of international human rights. They developed
    new conceptions of practice that guided the identity-based organizations that appeared during these years
    and designed new organizational models, such as those based on feminist practice; new forms of service
    delivery, such as wraparound models; and new tactical approaches to community work and advocacy
    that made creative use of media. Macro practitioners also became increasingly involved in electoral
    politics as candidates and as campaign staff members.

    In the 21st century, as a consequence of the widespread impact of economic globalization, macro
    practitioners recognize more than ever the need to forge local-international linkages in their work to
    address new issues such as climate change, global poverty, civil conflict, human trafficking, police
    violence and mass incarceration that affect communities of color, LGBTQ rights, and growing
    socioeconomic inequality. They are using new technologies, particularly social media, creating new
    multicultural, cross-national, and interdisciplinary alliances in their advocacy and community
    organizing efforts and adapting to practice environments that are increasingly interdisciplinary
    and shaped by new fiscal realities (Mizrahi & Morrison, 2013).

    In sum, as Table 3 illustrates, macro practitioners have played a major role in shaping the
    profession of social work and in achieving its mission and goals. Without macro practice, social
    work in the United States would be a dramatically different profession. In the future, the profession
    of social work will confront new practice challenges and practice realities that require the presence of
    macro practitioners more than ever.

  • Conclusion: An eye to the future—Making macro practice matter
  • In the years ahead, macro practitioners will have to revise their definitions of community and
    community intervention, develop new measures of practice effectiveness, reconcile the often con-
    flicting interests of multiple actors and constituencies, clarify the meaning of terms such as
    empowerment and social justice, and forge new alliances to overcome persistent social and cultural
    divisions in the United States and the global environment (Reisch, 2013b). To be effective in this
    environment, macro practitioners will need to adapt to unprecedented cultural, demographic,
    economic, and technological developments. The type of knowledge and skills that macro practi-
    tioners possess will be even more critical than in the past. Schools of social work will need to play a

    264 M. REISCH

    critical role in educating nimble and strategic students who can assume leadership at the tables of
    influence where policies are made and implemented.

    Social work educators and programs can do a number of things to increase students’ under-
    standing of macro practice and enhance their interest in pursuing macro social work roles during
    their careers. The following are a few suggestions that by no means exhaust the list of possible steps.

    First, social work program administrators should expand their recruitment efforts in breadth (where
    they identify prospective students) and depth (at what point in students’ education they are targeted).
    Many young people, inspired by contemporary social movements, new forms of social activism, and
    increased concern for the problems affecting their families and communities, could be attracted to
    social work as a career if they were better informed earlier in their education about the opportunities
    available for them to pursue these goals in the social welfare field and if social work educators reached
    out to them in more sophisticated ways (e.g., social media) and in arenas beyond educational
    institutions. Based on our experience and conversations with colleagues, many potential macro
    practitioners, particularly in communities of color, do not view social work as an occupation that
    would allow them to express their values and fulfill their career aspirations. Consequently, they
    gravitate to other fields—law, business, public health, public policy, and public administration—instead
    of social work. This ultimately decreases the profession’s impact on the critical issues facing our society
    and diminishes its stature in the communities where it is most needed.

    Second, directors of social work programs need to reexamine what students are taught through their
    formal curricula and through the informal cultures of their educational environments. The recent
    dilution of content on the history of social work (Reisch, 2014) and the widespread failure to integrate
    macro practice theory and practice skills into generalist content (Austin, Anthony, Knee, & Mathias,
    2015; Reisch & Jani, 2012; Rothman & Mizrahi, 2014) could be corrected without adding more courses
    into an already overstuffed foundation BSW or MSW curriculum. Students could be informed of the
    history of the profession’s role in social and policy change through online methods, speakers, and the
    use of multiple media formats during lunchtime presentations throughout their first semester or prior
    to students’ entry into field instruction. Program administrators could find ways to be more flexible in
    their approval of advanced-year placements—as they were in the 1960s and 1970s—to overcome the
    current exclusion of many macro-oriented organizations that lack an onsite staff member who
    possesses an MSW. The ongoing significance of community, organizational, and policy practice
    could be reinforced through the development of community-based integrated course and field educa-
    tion programs such as those developed by the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland.

    Table 3. Past accomplishments and future challenges for macro practice.

    Past Accomplishments Future Challenges

    Analyzed root causes of inequality and injustice
    Demonstrated conflicts between market-oriented values
    and those of social welfare and social work

    Increasing social and political inequality, persistent racism,
    sexism, and homophobia

    Fiscal austerity and social welfare cutbacks
    Critiqued cultural norms that stigmatized marginalized
    individuals and groups

    Impact of privatization on social services

    Raised public consciousness about critical issues Competition for scarce resources
    Promoted alternative visions of society,
    community, and social services

    Emphasized the importance of power dynamics at the micro,
    mezzo, and macro levels

    The impact of technology on services

    Focused on revising existing organizations or creating new
    ones to meet human needs

    Increasingly complex client needs

    Created new, more responsive, and more participatory forms
    of service

    Promoted structural and institutional change
    Shaped social work’s conceptual vocabulary
    Provided much of the profession’s leadership


    These combine students’ internships with team-taught classes, offered in community agencies, and
    community-based research projects. These integrative programs demonstrate the connections between
    micro and macro theory and practice through real-world applications. They also educate students on
    the impact of domestic and international economic and cultural forces, community and organizational
    power dynamics, politics, and the policy-making process on the services social workers provide
    (Reisch, 2013c).

    Changes in the informal curriculum could be introduced in several ways. Beginning with
    students’ orientation, program developers need to rethink what students are taught about the current
    nature of the profession, the role of licensing, and their future career paths. In many social work
    programs, educators make scant attempts to correct the widespread misimpression that social
    workers must work with individuals and families before they pursue macro positions. In so doing,
    they continue to portray the macro component of social work as marginal rather than integral to the
    profession’s work. In addition, educators could clarify the role of research in promoting program
    and policy change and underscore this relationship by improving the dissemination of faculty
    scholarship beyond academic journals to the public, the media, and policy-making circles. Finally,
    educators could alter the vocabulary of the profession, for example, by eliminating the use of such
    terms as direct and indirect practice that overlooks the fact that all practice is based on interpersonal
    relationships, by assessing the applicability of certain components of the NASW Code of Ethics to
    macro practice, and by taking concrete steps to narrow the gap between our social justice rhetoric
    and current practice and research realities.

    If the profession is to honor its commitment to social justice and human dignity, future
    practitioners must learn how to practice in an environment in which definitions of need and the
    meaning of giving or receiving help have significantly changed and are applied differently based on
    an individual or group’s demographic and cultural characteristics. Today, categories of need and
    societal responses to need are primarily determined not by those who experience them but by
    powerful individuals and groups that often lack substantive expertise and whose values are often at
    odds with our ethical commitments. Overcoming these conceptual and political obstacles will be a
    fundamental challenge for all social workers in the years ahead.

    As briefly described earlier, macro practitioners have played a critical role in addressing these
    challenges throughout the profession’s history (Rothman, 1999). Through often risky social and
    political action, macro social workers have given the profession the moral cover it needed to
    engage in work that is often unpopular, unrecognized, and underfunded. Today, macro practi-
    tioners are primed to take a proactive stance in rebalancing micro and macro perspectives and
    interventions in the classroom and field (Austin et al., 2015; Rothman & Mizrahi, 2014; Stone,
    Austin, Berzin, & Taylor, 2007). It is our contention, therefore, that the survival of macro practice
    is in the collective self-interest of the social work profession as a whole and of the people with
    whom the profession works with. Social workers can no longer promote their field as a value-
    based profession, committed to social justice, human dignity, and human rights, without recog-
    nizing the importance of organizing and advocating for these values at the community, organiza-
    tional, societal, and global levels, and of playing a leadership role in formulating and
    implementing policies and programs that reflect these values(Wronka, 2008). The responsibility
    for ensuring the survival of macro practice in social work lies with its major professional
    organizations and with the schools of social work that contribute the knowledge that informs
    our practice and educate the workforce of the future (Rothman, 2013).

  • Acknowledgments
  • This article was originally commissioned by the Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work
    established by the Association of Community Organization and Social Administration in 2013. It is an outgrowth of
    the commission’s outreach to macro social work educators and practitioners who were asked to respond to Why Macro
    Matters in 2014.

    266 M. REISCH

    For further information about efforts to promote macro practice in social work or to get involved in such efforts,
    please contact the commission’s co-chairs: Darlyne Bailey, dean and professor of the Graduate School of Social Work
    and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College, and Terry Mizrahi, professor at the Hunter College School of Social Work
    at and

  • Notes on contributor
  • Michael Reisch is the Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the University of Maryland, School of
    Social Work.

  • References
  • Austin, M. J., Anthony, E. K., Knee, R. T., & Mathias, J. (2015, October). Revisiting the relationship between micro and
    macro social work practice: A springboard for discussion in our academic and practice communities. Paper presented
    at the Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Denver, CO.

    Austin, M. J., & Betten, N. (1977). The intellectual origins of community organizing, 1920–1939. Social Service Review,
    51, 155–170. doi:10.1086/643478

    Austin, M. J., & Lowe, J. I. (Eds.). (1994). Controversial issues in communities and organizations. Boston, MA: Allyn &

    Betten, N., & Austin, M. J. (1990). The roots of community organizing, 19171939. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University

    Burghardt, S. (2013). Macro practice in social work for the 21st century (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    Council on Social Work Education. (2012). Statistics on social work education in the United States. Alexandria, VA:

    Council on Social Work Education. (2014). Statistics on social work education in the United States. Alexandria, VA:

    Fisher, B. (1994). Let the people decide: Neighborhood organizing in America. New York, NY: Twayne.
    Fisher, R., & Corciullo, D. (2011). Rebuilding community organizing education in social work. Journal of Community

    Practice, 19, 355–368. doi:10.1080/10705422.2011.625537
    Hasenfeld, Y., & Garrow, E. E. (2012). Nonprofit human service organizations, social rights, and advocacy in a

    neoliberal welfare state. Social Service Review, 86, 295–322. doi:10.1086/666391
    Hassan, A., & Wimpfheimer, S. (2014). Human services management competencies: A guide for public managers. Los

    Angeles, CA: Network for Social Work Management.
    Homan, M. S. (2016). Promoting community change: Making it happen in the real world (6th ed.). Belmont, CA:

    Hurwitt, S. D. (1992). Let them call me rebel: Saul Alinsky, his life and legacy. New York, NY: Vintage Books.
    Jansson, B. S. (2014). Becoming an effective policy advocate: From policy practice to social justice (7th ed.). Belmont, CA:

    Meenaghan, T. M., Gibbons, W. E., & McNutt, J. G. (2005). Generalist practice in larger settings: Knowledge and skill

    concepts (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: Lyceum.
    Mills, C. W. (1963). Power, politics, and people: The collected essays of C. Wright Mills. New York, NY: Oxford

    University Press.
    Mizrahi, T. (2015). Community organizing principles and guidelines. In K. Corcoran & A. R. Roberts (Eds.), Social

    workers’ desk reference (3rd ed., pp. 194–206). New York,, NY: Oxford University Press.
    Mizrahi, T., & Morrison, J. (Eds.). (2013). Community organization and social administration: Advances, trends, and

    emerging principles. New York, NY: Routledge.
    Mott, A. (2008). Community learning project report on university education for social change. Retrieved from www.
    National Association of Social Workers. (2008). Code of ethics. Washington, DC: Author.
    Netting, F. E., Kettner, P. M., McMurty, S. L., & Thomas, M. L. (2011). Social work macro practice (5th ed.).

    Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
    Reisch, M. (2008). The democratic promise: The impact of German Jewish immigration on social work in the United

    States. In J. Grenville and R. Ross (Eds.), Yearbook of the Leo Baeck Institute (pp. 169–190). London, UK: Leo Baeck

    Reisch, M. (2012). Intervention with communities. In C. Glisson, C. N. Dulmus, & K. M. Sowers (Eds.), Social work
    practice with groups, communities, and organizations: A foundation of social work (pp. 81–130). Hoboken, NJ:

    Reisch, M. (2013a). Community practice challenges in the global economy. In M. O. Weil, M. Reisch, & M. L. Ohmer
    (Eds.), Handbook of community practice (2nd ed., pp. 47–71). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


    Reisch, M. (2013b). What is the future of social work? Critical and Radical Social Work, 1, 67–85. doi:10.1332/

    Reisch, M. (2013c). Social work education and the neoliberal challenge: The U.S. response to increasing global
    inequality. Social Work Education, 32, 217–233. doi:10.1080/02615479.2013.809200

    Reisch, M. (2014, October). The end of social welfare history: Implications for social work education. Paper presented at
    the Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Tampa, FL.

    Reisch, M., & Andrews, J. (2002). The road not taken: A history of radical social work in the United States (Rev. ed.).
    Philadelphia, PA: Brunner-Routledge.

    Reisch, M., & Garvin, C. (2016). Social work and social justice: Concepts, challenges, and strategies. New York, NY:
    Oxford University Press.

    Reisch, M., & Jani, J. S. (2012). The new politics of social work practice: Understanding context to promote change.
    British Journal of Social Work, 42, 1132–1150. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcs072

    Rothman, J. R. (Ed.). (1999). Reflections on community organization: Enduring themes and critical issues. Itasca, IL: F.
    E. Peacock.

    Rothman, J. R. (2013). Education for macro intervention: A survey of problems and prospects. Los Angeles, CA:
    Association of Community Organization and Social Administration.

    Rothman, J. R., & Mizrahi, T. (2014). Balancing micro and macro practice: A challenge for social work. Social Work,
    59, 91–93. doi:10.1093/sw/swt067

    Schwartz, W. (1969). Private troubles and public issues: One social work job or two? New York, NY: Columbia
    University Press.

    Simon, B. L. (1990). The empowerment tradition in American social work. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
    Specht, H., & Courtenay, M. (1994). Unfaithful angels: How social work abandoned its mission. New York, NY: The

    Free Press.
    Stone, S. I., Austin, M. J., Berzin, S., & Taylor, S. (2007). Exploring the knowledge base of HB & SE using the concept

    of reciprocity. Journal of Human Behavior and the Social Environment, 16, 89–106. doi:10.1300/10911350802107769
    Warren, R. (1978). The community in America. Chicago, IL: Rand McNally.
    Weil, M. O., Gamble, D. N., & Ohmer, M. L. (2013). Evolution, models, and the changing contextof community

    practice. In M. O. Weil, M. Reisch, & M. L. Ohmer (Eds.), The handbook of community practice (pp. 167–193).
    Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Wenocur, S., & Reisch, M. (1989). From charity to enterprise: The development of American social work in a market
    economy. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.

    Whitaker, T., & Arrington, P. (2008). Social workers at work: NASW membership workforce study. Washington, DC:
    National Association of Social Workers.

    Wronka, J. (2008). Human rights and social justice: Social action and service for the helping and health professions.
    Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    268 M. REISCH

    Copyright of Journal of Social Work Education is the property of Routledge and its content
    may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright
    holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for
    individual use.

    • Abstract
    • Introduction: The changing environment of social work practice

      The disappearance of macro practice in social work

      Underlying assumptions

      Definition and components of macro practice

      Macro practice and social justice

      A brief history of macro practice

      The Progressive Era (1890–1918)

      The New Deal

      World War II and the postwar period

      The War on Poverty

      Recent trends

      Conclusion: An eye to the future—Making macro practice matter


      Notes on contributor



    Learning Objectives
    After reading this chapter, you should be able to

    1. Recognize the forces shaping the American social welfare system and social policy.

    2. Identify the historical relevance of major social welfare programs that assist people in need.

    3. Explore the lives of social work pioneers.

    4. Describe the relationship between social welfare policy and the social work profession.

    5. Explain why social welfare policies that address people’s immediate needs are inadequate for

    promoting social justice.

    Brian Organizes Farmworkers
    Brian is a community organizer for an organization that supports farmworkers who travel throughout

    the northwestern United States. His job involves educating the public about farmworkers’

    significant contribution to the American economy and the food supply. With the farmworkers,

    Brian focuses primarily on the health needs associated with the pesticides and herbicides found

    in the agriculture industry. Since he is bilingual, Brian is often called on by health care providers

    to translate critical information and medication dosages to farmworkers and their families. Of late,

    Brian’s focus has turned to immigration and health care policies. After researching the nation’s

    history of farm labor relations, he has helped organize local and regional forums on citizenship

    and social welfare benefits and services for farmworkers. Also, Brian has connected farmworkers

    to other advocacy organizations.

    T he purpose of this chapter is to convince you that history

    matters. Specifically, the characters, landmark decisions. and

    political environments that encompass the history of social wel­

    fare and the development of the social work profession support

    a variety of educational purposes that extend beyond the mem­

    orization of facts, dates, and events. You will discover that the

    profession’s history introduces you not only to social welfare pol­

    icy and the practice of social work but also to American politics.

    diverse and marginalized groups. social reform movements. lead­

    ership strengths and weaknesses, and critical thinking. Perhaps

    most important, you will begin to consider how history can guide
    your development as an advocate for clients and causes. someone

    who challenges social injustices.

    The historical context of American social welfare policy is a pro­

    gression of dynamic events, leading incrementally to an expanded

    role for government in the human pursuit of the things needed

    to survive and even thrive. Examining the history of social work

    will help you consider two key points: the influence of political.

    social, and economic forces on policy development. and the parallel

    development of social welfare policy and the social work profession.

    What large-scale events have happened in your life and

    stand out in your mind? Have any of these events changed
    the way you think about places, people, or yourself? When

    you relive these events, what are your emotions? Why do you

    think these events affect you that way?

    24 PART 1

    A critical concept in the history of social work is social welfare,
    or the array of governmental programs, services, and institutions

    designed to maintain the stability and well-being of society

    (Axinn & Stern, 2005). Social welfare requires both a common

    understanding and a formal arrangement between a government

    and its people. From this relationship, people have a sense of what

    they should receive for and contribute to their well-being. Social

    welfare reflects the beliefs and values of a nation. It involves the

    allocation of resources such as money. personnel, and expertise.

    Take a moment to consider the services that citizens of the

    United States receive from the government. The list you gen­

    erate might include education, transportation systems, national

    defense. and health care. All these services support people’s

    well-being, and all could be considered social welfare. Despite

    this broad perspective. social welfare issues are hotly debated and

    central to local. state, and national politics. They are tied up with

    social trends, political ideologies. and notions of social control

    and social justice.

    The services and programs made available to certain people

    for a specified period of time, based on established criteria, are

    the product of social welfare policy. Ever-changing social,

    A American citizens can benefit from social welfare programs that maintain the

    well-being and stability of our society.

    economic. and political environments influence policy develop­

    ment and implementation, and so the services associated with

    policy are constantly changing. Depending on events, the role of

    government in improving people’s lives also expands and con­

    tracts. For example, during the I960s, when the United States

    experienced considerable public unrest associated with urban

    migration. urban violence. persistent poverty. discrimination, and

    an increasingly unpopular war, there was a significant expansion

    of support to poor people and an increase in the civil rights of a

    large spectrum of the nation’s population.

    Your conclusions on policy questions and social welfare con­

    cerns necessitate a vision of society and a sense of fairness in the

    redistribution of resources. Your ideas on social welfare policy are

    likely to include biases and value conflicts as you move forward

    in an effort to orchestrate reform or even a restructuring of the

    American welfare system.

    In the United States, social welfare policies are generally

    intended to provide a safety net for citizens, services that protect

    people from spiraling downward economically or socially and hit­

    ting bottom. Eligibility for “safety net” services depends on meet­

    ing specific criteria, or means testing. Means testing is assessing

    whether the individual or family possesses the means to do without

    a particular kind of help. If not, the government will provide assis­

    tance for adesignated period of time. Unfortunately, this assistance

    often produces only a temporary bounce upward and does little to

    improve the person’s or family’s overall status in life.

    Decisions regarding the direction of social welfare policy in

    the United States and around the world are always being made.

    Your conclusions on any given issue depend on your vision of

    society and sense of fairness in the redistribution of resources.

    How you think about policy issues reflects your political, social,

    religious. and economic ideologies. It is also likely to reflect your

    biases and values. Here are some current examples of policy­

    related questions for you to consider:

    • Should we assist persons in poverty through direct cash

    transfers or through services, through a combination of

    the two, or through a new approach that guarantees a

    universal standard of living?

    • Which programs should be funded through local

    revenues. which through states, and which through

    federal revenues?

    • What is the role of the faith-based community in providing

    social services7

    • How do social welfare policies in the United States affect or

    influence the policies of other nations7 How can the social
    welfare policies of other nations guide the United States?

    For social workers. social welfare policy is extremely import­

    ant. It defines the profession’s clients, specifies what services

    The History of Social Work Chapter2 25


    OREGON, Washington, Montana, Vermont, California, Colorado,
    and the District of Columbia have legalized aid-in-dying through
    legislation, referendums or court cases. If additional states adopted
    aid-in-dying laws, advocates might actually want to bring a federal
    case that could establish constitutional protection in every state.

    will be made available to designated populations. describes
    how services will be delivered, outlines the duration of services,
    and indicates how intervention outcomes will be evaluated
    and measured.

    In the United States today, political ideology has a great deal of
    influence on how people feel about the social safety net. Peo­
    ple with conservative political leanings tend to favor personal
    responsibility for one’s own well-being over any form of gov­
    ernment support or federally sponsored relief. The underlying
    premise is that people in the top echelon of society have worked
    hard, made smart choices. and earned their lot in life; similarly,

    people in distress have caused their own problems and should

    “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.”
    Conservative political platforms often take firm stances

    against taxation (federal income tax, Social Security taxes.

    1. What does aid-in-dying legislation tell you about the citizens
    of states and possible political and the changing voter trends
    across the nation?

    2. What are your thoughts on the aid-in-dying legislation?

    3. What are the possible unintended consequences?

    inheritance taxes, state income taxes. and local levies), which
    is the revenue source for many social welfare programs. More
    specifically, many conservative politicians and their constituents
    are of the opinion that the nation’s income tax system is coun­
    terproductive and undermines a free enterprise, market-oriented
    economic system. Usually, conservatives oppose any form of
    graduated tax rates, which raise the percentage of taxes paid,
    or the tax rate, as a person’s income increases. They think this
    so-called progress ive program of taxation and the government
    intervention that goes with it place an unfair burden on busi­
    nesspeople and entrepreneurs, who create economic expansion.
    employment opportunities. and the promise of subsequent

    Liberal politicians also support a capitalist, free-market form
    of government, but they have a different view of the role of the

    federal government in social welfare. Liberals typically support

    a more robust safety net for poor people, one that attempts to
    address social issues through moderate or incremental forms of
    social intervention and change. Generally, liberals support vari­
    ous types of checks and balances within government, as well as
    regulatory and protective policies to help ensure fair competition
    in the marketplace.

    As for taxes, liberals usually want a tax structure that
    rewards the work of people rather than the profits to be made

    through financial investment and manipulation. Liberal leaders
    also argue that the nation’s tax code favors the wealthy through
    unique tax breaks and loopholes benefiting the rich. As a result,
    middle-class workers and families are seen as often paying pro­
    portionately higher taxes than do those from the upper class.

    Liberals generally want to help distribute more wealth and
    resources to people toward the lower end of the nation’s socio­

    economic structure.

    Barbara Mikulski

    Senator Mikulski, who retired in 2016, was

    the first woman to serve in both the House of

    Representatives and the Senate. The longest-serving

    woman in the history of Congress, the Baltimore native
    represented Maryland in the House of Representatives for 10

    years, starting in 1977. First elected to the Senate in 1986, she

    began her career as an elected official on the Baltimore City Council,

    where she spent five years before coming to Congress. Senator

    Mikulski is a graduate of the School of Social Work, University of

    Maryland, Baltimore, and has had a lifetime committed to services
    for children and women.

    “Barbara Mikulski is among the fiercest advocates [for] women
    and families that Washington has ever seen,” said Stephanie Schriock,
    president of EMILY’s List, which works to get women into elected

    office and began its efforts by endorsing Mikulski some 30 years ago.

    “Barbara Mikulski’s legacy and the tremendous impact of her work will

    live on in the halls of Congress and across our country. The EMILY’s
    List community- now more than three million members strong-thanks

    her for her leadership and service” (Wagner & Johnson, 2015).

    1. What does Senator Mikulski’s career tell you about possible political paths for social workers?

    2. Is there a cause you feel strongly about? If so, what time, energy, and other resources are you willing to
    dedicate to see the outcome you desire?

    3. What other advocates stand out in your mind and why?

    4. Read Changing the Face of Power: Women in the U.S. Senate (University of Texas Press, 2005) by Melina
    Mara and Helen Thomas. What would you expect to learn from this book and why?

    Read through the definitions of the conservative and
    liberal political perspectives one more time. Where do you

    consider your political leanings to be and why? What were
    the influences that pointed you in that particular political
    direction? Are you registered to vote? If so, do you vote?

    Consider why you do or do not vote.

    The nation’s social welfare system raises issues of social con­
    trol, those policies and practices designed to regulate people

    and increase conformity and compliance in their behavior. Some

    people see social control as a motive embedded in social welfare

    policy {Trattner, 1999). They point out that many of the social

    welfare policies of the I960s provided people in poverty with

    government housing, food stamps, and other kinds of relief in

    place of train ing and employment opportunities. Thus, reliance

    on the government increased while inequities in education and

    unemployment went unchecked {Trattner. 1999). Some would

    argue that these policies kept people socially controlled and reg­

    ulated and separated from the rest of society, locked into unem­

    ployment. underemployment, and substandard living conditions

    (Harrington, 1962).

    Social workers are in a position to build on individual and

    structural strengths while connecting to larger-scale change. The
    involvement of social workers in the policy arena helps our soci­

    ety address individual needs and confront social control-and

    perhaps shift or redistribute economic and political power so the

    poor and vulnerable can better help themselves.

    Chapter 2 27


    Social workers share the common goal of social justice: the

    endless effort to protect human rights and provide for everyone’s

    human needs, such as housing, food, education, and health care.

    particularly for those in greatest need. The goal of social justice

    is what motivates social workers to be advocates. As you will

    learn. there are many forms of advocacy: however. here we are

    concerned with the advocacy that social workers undertake to

    challenge the “what is” in society with the “what should be”

    (Cohen, de la Vega, & Watson, 2001). Although this form of

    advocacy reflects the political, economic, and social environment

    in which it is conducted, some goals are consistent among social

    advocates across time and circumstance:

    • Fairness: All citizens have the right to access resources



    • Equality: All people are entitled to human rights without

    regard to race, gender, economic, or educational status.

    or other distinguishing features.

    • Freedom.· People share the need for independent thought

    and a sense of security.

    • Service: The most needy of any society require the most


    • Nonviolence.· A peaceful approach to collaboration, medi­

    ation, or negotiation is more respectful of others’ rights

    than is any form of violence.

    If you take on a career as a social worker, you will recontex­

    tualize many of these goals of social advocacy in light of your

    personal and professional experiences.

    As the history of social welfare in the United States has unfolded,

    so has the history of the profession of social work. Social and

    environmental issues confronting various population groups in

    America (poverty, unemployment, discrimination, war, oppres­

    sion, and the like) have helped shape human services and social

    programs as well as the nature of social work as a profession.

    At times. the United States has developed positive strategies

    to address specific social problems: consequently, some groups

    within the population have made tenuous social and economic

    gains. However. lasting change for the larger society has been
    limited when measured against complex problems of human need

    and social justice.

    The history of social work and social welfare can be divided

    into a series of policy eras, designated by landmark policy deci­

    sions and initiatives. Considering history in this way integrates

    the development of social work with a series of political issues

    and environmental factors that have affected what the nation has

    been willing and able to do for its citizens· welfare. The advocacy

    of social workers has helped ensure a degree of social justice

    when the government has addressed social concerns.

    COLONIAL AMERICA: 1607 TO 1783
    The early settlers who came to the United States carried with

    them the traditions, customs. and values of their countries of

    origin. Because the majority of the colonists were from England,

    they conceptualized and sought to address social problems such

    as poverty as they would have in England.

    In colonial America. welfare assistance took the form of

    mutual aid: colonists relied on one another in times of need. It

    was the community’s responsibility to provide assistance when

    an individual experienced a hardship such as a disease or home

    fire. Relatives and neighbors responded with the necessary assis­

    tance until the crisis situation passed or was somehow resolved.

    As churches took root in the colonies. they, too. would offer

    assistance to needy people. Overall the public attitude toward

    poor and needy people was respectful and benevolent, particu­

    larly since the harsh living conditions of the colonies placed all

    the colonists potentially in harm’s way.

    Although the initial systems of colonial assistance were

    informal, the severe economic and environmental conditions

    experienced by the American settlers prompted a more com­

    plex system of welfare assistance. The colonists turned to the

    principles outlined in the Elizabethan Poor Laws, which were

    instituted in England in 160 I (Axinn & Stern. 2005). These laws

    were a response to social and economic forces associated with

    the breakdown of England’s feudal system, the reduction of the

    labor force, and industrialization, which increased the need for

    healthy workers. Further. the laws stipulated that taxes would be

    levied to finance welfare assistance (Axinn & Stern, 2005).

    A concept underpinning the Elizabethan Poor Laws. and the

    poor laws of colonial America, was the distinction between the

    deserving poor and the nondeserving poor (Tice & Perkins.

    2002). The deserving poor included orphan children, elderly indi­

    viduals. and people with debilitating physical conditions. who

    could not provide for themselves through no fault of their own.

    In contrast, the nondeserving poor were able-bodied vagrants

    or drunkards, judged as lazy and unwilling to work for a living.

    Consequently, work and a person’s capability or willingness to be

    self-sustaining through work became an integral part of America’s

    social welfare system.
    Settlement laws were another feature of the Elizabethan Poor

    Laws. Designed to control the distribution of public assistance, the

    settlement laws were the domain of small units of government

    and specified a period of residence for the receipt of assistance.

    28 PART 1 Understanding Social Work

    They were implemented throughout the 13 colonies as astandard

    requirement for receiving welfare assistance and as a method for
    localities to monitor the cost of such assistance.

    The colonists adapted other forms of relief from Elizabethan

    Poor Laws. Outdoor relief provided assistance to the deserv­
    ing poor in their own homes and communities; indoor relief

    provided assistance in institutions where the nondeserving poor

    were sent to work (Rothman. 197 I). Other approaches to pov­

    erty involved auctioning poor people to wealthy families who
    were willing to care for them in return for labor and services.

    and placing poor and sick individuals under the supervision of
    couples who were willing to assume responsibility for their care
    (Axinn & Stern, 2005).

    After reading the definitions of outdoor and indoor relief,

    please consider examples of those service perspectives

    today. For example, what perspective does the meals-on­

    wheels program represent? What about a mental health

    or long-term care facility? Are you able to recognize the

    influence of the Elizabethan Poor Laws on current social

    policies and services?

    AMERICA: 178 TO 1890
    During the 1800s, the U.S. population expanded westward. In the
    new settlements, mutual aid remained the main source of help
    to those in need. An example of this expansion is the orphan

    trains that ran from about 1853 to the early 1900s, transporting
    more than 120,000 children. who were often abandoned and
    alone, from urban centers to 45 states across the country, as well
    as to Canada and Mexico. This controversial and unusual social

    experiment marked the beginning of the foster care concept in
    the United States.

    However, the 1800s also saw the rise of advocacy on behalf
    of people who were poor, who had recently immigrated to the
    United States, or who were challenged on the basis of physical
    or mental ability. These people often faced unjust, inhumane,
    and harsh treatment. The early advocates were often trying

    to change conditions that had been created by local and gov­
    ernmental policies, ordinances. and rules. Dorothea Dix, for

    example, was a social activist who lobbied state and federal
    governments in the mid- I 800s to create asylums for those who
    were mentally ill, especially those who had no other homes
    (Ezell, 200 I, p. 20).

    Advocacy also occurred as social workers became polit­
    ically active and promoted legislation to protect children from

    oppressive labor practices and adolescents from severely puni­

    tive juvenile court systems. Activism by social workers eventually

    extended to the advancement of the rights of children, workers,

    women. the elderly, and racial and sexual minorities.

    By the end of the 1800s, the nation was rapidly urbanizing. There
    was an enormous influx of immigrants. and the economy had
    begun shifting from agriculture and resource based to industry
    based. These massive social disruptions led to the economic crisis
    of the 1890s. There was growing awareness in the United States
    of the value of social reform.

    Some of the reformers of this era astutely recognized that
    documentation of human need through written records was a

    vital component of advocacy for new policies, practices, and
    laws. They realized that the general public and government
    decision makers could be influenced by numbers, categori­
    zations, and qualitative accounts and descriptions of social
    phenomena. Importantly, they laid the foundation in social
    work practice for modern data collection systems, comprehen­
    sive community needs assessments, and precise descriptions

    of human conditions.
    At the same time, two new social welfare movements-the

    Charity Organization Society and the settlement movement­
    emerged for dealing with dependency (Reisch, 1998). Each
    offered a significant contribution to the development of the social
    work profession.

    The Charity Organization Society (COS) was imported
    from England to the United States in 1877. The COS focused
    on the individual factors related to poverty, such as alcoholism,

    poor work habits, and inadequate money management. In gen­
    eral, the COS asked a family in need of relief to fill out an appli­
    cation, which was investigated to ensure a level of need. Then a
    friendly visitor, avolunteer committed to helping COS clients,

    was assigned to the family and asked to conduct regular home
    visits. Friendly visitors would attempt to address individual char­

    acter flaws and encourage clients to gain independence and live
    moral lives (Chamber, 1986). The direct exchange of cash was

    strictly avoided.
    In light of the growing need for a trained staff, charity

    organizations developed the paid position of “agent” to visit
    indigent persons and families and to investigate applications
    for charity. These agents were the forerunners of professional

    social workers (Chamber, 1986). Mary Richmond of the Balti­
    more and Philadelphia COS and Edward T. Devine of the New
    York COS were early leaders in training agents. In 1898, Devine
    established and directed the New York School of Philanthropy,
    which eventually became the Columbia School of Social Work,
    America’s first school of social work.

    The settlement movement turned attention on the envi­

    ronmental factors associated with poverty. In 1889, Jane Add­
    ams, along with Ellen Gates Starr, founded Hull House in a poor
    Chicago neighborhood where immigrants lived in overcrowded
    conditions. Hull House was not the first settlement house in
    America; however, it pioneered advocacy roles in social welfare.
    Its staff collected information about Hull House’s clients and the

    residents of the surrounding area and then used this information

    to influence legislation and social policy (Dolgoff, Feldstein, &
    Skolnik. 1993, p. 278). In response to the poverty that surrounded
    Hull House, the settlement house also offered day care for chil­
    dren, a club for working women, lectures and cultural programs,
    and a meeting place for neighborhood political groups (Axinn &
    Stern, 2005).

    Review the chart entitled Social Work Pioneers (www and consider the common

    traits of the people described. How do their lives represent

    the values and bel iefs of social work in action? What does

    their work tell you about their polit ical perspectives?

    A Edward T. Devine, founder of the New York School of Philanthropy.

    The History of Social Work Chapter 2 29

    As a result of these efforts, settlement houses and their staff

    contributed community organization, social action, and social

    group work to the nascent social work profession. However,
    although Addams and many others in the settlement movement
    recognized the existence of class conflict as a reality in the U.S.
    economic system, they did not build a mass political organiza­
    tion. Consequently, they did not effectively confront social class
    differences on a national level and failed to challenge the overall

    distribution of the nation’s resources (Galper, 1975). Instead,
    settlement house workers supported labor unions, lobbied city
    officials for sanitation and housing reforms, and fought discrimi­
    nation in employment practices.

    With the rare exception of Addams and a few other set­

    tlement house leaders, those involved in the social movements
    of the Progressive Era were not attuned to the needs of racially
    diverse populations, especially African Americans (Blau &
    Abramovitz, 2004). Most reformers took the second-class citi­
    zenship of African Americans for granted and did little to chal­
    lenge racial barriers and assumptions. It was not until 1909 that
    W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African American to earn a PhD from

    Harvard University, formed the National Association for the
    Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). That organization
    gave African Americans a movement for fighting segregation in
    a mobilized and organized fashion (Blau & Abramovitz, 2004).

    With social movements of the Progressive Era came the
    notion of a helping profession oriented toward social action-in
    other words, social work. In 1917 Mary Richmond wrote the first

    social work book, Social Diagnosis, which introduced a method­
    ology and common body of knowledge for the practice of social
    work. Importantly, Richmond embraced assessment and under­
    standing of human relations, social situations and surroundings,
    neighborhood conditions, and economic realities. Richmond’s
    second book, What Is Social Case Work (1922), used six cases
    from industrialized urban areas to illustrate her definition of social
    case work. Thus, the case method of working with individuals

    and families provided an orderly process of practice with individ­
    uals, with an emphasis on documenting both needs and social
    conditions to advocate for social change and reform.

    WORLD WAR I: 1914 TO 191

    The political environment of the United States in the years before
    and following World War I supported the development of social
    work as a profession but marked a drastic change in its focus.
    The 191 7 Russian Revolution caused a heightened fear of com­
    munism, “radicals” were under attack in the United States, and
    social workers retreated from reform to avoid the political arena
    and persecution. This turn was recognized at the 1928 Milford
    Conference, an annual meeting of social work leaders. It was here
    that Porter Lee, the director of the New York School of Social
    Work. reported that social workers had shifted their professional

    30 PARTl Understanding Social Work

    A Jane Addams founded Hull House. a settlement house in a poor Chicago

    neighborhood. in I889.

    attention from “cause to function”-from a concern with pol­
    itics to a concern with the efficient day-to-day administration of
    a social welfare bureaucracy (Blau & Abramovitz, 2004. p. 249).

    The turn toward the “function” of social work gave rise to
    an expansion of practice settings for the profession. to include
    private family welfare agencies (as most charity organizations
    were then called), hospitals, schools , mental health facilities,
    guidance centers, and children’s aid societies. The American
    National Red Cross employed social workers to provide case
    work services to families of servicemen and disaster victims in
    cities, small towns, and rural areas.

    It is important to note that throughout this time period, segre­
    gation within the profession continued. The National Urban League
    was developed by African Americans in response to their exclusion
    from much of mainstream social work services and settings.

    The changes in the development of social work were also
    seen in the number of schools joining the American Association

    of Schools of Social Work, which was founded in 1919. The asso­
    ciation standardized curricula and promoted a master’s degree in
    social work. Both undergraduate and graduate programs became
    members of the association (Ginsberg, 200 I).

    A W. E. B. Du Bois established the National Association for the Advancement

    of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.

    1929 TO EARLY 1940s

    The stock market crash of 1929, followed by a far-reaching eco­
    nomic depression, brought the United States to the brink of
    economic disaster. Social service agencies were unprepared to
    address the mounting needs of not only the indigent but also
    members of the working class. In time, after listening to the nar­
    ratives of their clients, social workers began to focus on individual
    deficits with a growing app reciation for the social and economic
    factors associated with dependency and need (Axinn & Stern,
    1988). Social workers rekindled the .. cause” orientation that had
    been abandoned in the 1920s and lobbied the government to
    provide an adequate standard of living for all Americans in this
    time of extraordinary need (Trattner, 1999).

    In 1932, the governor of New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt,
    was elected the nation’s 32nd president. He called for bold gov­
    ernment action and instituted a large federal relief program for

    the needy. The vast majority of social workers endorsed President
    Roosevelt’s New Deal, which included unemployment insurance
    and a social security system to deal with the financial insecurity
    experienced by older persons. dependent children, and individuals

    A President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August

    14. 1935.

    with physical challenges. Harry Hopkins, a social worker, was
    appointed head of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration.

    This was the first federal program to provide relief to the nation’s
    citizens on a major scale since the years following the Civil War
    {Trattner, I999).

    The New Deal provided additional employment opportunities
    for social workers, who were responsible for state and local public
    relief. The funds came from a combination of local and federal
    agencies. Unfortunately, the relief measures neglected to address

    racial discrimination; minority groups experienced more economic
    hardship than other Americans.

    In the 1930s. progressive social workers organized the “rank and
    file movement” and began analyzing and criticizing aspects of
    the New Deal. More specifically, as new social service programs

    appeared, social workers were hired to administer the programs
    and serve people in need. The social workers themselves realized
    they suffered as workers: they earned very low wages, faced mas­
    sive case loads, and had living standards that were barely better
    than those of their own clients. Consequently, large numbers
    of progressive social workers joined the rank and file movement

    to build labor unions at relief agencies. Additionally, they orga­
    nized study groups on capitalism and socialism, established a
    newspaper called Social Work Today, and formed labor unions
    at relief agencies all over the country (see
    about-the-contributors/). Some core leaders of the movement
    joined socialist and communist groups, and connected their

    efforts as social workers to a broader movement of poor people
    and workers to fight for a more just economic system.

    After World War II. the rank and file movement was dis­
    banded with the nation’s mounting anticommunist sentiments.

    The Hlsto.ry o.l’ Social Work Chapter 2 31

    In fact, the leaders and spokespeople for the movement were fired
    from welfare agencies and from their jobs at social work schools.
    The labor unions in welfare departments built by the rank and file
    movement were outlawed and broken.

    The Great Depression and the New Deal had a lasting effect

    on the nation’s social welfare system-most notably, enact­

    ment of the Social Security Act of 1935. Exhibit 2.1 details the

    major programs that were part of the act, which was the result

    of noisy political compromise. Whatever faults may be found in
    the legislation, the Social Security Act widely expanded welfare
    activities and advanced services and programs for poor persons.
    It helped prevent destitution and dependency. The fact that it
    provided cash benefits to recipients was a major step toward
    enhancing human dignity and personal freedom (Axinn & Stern.
    1988; Trattner, 1999).

    WORLD WAR II: 1939 TO 1945
    World War II placed the United States squarely on the global
    scene and provided near full employment for most Americans.
    So during this time, issues of poverty were not on the national
    agenda or in the forefront of social work. Still, throughout the war,
    social workers were involved in services to the armed forces and
    their families. In addition. the gains in jobs and income did not
    apply evenly across races, although Roosevelt did issue Executive
    Order 8802 prohibiting discrimination in the defense industries,
    a significant advancement toward civil rights in the workplace
    (Skocpol, 1995; Trattner, 1999).

    World War II. and the prosperity that followed victory,
    changed the nation’s political climate. But the Great Depres­
    sion and the New Deal had lasting effects on the social work
    profession. There were new jobs for social workers, a deeper
    understanding of human needs in urban and rural areas, and a
    renewed interest in reform efforts. Private and public welfare agen­
    cies acknowledged the social work profession as both a “cause”

    and a “function” within various fields of practice. The National
    Association of Social Workers formed in 1955, helping unite the
    profession through guidelines and a code of ethics that defined
    roles and responsibilities associated with social work practice.

    POVERTY: 1960 TO 1967
    The I960s was a time of social unrest and political change in
    the United States. With the Vietnam War escalating, students
    and like-minded individuals protested the war across the country.
    Other movements formed to protest against the lack of rights for

    women, people with physical and mental challenges, gay people,
    and people of color. It was the civil rights movement that edu­
    cated Americans on the extent of prejudice and discrimination
    in our society and its costs. Books such as Michael Harrington’s


    32 PART 1 Understanding Social Work

    Itx1iftJJt,J. Programs Instituted With the Social Security Act

    1935: President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act, the foundation of the nation’s social welfare system, in response to
    widespread economic insecurity during the Great Depression.

    1936: U.S. Postal Service distributes applications for Social Security. More than 35 million people apply for the benefit, and distribution of the
    Social Security card begins.

    1939: Social Security expands to include children, survivors of workers, and retirees.

    1940: First monthly retirement check is issued for $22.54. About 222,400 people receive Social Security benefits.

    1950: President Harry Truman signs an amendment to the Social Security Act to provide a cost-of-living adjustment to offset inflation.

    1950s: Social Security benefits expand to include farmworkers, domestic workers, and self-employed people. Cash benefits are added for
    disabled workers. Early retirement, with reduced benefits, is approved for women at 62 years old.

    1961: President John F. Kennedy approves amendments that allow male workers to select early retirement benefits at 62 years old, with reduced

    1965: Medicare program is enacted, partially funded through Social Security payroll taxes.

    1980s: To address signs of future insolvency in the Social Security Trust Fund, from which benefits are paid, Congress enacts an increase in the
    self-employment tax, partial taxation of benefits to early retirees, and a gradual increase in the retirement age.

    2000s: Amendments to the Social Security Act are discussed, but all reform efforts fail. By 2010 the system is paying out more than it receives
    in payroll taxes, putting its future at risk.

    Source: Adapted from “Social Security Timeline” (n.d.).

    ( 1962) The Other America made the issue of poverty a public children; Medicaid, health care for the poor; Medicare, health care
    concern and a rallying point for citizen protests. for older persons; and the Food Stamp program, a food purchasing

    President John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier and President Lyn­ program for needy people. Exhibit 2.2 lists some of the programs
    don B. Johnson’s Great Society programs were federal responses from this era that have had a lasting effect on social welfare.
    to issues such as these. Both administrations spoke of poverty and A greater number of baccalaureate-level social workers were
    instituted a variety of new social welfare initiatives, including Head needed to fill the increasing demand for trained staff as these
    Start, a program providing preschool education for disadvantaged programs were established. The National Association of Social

    Workers and the Council on Social Work Education began
    accepting the Bachelor of Social Work as the entry-level profes­
    sional degree in the field.

    Tired of civil turmoil and the Vietnam War, Americans
    turned politically conservative and embraced the conservative
    ideals and concern with civil order promised by Republican Pres­
    ident Richard Nixon ( 1969-1974). President Nixon left the pres­
    idency after his participation in the cover-up of the Watergate
    scandal, a breaking-and-entering scheme at the headquarters of
    the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate Hotel in
    Washington, D.C. Vice President Gerald Ford became president
    ( 1974-1976) and eventually lost his election bid to one-term
    Democratic President Jimmy Carter.

    Although President Carter ( 1977-1981) promoted social pro­
    grams and showed compassion for disenfranchised Americans,
    his administration was marred by high inflation rates, spiraling gas
    prices, and an international crisis involving the taking of American

    hostages in Iran. These events contributed to President Carter’s
    political demise and failure to gain reelection, while setting the
    stage for the election of President Ronald Reagan.

    A Jubilant American soldier hugs English woman. as happy service men and

    civilians celebrate Germany’s unconditional surrender at Piccadilly Circus. London.

    The History of Social Work Chapter2 33

    Social Movements

    AS stated by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the goal for the nation’s

    involvement in Vietnam was not to win the war but for U.S. troops to

    support defenses until South Vietnam could take over. By entering

    the Vietnam War without a clearly stated goal to win, Johnson set

    the stage for future public and troop disappointment when the

    United States found itself in a stalemate with the North Vietnamese

    and the Viet Cong (Rosenberg, n.d.).

    1. Several movies depict the Vietnam War. Watch one of them

    and consider why social movements emerged from the

    Vietnam War that changed the way many people think about

    military service and issues of society.

    2. What similarities does the nation’s current involvement in Iraq

    and Afghanistan share with the Vietnam War?

    3. What, if any, is the impact of voluntary military service on

    social movements about war?

    EXHIBIT2.2 New Frontier and Great Society Programs


    1961: Peace Corps is established by Executive Order 1 0924 to promote world peace and friendship.

    • 1961: Area Redevelopment Act provides $394 million in benefits to “distressed areas” to combat chronic unemployment in impoverished
    cities and rural areas by increasing their levels of economic growth.

    • 1962: Rural Renewal program provides technical and financial assistance for locally initiated and sponsored programs aimed at ending
    chronic underemployment and fostering a sound rural economy.

    • 1962: Aid to Families with Dependent Children replaces the Aid to Dependent Children program, as coverage is extended to adults caring
    for dependent children.

    • 1963: Community Mental Health Act provides assistance in improving mental health through grants for construction of community mental
    health centers and for other purposes.


    • 1964: Community Action programs founded by Economic Opportunity Act to fight poverty by promoting self-sufficiency and depending on
    volunteer work.

    • 1964: Job Corps formed to provide free vocational training and education to young adults.

    • 1964: Office of Economic Opportunity created by Economic Opportunity Act to oversee a variety of community-based antipoverty programs.

    • 1964: Food Stamps Act designed to alleviate hunger and malnutrition of low-income families and individuals by providing the ability to
    purchase food.

    • 1965: Medicare part of Social Security Act enacted to provide federal funding for many of the medical costs of older Americans.

    • 1965: Medicaid part of Social Security Act enacted to provide medical care for families and individuals with low income and resources.

    • 1965: Volunteers in Service to America founded as the domestic version of Peace Corps, designed to fight poverty (incorporated into
    AmeriCorps in 1993).

    • 1965: Teachers Corp established by Higher Education Act to improve teaching in predominantly low-income areas.

    1965: Head Start established to provide early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent-involvement services to low-income children
    and their families.

    • 1966: Model Cities Program established to develop antipoverty programs and alternative forms of local government.

    34 PART 1 u

    REAGANOMICS: 1981 TO 1989
    In 1980. the Republican presidential candidate. Ronald Reagan.

    beat the incumbent President Carter with aconservative platform

    that emphasized individual responsibility for one’s own problems

    rather than the reform of existing systems for social welfare. Rea­

    gan called for a smaller federal government. a safety net for only

    the truly needy, and a lifetime limit on social services. He also

    embraced trickle-down economics (aversion of classical eco­

    nomic theory also known as supply-side economics). The under­

    lying idea was that reducing the tax obligations of the rich would

    stimulate them to spend more on the consumption of goods and

    services. In theory. the prosperity of the rich would “trickle down”

    to middle-class and poorer Americans via the creation of new

    industries and jobs. There was. however, nothing to prevent the

    rich from simply holding onto their profits, purchasing existing

    enterprises, or investing in enterprises overseas.

    President Reagan’s administration was largely successful in

    implementing his vision. It shrank government and social welfare

    programs and services at the federal level through budget cuts

    and the implementation of means-tested programs and services.

    It also curtailed programs sanctioned and funded by the Social

    Security Act, such as Medicaid, food stamps. loans for higher

    education, and legal assistance for poor people. To offset these

    federal reductions and maintain some programs and services.

    many states and communities increased taxation.

    After President Reagan’s two terms in office. the 1988 election

    of his vice president, George H. W. Bush, to the presidency con­

    tinued Reagan’s conservative approach. President Bush focused

    his energy on international affairs. showing little inclination to

    address social issues or domestic policy. Responsibility for social

    programs shifted from the public to the private sector. President

    Bush promoted a “thousand points of light” campaign, where

    communities would develop and often privately fund services

    and programs to address local needs. Impoverished communities

    had few resources to dedicate to such points of light. however.

    Pushback against the nation’s conservative era came by way
    of the election of William Clinton. President Clinton ( 1993-2001)

    was the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to

    win a second term of ofnce. In revamping the welfare system.

    Clinton engaged in political compromise. One result was the

    1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconcilia­

    tion Act. which reversed six decades of federal policy guarantee­

    ing at least a minimum level of financial assistance. or a safety

    net. for indigent people.


    After a two-term Clinton presidency, Republican George W. Bush

    won the 2000 election. It was one of the closest and most contro­
    versial presidential elections in history, and was ultimately decided

    in the Supreme Court. A prior governor of Texas. President Bush

    described his political philosophy as “compassionate conservatism,”

    aview that combined traditional Republican economic policies with

    concern for the underprivileged. His administration targeted educa­

    tion and volunteerism within faith-based and community organiza­

    tions as a way of providing social services to the needy.

    However, it was not domestic issues that marked the Bush

    administration. On September I I. 200 I, terrorists attacked the

    World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon in

    Washington. D.C.. by flying passenger jets into them. A fourth

    suicide flight. en route to the White House or the Capitol build­

    ing, was thwarted by its passengers. All in all. some 3,000 people

    died. The event. now referred to as 9/ I I, defined Bush’s tenure

    (see I I -attacks). He declared a “war

    on terror” and launched two wars in the Middle East. He also

    established the Department of Homeland Security, a vast bureau­

    cracy charged with preventing any attack on the United States in

    the future. At the same time. he maintained his pledge to reduce

    taxes. The result was a huge national debt. a faltering economy,

    and a national and worldwide credit crisis.

    The effect of many of his social initiatives was dwarfed by

    the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. the fight against terrorism. and

    the global war on terror. By the end of his term. President Bush

    had a public approval rating of 20%. the lowest recorded for any

    sitting president (Pew Research Center. 2008).

    The 2008 election was remarkable for the victory of Demo­

    crat Barack Obama. the first African American president. During

    the campaign Obama had proposed a platform of change and

    reform in Washington , with domestic policy and the economy as

    central themes. In the midst of a downward spiral in the national

    economy, which became known as the “Great Recession.” he

    had several serious domestic and international issues to address:

    the transgressions of Wall Street, America’s financial district. and

    the damage to the world economy: burgeoning, and suspect, fore­

    closures on American homeowners; a dysfunctional and unfair

    health care system: costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: increas­

    ing dissatisfaction with immigration policy: and increasing signs

    A The transition of power in the presidential election.

    Chapter 2 35

    of global climate change. The Obama administration experienced

    intransigent pushback on nearly every issue from the Republican

    members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, who

    were committed to a smaller federal government and a reduction

    in the national debt.

    The Obama administration’s signature social welfare policy

    is the Affordable Care Act (ACA). signed into law on March 23.

    20 I0. A controversial piece of social welfare policy because it

    expands the role of the federal government. the policy enacted

    comprehensive reforms to improve access to affordable health

    coverage and to alter insurance company practices. Ideally, the

    ACA will decrease the nation·s health care costs and make insur­

    ance companies more accountable for how premiums are spent.

    The ACA primarily affects health care coverage in three ways:

    through health exchanges. which went into effect in 2014: by

    expanding Medicaid coverage; and when states decide to create

    their own basic health programs. In each case. social workers will

    help people “navigate” the new systems of health care to ensure

    they receive proper coverage and benefits. Further, the expanded

    health care provisions address mental or behavioral health, which

    represents another significant service area where social workers

    play a vital role.

    Donald J. Trump shattered expectations on November 9.

    2016, with an election night victory over Hillary Clinton that

    revealed deep antiestablishment anger among American voters.

    President Trump achieved one of the most improbable political

    victories in modern American history, despite a series of con­

    troversies that would easily have destroyed other candidacies.

    extreme policies that have drawn criticism from both sides of the

    aisle. and a lack of conventional political experience (http://www

    . huffi ngtonpost. com/topic/trump-administration).

    Why did Trump win the election7 It appears as though key

    groups of voters overlooked his personal character and political

    shortcomings and instead embraced him as an agent of change

    against corrupt government officials who seemed to pay more

    attention to the poor than to the middle class.

    To keep his campaign promises, President Trump’s admin­

    istrative agenda highlights several key issues that will result in

    subsequent changes in policy and budgetary allocations. Included

    on the agenda are efforts to

    • Rebuild the military to give America a firmer footing in

    pursuing peace through strength.

    • Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renego­

    tiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    • Propose a moratorium on new federal regulations, along
    with an order that heads of federal agencies and depart­

    ments identify regulations that challenge employment


    • Deport illegal immigrants with violent criminal records.

    • Safeguard Second Amendment rights.

    President Trump’s biggest challenge involves the ACA.

    which he vowed to repeal and replace When he took office,

    approximately half the population was covered by employer­

    sponsored health insurance, with the other half covered by

    Medicare, Medicaid, and individual private insurance (Miller.

    2016 ). Changes in the ACA will alter health care coverage for the

    most vulnerable people, those being covered under Medicaid.

    Some health policy analysts believe the ACA’s employer man­

    date might be repealed in the fiscal year 2017 reconciliation bill,

    meaning it would influence the parts of the ACA that have to

    do with federal funding. It would pertain to massive parts of the

    law, including Medicaid expansion. the mandate that everyone

    must buy insurance, and all taxes and tax credits under the

    law. The ACA then might be replaced in a fiscal year 2018

    reconciliation bill.

    What stands out in your mind as you consider the

    development of social work and social welfare policy over

    time? What seems to drive the development of social

    welfare policy?

    Is there a point in this history that you find particularly

    interesting? Why? What are the significant events in the

    development of the social work profession that draw you to

    consider social work as a career option?

    Although social reforms have enriched the lives of millions of

    Americans (Jansson. 1999). they sometimes fail to meet stated

    or ideal goals. Consider how the notion of the “deserving poor”

    has affected the provision of social welfare. Our belief in support­

    ing children and older people has characterized American society

    since colonial times. This fact sends a strong social signal to

    families that they should be responsible for their own.

    Most of the social services that target young and old age

    categories are crisis interventions rather than preventions. For

    instance, policies such as the Social Security Act and Temporary

    Assistance for Needy Families provide a safety net for children

    and older adults. However, the basic needs of food and clothing

    are met in a modest fashion under the guise of cost containment.

    In such an environment, clients live with uncertainty and the

    practice of social work is restricted.
    Although the United States is a rich country, many people are

    working hard every day but living from paycheck to paycheck. Far

    too many Americans live in poverty. relying on social programs

    for their most basic needs. Ideally, changes in social policy would

    give these underprivileged groups greater access to jobs that pay


    36 PART 1 Understanding Social Work

    a living wage and equip them with the tools. such as a good
    education, to raise their status in society. However, the nation’s
    social welfare system does little to move working-class and poor

    people from their current socioeconomic class.

    Tellingly, some communities experience persistent poverty
    and social inequality. In America. these groups are often the vic­
    tims of racism. There are no policy examples and few social ser­
    vice programs that draw from and honor the cultural backgrounds
    and personal experiences of people of color. How can the effects

    of racism be challenged by the profession of social work? The
    history of social welfare policy suggests the need to address the
    root causes of social. economic. and political inequality. The 1963
    March on Washington, followed by the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
    demonstrated that organizing people and taking united action
    can change the course of a nation.

    For a more recent example of how movements for social jus­

    tice can change society, consider the evolution of sexuality-based
    issues. History illustrates a long. hard struggle among women.
    lesbians. and gays for equality in all spheres of American life.
    Individually and collectively, they have been actively involved in
    civil rights. Through resilience and resourcefu lness, this broad­
    based population has tackled barriers to its own growth and

    participation in society. Subsequently, political institutions.
    American corporations. fam il ies. faith organizations, and other
    major American entities have changed power arrangements to

    ensure a greater degree of equality.

    What social issues concern you? Do you have student loans

    or pay taxes? Are you concerned about the environment,

    affordable health care, voting rights, military engagement,

    immigration, net neutrality, or legalization of marijuana?

    What action could you take to influence a policy or

    concern? Do you see the federal government as a vehicle

    to address your concerns? What is your role in bringing a

    particular issue to the public’s attention? For example, do

    you vote, volunteer for campaigns, post to biogs, call in to

    radio shows?

    Are organizations on your campus or in your neigh­

    borhood working on social issues? Have you participated

    or will you participate in such an organization? Why or

    why not?

    Approaches to social welfare have changed over the past few centuries of American life, and the social work profession has evolved
    alongside those changes. However, despite improvements in many realms of life, the problems to which social welfare responds have

    There is a rhythm of social responses to social welfare problems and social issues. As this chapter indicates, economic ups and downs,
    wars, political shifts from conservative to liberal perspectives, and attitudes toward individual respons ibilities are all factors that influence
    development of the social welfare system. The result is a fragmented approach to addressing human needs.

    Currently many issues are facing the social welfare system. Debates over the nation’s health care system and immigration policies, for
    instance, continue as cutbacks are made in programs to assist those in need. Determining how to intervene in issues such as these has
    always been a problem for our nation. This is particularly true in relation to providing assistance for those who are poor and appear to be able
    to work. Much depends on our willingness to commit to helping those in need.

    conservative safety net
    deserving poor social control
    liberal social justice
    means testing social welfare
    nondeserving poor social welfare policy

    The History of Social Work

    1. Think about your political ideologies and where they came 3. Define the current political scene, environmental conditions,

    from throughout your lifetime. Do they align with your human needs, and social justice issues in the United States or

    parents’ ideologies? Is this an issue? Why or why not? What your country of origin. How have these factors contributed to
    experiences formed your opinions on social welfare services debate on a policy issue and a specific social welfare policy?
    and social work? 4. Take time to review Exhibit 2.1, the Social Security Act timeline.

    2. As you read through the history of the development of social Discuss the issues and actions you think have been the most
    work, what period of time most captured your attention? What is effective in helping the needy.
    it about this time that piques your interest?

    1. Learn more about various political parties and their stances

    on social welfare by going to their websites. In addition to the

    Democratic and Republican parties, seek information about the
    Libertarian Party, the Green Party, the Progressive Party, the
    Constitution Party, or others that run candidates in your locale.
    Focusing on the issue of social welfare, locate the parties on a
    spectrum from most liberal to most conservative.

    2. Read an editorial from one of the nation’s leading newspapers

    or news websites. What political perspective does the editorial
    reflect, and how did you reach this conclusion?

    3. Role-play a situation in which you must ask for public assistance.
    How did you feel about being in need and asking for help?

    4. Create a policy timeline using the periods of the Elizabethan

    Poor Laws, colonial America, the Progressive Era, the

    Great Depression, the War on Poverty, the Great Society,
    Reaganomics, the period of reforming the welfare state, the
    Obama presidency, and the Trump administration. Select one
    landmark event from each period and read about the relevant

    political situation, environmental factors, human needs, and
    social justice issues of the time.

    5. Choose a social welfare service available in your community.

    Gather the history of this agency. In what ways does its history
    compare to what you read in this chapter?


    Great Depression (
    Defines the Great Depression and how it impacted the lives
    of people. Provides text, images, and video about the era that
    launched many new social programs
    Settlement movement ( Examines how
    the movement changed public health and working conditions for
    many workers
    Social Security Act ( ) :
    Considers the significance of the Social Security Act from
    a historical perspective and as a safety network for

    Social Welfare History Project (www.socialwelfarehistory
    .com): Provides more information about the Charity Organization
    Societies and other relevant topics
    Social Work Pioneers (
    pioneers/): Describes social work leaders and advocates in the
    context of their contribution to the profession
    War in Vietnam ( Covers
    the relevance of the war in terms of public unrest
    White House website (https :// : Provides
    an updated list of the administration’s social welfare priorities
    and associated activities


    ($)SAGE edge™
    Sharpen your skills with SAGE edge at

    SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help you accomplish your coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.


    Learning Objectives
    After reading this chapter, you should be able to

    1. Differentiate case advocacy and cause advocacy.

    2. Summarize the ethical issues involved in advocacy.

    3. Explain how advocacy is a signature aspect of social work practice.

    4. Identify costs and benefits associated with advocacy.

    5. Describe a cycle of advocacy.

    6. List and describe four tenets of the dynamic advocacy model.

    Nancy Advocates to Professionalize
    Social Work in Her State
    Nancy is a SSW-level social worker residing in a state that recognizes and provides licensure only

    for MSW-level clinical social workers who have passed a national examination and completed at

    least 2 years of supervised clinical experience. The license is what allows clinical social workers

    to enter private practice with individuals and families, obtain reimbursement through insurance

    companies and other third parties, and tap into public funding sources. In contrast, BSW and

    nonclinical MSW social workers have been limited to obtaining state certifications in social work.

    These certifications lack credibility with potential clients and funding sources.

    In Nancy’s state, human service organizations rarely require proof of certificat ion or of a

    degree in social work for employment as a social worker in nonclinical settings. So by law,

    just about anyone with at least a bachelor’s degree can choose to be called a social worker.

    People who have majored in psychology, sociology, criminal justice, history, and English routinely

    obtain employment in human service and mental health agencies in her state. They often refer

    to themselves as social workers, care managers, caseworkers, and intervention specialists. As

    a result, the general public believes that the term social worker can be applied to nearly anyone

    doing good for others.

    Nancy worked hard for her BSW degree and wonders how nonprofessionals can effectively

    do the work without the training she has received. It seems to her that the potential for doing

    harm is high.

    The important point here is that Nancy is thinking and acting as an advocate. To ensure that

    clients receive quality services from competent social workers, Nancy works with her Nationa


    Association of Social Workers state chapter and local social work educators to promote

    state legislation that will establish licensure and title protection for all social workers. As their

    recommended changes in state laws are considered, social workers and some client groups

    have also been talking with administrators of social work agencies about how important it is to

    require that every “social worker” in a human service position have a social work degree and be

    appropriately educated.

    58 PART 1 Understanding Social Work

    A Social workers can act as advocates for their clients by promoting legislation
    that has a positive effect on the community.

    T he element of social work that greatly distinguishes it

    from other helping professions is advocacy. Social work­

    ers are unique in being oriented to and knowledgeable about

    advocacy-engaging in purposeful actions that will help

    people advance their rights. opportunities, causes, and human

    dignity-a hallmark of social work. Social workers believe in

    empowerment through advocacy to help improve people’s lives.

    family dynamics, group processes. organizational functioning.

    community-based ventures and services, and policy-oriented

    decisions and guidelines.

    Grounded in the Code of Ethics of the NASW (2018), one

    of social work’s central principles is to promote social justice

    through work with socially and economically vulnerable groups.

    Populations at risk include the economically disadvantaged,

    members of the LBGQT community, women, older adults. chil­

    dren, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with mental or

    physical challenges. Contemporary social justice issues include

    unemployment. underemployment. medical insurance, techno­

    logical access to information, and the elimination of discrimina­

    tion. Social workers seek equality of rights and opportunities for

    all people in a number of realms. And, a major way of advancing

    social work’s social justice agenda is through advocacy.

    Advocacy can involve one case (many times an individual

    or family) requiring some kind of change, which is known as

    case advocacy. It may also take the form of a larger structural

    or systematic effort to change policies, common practices. pro­

    cedures. and laws to advance social justice for a larger segment

    of society, which is known as cause advocacy. Cause advocacy

    necessitates social workers to be knowledgeable about social
    action and ways to create social change. Social workers engage in

    many types of cause advocacy, such as legal advocacy, legislative

    advocacy, self-advocacy, and system advocacy.

    The goals of case advocacy are often to meet individuals’

    absolute needs, or the basic goods and services that support

    human survival in the short term (water, food, shelter, sanitation,

    medical care). The goals of cause advocacy involve causes that

    impact a group of people and. like case advocacy, can encompass

    relative needs. which are the goods and services that promote

    human dignity and well-being over the long term: meaningful

    employment. equal status before the law, social justice, quality

    education, and equal opportunity.

    Many people are unable to provide adequately for themselves at

    one point or another: some people experience a lifetime of chal­

    lenges from which they struggle to escape. The personal reasons

    vary, from physical or mental barriers to lack of proper socializa­

    tion and education to lower social status through birth, custom,

    or misfortune. In addition. societal factors such as a lack of public

    resources and service, unsupportive political will. and entrenched

    systems of privilege and oppression impact and constrain the abil­

    ity of people to move forward. Many people often struggle with

    the basics-food, water, shelter, health care-and human dignity.

    Societies across the world have developed systems to create

    opportunities for people to rise above unfortunate circumstances.

    In Chapter 2, you read about the historical response to need, the

    development of social work as a profession. and the emergence

    of a unique system of social services in the United States. Social

    programs and services have helped millions of people live more

    fulfilling. healthier, and productive lives.

    Often, however, social services are unknown or unavailable

    to those in need. It is difficult for people without resources to

    learn about sources of help and ways to challenge barriers sup­

    pressing human growth and development. Social workers have

    long worked to connect individuals, families, and communities

    with the available services in an effort to provide people with an

    opportunity to participate fully in society. In the process, they

    have become advocates, championing individuals, groups, and

    communities in their search for needed services. But social work­

    ers soon realized that when services were unavailable to meet

    serious needs within communities. they would also need to be

    advocates for policy and program changes with larger systems­

    organizations, communities. and society.

    Both case and cause advocacy require knowledge, determi­

    nation, and effort. many times with people consumed with just

    trying to survive. Social workers . on the other hand, have com­

    mitted themselves to helping the needy as their life work. They

    have acquired education and training to develop knowledge and
    skills to use client strengths to challenge barriers. Social workers

    think in terms of a responsibility both to improve conditions

    for clients and to advance opportunities for other people facing

    similar struggles and problems.

    Advocacy in Social Work Chapter4 59

    Social Change Through Boycotts

    ONE way those without much individual power can effect change
    is to band together to refuse to buy a product, use a service, listen
    to a radio station, or watch a television program-in other words, to
    conduct a boycott. During the 1950s, civil rights leaders such as the
    Rev. T. J. Jemison and Dr. Martin Luther King organized bus boycotts
    and alternative car pools in the cause of abolishing rules forcing
    African American riders to the backs of buses. In 1977, a boycott began
    in the United States, and eventually expanded into Europe, protesting
    Nestle’s promotion of breast milk su bstitutes in less economically
    developed countries. A boycott of U.S. firms investing in South Africa,
    which included protests on American college campuses, contributed
    to the end of official apartheid in South Africa in the 1990s. These are
    just a few of the historic examples of effective boycotts.

    In today’s electronic world, groups such as Ethical Consumer
    enlist people in social change. Ethical Consumer publishes lists


    “‘ ·~

    A Advocacy can occur via organized demonstrations to challenge people in

    power and effect change.

    Implicit in this discussion of why professional advocates-that is.
    social workers-are needed is the idea of social inequality. Some
    people have more- access to society’s benefits and resources. sta­
    tus, wealth, power- and some have less. Some inequality is part

    of the human condition. However. those at the top may use their
    advantages to organize society to suit their needs. Often they do
    so to the clear detriment of those below them on the social scale.
    Social workers are educated to understand these inequities and

    of companies that it believes should be boycotted on the basis of
    political oppression, animal abuse, tax avoidance, environmental

    degradation, supply chain issues, abuse of human rights,
    and exploitation of workers. When organized and conducted
    successfully, boycotts such as these bring publicity to issues and
    serve as powerful forums for advocating change.

    In the political realm, beginning with the election of President
    Trump in 2016, anti-Trump protesters began boycotting Donald Trump
    products (e.g., hotels, real estate, golf courses, and resorts). And,
    following the endorsement of the clothing line of the President’s
    daughter, lvanka Trump, by Counselor to the President Kellyanne
    Conway, anti-Trump groups soon organized to boycott lvanka’s
    clothing as well as the stores selling her products. Would you
    participate in a political boycott? If so, for what political purpose
    and end?

    their effect on clients and social systems. They are also educated
    to combat social inequality at all levels and in various areas of
    practice. as you will learn in later chapters.

    During the past several decades, social workers have embraced
    the concept of empowerment as akey feature of practice. In the con­
    text of advocacy, empowerment refers to clients’ ability to influence
    decisions made about themselves, determine the best outcomes for
    themselves, and making life-changing decisions themselves. They
    influence both the services they receive and the development of
    policies, programs, and legislation that affect the services they and
    others receive. Social workers are key players and leaders, but their
    role is to facilitate, work with, and support clients in their efforts to
    advance their own well-being and promote change.

    Power is a factor in human services in another way. When
    social workers defend or represent others to secure social justice.
    they are challenging the people and special interest groups in
    power to exert their authority to assist and benefit those who
    are less powerful. When this type of advocacy is successful. the
    will and energy of clients and social workers, as well as the other
    advocates for change, yield desirable, measurable outcomes that
    produce additional opportunities, rights, and freedoms for clients.

    Consider how Nancy, the social worker in our opening
    vignette, decides to approach those in power over licensing
    requirements for social workers. She realizes that her campaign
    may be an affront to certain groups. The likely opponents are


    60 PART1 Understanding Social Work

    March 2017 Effort to Repeal and Replace the Patient
    Protection and Affordability Care Act (ACA)

    SOCIAL workers across the nation united with various special (ACA). Passage of ACA repeal and replace legislation held promise

    interest groups and factions to lobby members of the U.S. House for eliminating health care insurance for millions of low-income and

    of Representatives and Senate to thwart President Trump and older adults across the United States.

    Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act

    individuals working in the field who do not have social work
    degrees, and budget-minded legislators and administrators.
    Antilicensure elements will question whether licensed social
    workers can do a better job than those who are already doing
    it without licensure. They will ask for evidence but may still
    dispute findings indicating that the quality of services is
    enhanced through the employment of professionally educated
    and degreed social workers.

    So Nancy devises a strategy for cha llenging the status quo that
    involves empowering clients and enlisting the support of service
    groups. She has heard many disturbing stories of clients’ receiv­
    ing inappropriate or inferior services from nonprofessionals, and
    she believes those stories will sway decision makers. In addition ,
    Nancy believes that clients’ voices will resonate because each client
    brings unique passions and strengths for influencing change. Some
    clients are poised to step forward in the licensure debate and want
    to educate others to the ill effects of nonprofessional interven­
    tion. They, and the groups they form, will play a significant role in
    reaching out to administrators, leaders, and legislators in the state.

    A Supporters of the Affordable Care Act participate in a “Save Obamacare” rally

    in Los Angeles. California on March 23, 2017.

    Underlying their involvement in advocacy (and all forms of social
    work intervention) is the professional call for social workers to
    engage in ethical behavior in practice. The Code of Ethics of the
    National Association of Social Workers (NASW) states that each
    social worker has an obligation to “advocate for living conditions
    conducive to the fulfillment of basic human needs” (NASW,
    2018, Sec. 6.0 I). Social workers are also instructed in the Code of
    Ethics to approach , initiate, assist, educate, and organize clients
    for participation in advocacy. The responsibility for advocacy is
    also spelled out in the International Federation of Social Workers’
    (2004) statement of principles for ethical social work practice.

    Advocacy is thus often viewed by social workers as a profes­
    sional mandate and mark of competency. Nancy’s call to license
    social workers in her state is a function of her ethical obligation
    to promote the well-being of her clients via competent practice.
    However, social workers exert care in advocacy not to impose
    their own values and interests. Social workers hold positions of
    power in helping relationships, which can influence client percep­
    tions and actions. Ethical advocacy, whether efforts to advance
    competent practice or any number of issues or causes (e.g., safe
    and affordable housing, child welfare, affordable health care), is
    foremost centered on client needs and desires.

    Client Self-Determination
    Advocacy in social work practice is predicated on the principle
    of client self-determination, which dictates that consumers
    of services make decisions and choices based on their will and
    value orientations. Because there is a power differential between
    social workers and clients, it is important for advocacy to occur
    in a fashion that encourages and does not distract from or violate
    the client’s right to self-determination.

    With advocacy, the social worker is by definition taking up
    the cause of others. To promote client self-determination, social

    workers are attentive to setting aside their personal values, and

    they attempt to examine an issue or cause from the perspective(s)

    and voice(s) of the client. Placing oneself in the position of the

    client is difficult, as it necessitates learning from the client and

    the ability to successfully work through unequal power dynamics

    in the social worker and client relationship.

    Self-Interest and Advocacy
    It is important for social workers to know the differences between

    self-interest ( defined as a focus on one’s own benefit), case advo­

    cacy, and cause advocacy. Social workers should enter the pro­

    fession to help other people, especially members of vulnerable

    population groups (e.g., people who experience prejudice based

    on gender, sexual orientation, economic status, race, or ethnicity),

    and not themselves. Social workers are client centered.

    To understand the difference between self-interest, case

    advocacy, and cause advocacy, think about what college students

    might do when they are unhappy about a grade they received on

    a group assignment. One student might argue that the instructor

    should have graded his or her contribution higher because the

    other members of the group did not do as much work to complete

    an assignment. Another student might tell the instructor that

    the group deserves a higher grade. A third student might point

    out some weaknesses in the assignment or the grading rubric and

    that all students in the course should be given a higher grade.

    Which of these challenges constitute advocacy? Are any of them

    an example of case advocacy or cause advocacy? Which are based

    primarily on self-interest and personal gain?

    As you may already sense, the concept of advocacy in social

    work is multidimensional and differs from the idea of advo­

    cating for one’s own personal and private needs and rights.

    Case advocacy is important for helping specific individuals, fam­

    ilies, groups, organizations, and communities address needs

    and concerns. Cause advocacy focuses on social change and

    enabling larger groups of people to improve their social and

    economic situation.

    What motivates you to consider social work as a profes­

    sion? Have you experienced a loss, difficult living cir­

    cumstances, a traumatic event, or a violation of personal

    rights? If so, are you motivated to consider social work out

    of self-interest or out of a concern that others benefit from

    your experience?

    Social workers strive for objectivity in assisting clients.

    Could you be objective if your advocacy involved a significant

    event or factor in your life?

    Advocacy in Socia l \Nor· k Chapter4 61

    Individual Benefit Versus Community Benefit
    In the United States, people often conceptualize needs in indi­

    vidualistic ways-what can be done for me or this person­

    as opposed to contextualizing them in group or community

    welfare and large-scale change. Although individual-level advo­

    cacy can produce needed benefits for the person, it frequently

    does not prompt community or institutional reform. One way to

    think about the difference between advocacy and self-gain is to

    determine whether the individual or a group of people is the pri­

    mary beneficiary of

    the change process.

    The individual reigns

    supreme perspective equates individual gain and interest with

    the common good and is useful for seeing how case advocacy has

    limitations (Mc Nutt, 1997). For example, advocating with a client

    to receive food assistance from an organization can be critical for

    addressing a person’s immediate needs but may have little impact

    for subsequent people experiencing similar circumstances.

    It is important to question whether promoting solely one’s

    own rights in a single case constitutes effective advocacy and

    use of time. Many social workers argue that advocacy efforts

    should move beyond individualism and focus on efforts to pro­

    mote social justice or improve social conditions or circumstances

    affecting other individuals or a group, community, or society. The

    attitude of placing self-interest in a context of promoting policies

    and practices for the common good aligns with the community

    reigns supreme perspective (McNutt, 1997). For example,

    taking the broader view of advocating with clients to promote

    just policies for receiving food assistance from organizations in a

    community can yield immediate assistance to a person in need

    and holds promise for benefiting other people as well.

    Although social workers are encouraged to focus on others,

    the motivation and ability to stand up for one’s own rights can

    be a desirable personal attribute for social workers. How can peo­

    ple who are unable to muster the energy and passion to help

    themselves effectively promote fairness and social or economic

    justice for others7 There is something to be said for people being

    willing to participate actively in a case or a cause rather than just

    look on passively. If you are seriously considering entry into the

    social work profession, contemplate your abilities and potential

    to “stand up” and actively work with others to address clients’

    needs and address important issues and causes.

    Pathways to Community Benefit
    To promote social change, social workers advocate for pathways

    that will give groups of people access to resources, rights, and

    opportunities, and allow them to improve their life circumstances.
    The role of the social worker, therefore, involves “building avenues

    for clients to access power resources within themselves, their fam­

    ilies, and their contexts … creating opportunities for significant

    participation in community and thereby freeing clients to experience
    themselves differently and act in new ways” (O’Melia, 2002, p. 3).

    62 PART 1 Understand,ng Social Work

    A Rallies and protests are one way clients can be empowered to participate in
    their community.

    Using the example of requesting a grade change, consider the
    possibility that a number of students were adversely affected as
    a result of an unfair grading practice. The correction of a single
    grade would not facilitate grade changes for others also affected
    by that unfair or unjust grading practice. Possibly, if the course
    had large enrollments. the grading of essays was relegated to
    teaching assistants (TAs). If so. did the TAs receive proper train­
    ing and clear instructions and grading rubrics to facilitate reliable
    and valid grading practices? One might question if scoring of
    essay answers varied appreciably among TAs. Or was there any
    political pressure from the professor, department. or university
    administration to keep grades low to combat grade inflation?
    Were environmental factors or conditions, such as assigning the
    group work during local fires and power outages. involved?

    Identifying and asking important questions opens up path­
    ways for possible resolution of the grading problem. For example,
    when prompted. the professor might review the grading prac­
    tices of the TAs for consistency and fairness, and consider any
    necessary grade changes. The professor could also examine best
    practices of other professors and incorporate their perspectives
    concerning grading into a training program for TAs, to minimize
    bias and error. Or the professor might have been unaware of the

    impact of local fires on the group assignment. In the process of
    examining grading policies, the professor might have identified
    discriminatory differences among grades from the TAs based
    on gender, race. or age of the students. Once again, advocacy

    involves a broad and dynamic assessment and understanding of
    political, economic, social, and environmental factors that can
    influence decision making affecting a number of people.

    Social workers often work with clients and constituents who are
    under stress and feel desperate and powerless. When considering
    advocacy as a means of creating change, it is essential to keep
    the human aspect of helping in mind. People are susceptible to
    pain and permanent damage and can perish when critical needs
    go unmet. All people should be treated as human beings with
    dignity, not as problems. objects, or cases (Reynolds, 1951 ).

    The human nature of advocacy involves both emotional and
    rational aspects. Passion to confront issues can be a powerful
    asset in promoting change, but it can also blur many of the real­
    ities associated with a situation or issue. Hence, objectivity is an
    important aspect of advocacy and a quality that social workers
    can contribute to the process. Social workers need to be able to
    put clients’ values and interests first while providing professional
    insight concerning the realities. good and bad, associated with
    proposed change.

    As a social worker, you would want to see, appreciate, and

    respect the unique qualities of each person and group you

    encounter. You might think of social interaction as one big

    museum for discovering the commonalities and differences

    among people. In the context of advocacy, are you or could

    you be capable of viewing and appreciating the strengths and

    vulnerabilities of a variety of people-including those who

    think and behave quite differently than you do?

    Social work pioneers became aware of the need for cause advo­
    cacy when they recognized that addressing clients’ immediate
    needs from a charitable perspective held little promise for creating
    substantial and sustainable change in people’s lives. Temporary
    and survival-oriented efforts were analogous to using adhesive
    bandages for large, contagious sores. Although it was important
    to address individuals’ needs for shelter, food. water, and sanita­
    tion. and to alleviate other forms of human suffering, it became

    apparent that collective and political action was also necessary.
    Confronting mechanisms of social control (such as policies, prac­
    tices, and laws) and people in positions of power was necessary
    to promote human well-being and social justice.

    Advocacy in Social Work Chapter4 63

    Dorothy Height, Florence Kelley. and Whitney Young are
    important historical civil rights leaders who dedicated their lives
    to social reform and the expansion of social welfare and policies

    in the United States. For example, Dorothy Height was an African

    American woman admitted to Barnard College in 1929 but denied
    entrance to the school as a result of a racial quota-a practice

    Barnard College later discontinued and officially denounced. She

    earned her undergraduate degree ( 1932) and master’s degree in

    educational psychology ( 1933) from New York University, later

    completing postgraduate education at Columbia University and
    the New York School of Social Work (now known as the Colum­
    bia University School of Social Work). Dorothy began her career as
    acaseworker with the New York City welfare department and was
    a prominent leader during the civil rights movement of the I960s.
    In addition to serving in a considerable number of national lead­
    ership positions, Dorothy served for four decades ( 1957-1997)

    as the president of the National Council of Negro Women. She
    is remembered nationally for promoting understanding of and
    rights for African American women, and she was honored with
    the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 and Congressional
    Gold Medal in 2004.

    Dorothy Height was one of the first civil rights leaders to
    conceptualize and advocate for social justice and equality for
    women and African Americans in a unified, holistic fashion. She
    was a proponent of social programs benefiting African American

    females, black families. and strong, healthy community life. In
    the 1980s. Dorothy was known and honored for promoting and
    helping to sponsor “black family reunions,” designed to celebrate
    the history and traditions of African Americans. Unfortunately,
    despite her many accomplishments, Dorothy Height’s tireless

    work has often received far less attention and accolades than her
    male civil rights counterparts.

    The idea that cause advocacy is a key component of social work
    got a significant boost from a 193 7 book, Social Work as Cause
    and Function, by social work educator Porter R. Lee. This was a

    question he addressed in the book:

    Are social workers merely part of a function, helping
    people adapt to the environment into which they are
    thrust, or do social workers intend to act in promotion
    of acause, altering the social context to allow for higher­
    level changes in social problems? (Statzer & Alvarez,

    2009, p. 324)

    Lee viewed social workers as professionals with respon­
    sibilities involving community practice, social action, and
    leadership. His vision of social work expertise went beyond
    helping skills and focused specifically on the ability to create

    -;~>,• •~-r:t~1-
    .. ,,~…….;;~ ~,

    · “””-
    A Dorothy Height was a prominent advocate for the rights of African Americans.

    social change and lead social movements. He considered social
    workers to be uniquely equipped to advance the interests of
    those with absolute and relative needs. As experts in social
    action and as professionals, they could make social action
    more effective than could those taking the “emotional role”

    of a person not trained in social work (Statzer & Alvarez,

    2009, p. 325).
    Lee’s writings shaped the social work profession in a number

    of ways:

    • Advancing the value of professional education and training
    in social work

    • Moving the identity of social workers away from simple
    helper toward agent for systemic change

    • Emphasizing objectivity (as opposed to emotion) in pro­
    viding services and promoting social change

    Lee’s thoughts from the 1930s concerning the role of social
    workers in social action carry weight today. Whether the issue
    is inadequate health care; a faltering economy; oppression of
    women: challenges for older adults; oppression of racial/ethnic
    groups and people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans­
    gender community; or the plight of veterans, social workers are
    challenged to be resolute in their commitment to partner with
    vulnerable and disenfranchised groups.

    64 PART 1 Understanding Social Work


    A notable turning point for social welfare and cause advo­
    cacy in U.S. history occurred during the Great Depression of
    the 1930s, when social and economic conditions challenged
    prevailing assumptions about public assistance and the belief
    in individual responsibility. For the first time in their lives,
    many Americans were confronted with the reality that social
    and economic forces beyond one’s control can have harsh
    consequences for individuals and families. Threats to aver­
    age Americans’ absolute needs produced a pervasive sense
    of desperation and helplessness. Many Americans began to
    see the wisdom of collective action to inform leaders about
    their common plight and to argue for social and economic
    relief programs.

    Social and economic turmoil often serve as the stimulus for
    change in communities or societies. Change was also in the air
    from the mid- I960s to the late 1970s. Many people protested the
    nation’s involvement in the Vietnam War, riots occurred in urban
    ghettos, civil rights protests abounded, and women sought relief
    from oppressive policies, practices, and laws.

    Many social workers supported President Lyndon B. Johnson’s
    1964 declaration of a War on Poverty and advocated for the
    creation of programs and services to improve Americans’ gen­
    eral welfare. “These initiatives included Volunteers in Service to
    American (VISTA), a domestic version of the Peace Corps; the
    Job Corps, an employment training program for school dropouts;
    and Head Start, a preschool educational program” (Long, Tice, &

    Morrison, 2006, p. 12).
    During the politically conservative 1980s, social workers

    exposed the consequences of President Ronald Reagan’s attack
    on social welfare programs for the poor and the windfall bene­
    fits for the rich of Reaganomics’ tax reforms (Piven & Cloward,
    1982). Social workers also brought new issues-problems of drug
    use, homelessness, and sexually transmitted diseases, among
    others-to the attention of the public and decision makers.

    A Participants. some carrying American flags. marching in the civil rights march

    from Selma to Montgomery. Alabama in 1965.


    As a result of the many progressive policies and initiatives sup­
    ported and advanced by former President Barack Obama, many
    social workers became inspired about the impact of advocacy
    for creating social change. Social workers actively partnered with
    client groups to advocate for federal funding to support those
    suffering from a failing economy and to identify and advance the
    rights of a variety of vulnerable populations. These are some of
    the issues that social workers actively advanced:

    • Health care reform (including national health insurance
    and parity laws to cover mental health services)

    • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights
    • Services for veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and

    • Fair and just treatment of all immigrants in the United

    States, including those who are undocumented
    • Affordable housing
    • Independence and dignity for older adults
    • Fair treatment of those infected with HIV/AIDS
    • Quality delivery of social services based on practice­

    informed research and research-informed practice
    • Substance use and mental health programs
    • Environmental and climate change

    With the 2016 election of President Trump and Republican
    majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, the
    national political climate with respect to advocacy shifted for
    many social workers toward protection and retention of policy
    and program advancements with the issues listed above. For
    example, early in his presidency, Donald Trump proposed federal
    budget reductions drastically reducing funding and support for
    programs related to health and human services, housing, envi­
    ronmental protection, and education. Reductions in federal fund­
    ing serve to undermine advancements in areas noted above and
    necessitate advocacy efforts for funding and support of initiatives
    at the state and local levels.

    The majority of social workers see cause advocacy as part of
    their professional identity. For example, in one survey of social
    workers, “more than half” agreed that political action is relevant
    to their jobs and that they are obliged to “stay informed, educate
    others, and advocate for constructive policies” (Rome, 20 I0,
    p. I 15). Additionally, 78% reported being educationally prepared
    for political participation and civic engagement (Rome, 20 I0,

    Although advocacy is a core function in social work practice, it
    should not be undertaken without an understanding of the cost
    of advocacy-all the real, intangible, and unintended ways that

    Have you participated in an advocacy event or movement?

    How comfortable were you, on a social-emotional level, with

    that involvement?

    Social workers network and align themselves with

    diverse types of people to advocate for social change.

    Would you be able and willing to advocate for rights and

    opportunities for people whose gender identity, social class,

    race or ethnicity, age, physical or mental ability, or sexual

    orientation is different from yours? If not, why? Do you think

    you might change your attitude to become a social worker?

    undertaking advocacy can deplete resources and potentially work

    against the cause. For instance, bad publicity, loss of social capital

    (e.g .. pushback and alienation from allies), and false hope can

    be just as detrimental as the loss of funds and other resources

    (e.g., the time of advocates) dedicated to the cause. Often the

    costs of advocacy are considerable (Mc Nutt, 20 I I). However,

    comprehensive cost-benefit analyses of advocacy efforts take into

    account the costs. the prospects of attaining the goal, and the

    extent of the good to be derived from advocacy.

    Assessment of the costs associated with any advocacy initia­

    tive. whether case or cause oriented, is likely to be multidimen­

    sional and can be time-consuming. Each agency or organization

    involved may incur expenses. In addition, the cost of advocacy

    includes determining the value of each person’s time to engage

    in research. analyze and draft policies, attend meetings. develop

    media strategies, lobby, organize communities, and campaign.

    Communication itself-with constituent groups, leaders, poli­

    ticians. and decision makers-requires a great deal of time, as

    well as expertise in various modes of communication, from the

    telephone and print media to text messages, websites, e-mails.

    biogs, wikis, and social networking sites.

    Potential financial cost is not always an argument for aban­

    doning or retreating from advocacy. A long-standing adage in

    business is, “You need to spend money to make money.” For

    advocacy, this adage can be altered to, “You need to commit

    resources to effectively create change.” The key in social work is

    to be mindful, intentional, and informed about the types of costs

    associated with planned changed.

    Of course, on the other side of the ledger, advocacy has ben­

    efits. To evaluate the benefits of advocacy, those involved need

    to clearly define the criteria for success and ongoing means for
    evaluating whether advocacy outcomes are being reached. Once

    again, professional social workers can lend their expertise to the

    evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions and programs.

    For example. Nancy has begun to consider benchmarks

    for success in reforming social work licensure requirements

    Chapter 4 65

    in her state. From the outset, she and the client groups and

    advocacy partners with whom she is working will need to

    identify the goals and benefits of licensure reform. consider

    the associated costs, and develop mechanisms to monitor their

    progress toward achieving it.

    Chapter 3 introduces a model for generalist social work practice,

    along with the theoretical foundations for that practice. This

    chapter introduces a similar model for advocacy, the advocacy
    practice and policy model (APPM). Exhibit 4.1 on page 67

    depicts the theoretical foundations of the APPM:

    • Systems theory: Although much of social work involves

    practice with individuals and families. advocacy takes

    place with systems of all sizes-including groups, orga­

    nizations, communities, and societies-as both clients

    and targets for change. A community could be the client

    for case advocacy, where a social worker advocates for a

    particular community seeking funding for a new social

    work agency. An example of cause advocacy is when

    a social worker partners with organizations to change

    a county or state policy or law restricting their ability

    to provide needed services (e.g., family planning and

    contraception education).

    • Empowerment theory: Both case and cause advocacy

    involve social workers’ building relationships with clients of

    various system sizes to participate in and impact decision­

    making processes. Empowerment-based case advocacy

    promotes the voice. perception, and ability of clients to

    influence a particular issue of importance to the client.

    Similarly, empowerment-based cause advocacy empha­

    sizes the perspectives and abilities of clients to advance

    issues affecting them as well as others.

    • Strengths perspective· In advocacy. it is important that

    social workers give appropriate attention to both the

    problems confronting client issues and the various

    strengths available to create needed change. Whether

    case or cause advocacy, clients of all sizes (e.g., indi­

    viduals, families, groups, organizations, communities,

    and societies) bring to the advocacy process a variety of

    strengths, including resources, abilities. important rela­

    tionships, knowledge, skills, insight. perspective, energy,

    and passion. For example, you may think that economi­
    cally poor clients have limited strengths to advocate for

    change: yet their voices, knowledge, and perspectives are

    unique. and the very emotion and passion they bring to

    any situation can be especially convincing, powerful, and

    impactful in advocacy.

    In-Home Services for Older Adults

    Joan is a social worker employed

    by her county’s council on aging in a

    special extended stay program (ESP).

    Her primary responsibilit ies are to identify

    services and programs to allow seniors to reside

    in their homes. Several years ago, county officials

    and local social service leaders listened to the voices

    of older adults and decided to find ways for them to

    maintain their independence. A new county property
    tax levy allows Joan and her colleagues to fund

    in-home services for low-income clients, services such

    as “life lines” (medical alert systems), personal care,

    housekeeping, medical transportation, adult day care,

    home-delivered meals, and assistance with bill paying. Through an effective educational campaign, taxpayers
    learned that it is more economical to provide services for low-income older adults in their homes than to rely on
    residential care (assisted living, nursing homes) and emergency hospital services.

    Joan advocates for seniors to address their needs and rights for care. She visits senior centers and forums to

    promote and explain the importance and virtues of the ESP. She works with provider agencies to ensure quality

    of care. At election time, Joan has used her personal time to hang posters in the community and at polling sites
    to promote funding for the ESP.

    The vast majority of Joan’s professional career has been dedicated to working with older adults. Providing
    support to older adults for independent living is her passion. Ask yourself, do you have a passion for a population
    group or problem area? Would you be willing to devote time, even if it involved your personal time, to political
    advocacy and action to promote your passion?

    • Ecological perspective: When advocating for change,

    assessment of the total environment. not just people

    and social systems. is vital. Physical and natural

    resources such as technology, buildings, transporta­

    tion. water. soil. air, plants. and animals can be assets

    as well as challenges for case and cause advocacy. For

    example. consider the value of phone and Internet

    access for both case and cause advocacy. The poor are

    especially challenged in advocating for themselves and

    others without technologica l means (e.g.. public access

    to the Internet and e-mail and to low-cost public trans­

    portation) to network and communicate with others to

    create change.

    Several other features of generalist social work education and

    practice also are key to the APPM. The model assumes that advo­

    cacy activities, whether for client access to services or promotion

    of policies and programs, are conducted in an ethical manner.

    The APPM supports ethical behavior in assessing problems

    and strengths. planning strategies for change, and addressing


    Social workers are also assumed to be critical thinkers with

    the ability to communicate effectively through oral and written

    means. In other words, social workers engaged in advocacy must

    be able to integrate multiple sources of information into a clear

    and coherent action plan. Furthermore, that action plan must

    reflect the interest of clients and connect individual needs to

    systematic change.

    Recognizing the effect of diversity and culture in shaping life

    conditions is a particularly critical element in the APPM. Specif­

    ically, social workers engaged in advocacy must recognize their

    own values and biases and not let them influence their work.

    The APPM advances human rights by underscoring the need for

    social workers to understand various forms of oppression and

    discrimination, including their own prejudices.

    As in generalist practice, the APPM uses concepts and

    insights from the person-in-environment approach to design

    research methodologies and program evaluations. The findings

    from the research inform practice and policy initiatives. This

    research also ensures that clients and the broader society will be

    exposed to scientifically tested intervention strategies throughout

    the change process.

    Advocacy in Social Work Chapter4 67

    Competing Values and Goals in Advocacy


    THOMAS is a social worker with an adoption agency. Today’s court

    appearance is to advocate for the adoption of Jimmy, a 2-year-old

    boy, by Jill, a 30-year-old lesbian foster care mother. Jill has raised

    and cared for Jimmy for more than a year and lives in a discreet,

    committed relat ionship with her female partner.

    Jimmy’s birth mother is a crack addict, and her whereabouts

    have not been known for well over a year. In the past, this adoption

    judge has shown reluctance to approve adoptions without a

    biological parent’s written consent and for gay or lesbian parents.

    Thomas’s assessment and adoption study clearly indicate that Jill

    will be an excellent mother and that it is in the best interest of Jimmy

    (the client) for his adoption by Jill to be approved.

    Although Thomas believes in the rights and merits of gays and

    lesbians’ adopting children, in this example of case advocacy, his focus

    is on Jimmy’s best interests, not on promoting or advocating for gay

    and lesbian adoption. Thomas is prepared to present the judge with

    all relevant information that will support Jill as an adoptive parent and,

    if necessary, debunk myths associated with gay and lesbian adoption.

    However, for Jimmy’s interest and welfare, Thomas does not see this

    court appearance as an opportunity for larger-scale advocacy to

    advance (beyond Jimmy’s adoption decision) the judge’s views about

    gay and lesbian adoption. Indeed, Thomas has determined that dwelling

    on the sexual orientation of the adoptive mother in this instance would

    be inappropriate and potentially jeopardize Jimmy’s adoption .

    EXHIBIT 4.1 Theoretical Framework for the
    Advocacy Practice and Policy Model


    The change process for generalist practice, introduced in Chapter 3,
    can readily be adapted to guide social work advocacy and link
    practice goals and outcomes. Exhibit 4.2 illustrates the five
    steps in the intervention process in terms of the APPM. As in

    generalist practice, intervention is a dynamic process. The exhibit
    highlights the importance of considering both problems and
    strengths, and the encompassing nature of people and systems
    involved in advocacy-individuals (the micro level), families and
    groups (the mezzo level), and organizations, communities, and
    societies (the macro level).

    The feedback loop (in Exhibit 4.2, the dotted line that links
    evaluation and assessment) is very important in advocacy as in
    generalist practice. The greater the number of people collaborat­
    ing in the change process, the more likely that adjustment and
    compromise will be necessary (Brydon, 20 IO).

    In many ways, the cycle of advocacy describes a framework
    for gu iding behaviors conducted by clients or coll aborators in
    conjunction with a social worker. The success of the planned
    action is judged by the answers to such questions as, “Did the
    strategies work?” “Have life conditions improved?” and “Did
    systematic changes occur?”

    One social work resea rcher and educator (Brydon, 20 I0,
    p. 129) suggests that practitioners follow these guidelines for
    increasing the effectiveness of the advocacy cycle:

    • Begin collaboration. Think about the big picture and what
    might be different.

    • Use your management and program planning skills to
    implement change. Ensure that there are review and eval­
    uation criteria.

    • Reflect on theory and practice. Apply critical and reflective
    approaches to review your practice experience.

    68 PART 1 Understanding Social Work

    EXHIBIT 4.2 The Intervention Process and the Advocacy Practice and Policy Model

    Problems Micro

    Engagement-Assessment &Iii+► Planning:a Implementation – Evaluation

    I l

    • Collect and analyze evidence. Use your micro skills and
    research skills to gather evidence.

    • Begin advocacy. Use your engagement skills to begin to
    persuade decision makers.

    Nancy, in her advocacy regarding the licensure of social work­
    ers, followed most of Brydon’s suggestions. She began by collect­
    ing relevant information and collaborating with key stakeholders.
    Both activities are labor-intensive. She became especially aware
    that building relationships with key stakeholders can be a chal­
    lenge. In Nancy’s state. politicians and decision makers are aware
    of their power and often guarded about forming new relationships
    or being courted by people aligned with special interest groups.
    Indeed, many legislators employ a chief of staff who serves as an
    official gatekeeper and controls contact with them. Nancy was
    aware of these challenges. however. and spent extra time figuring
    out how to link her cause to the legislators’ interests.

    Although many social workers enter the profession to help

    others, producing and consum ing research are integral

    functions in contemporary social work practice and advocacy

    efforts. Do you possess an interest and aptitude for research

    and statistics, or the willingness to produce and adopt

    research in practice?

    Ask your family members. friends, and acquaintances about
    their perceptions of social workers and social work activities.
    They are likely to affirm that social workers are problem solvers.
    helpers for people trying to address daily needs, therapists, case­
    workers. group workers. community organizers, and advocates
    for change to better people’s lives and promote and advance

    human rights. Even relatively uninformed members of the gen­
    eral public will acknowledge that social workers are profession­
    als willing to stand up and advocate with and for oppressed and
    disadvantaged groups.

    It is far less clear to most people. including many helping
    professionals. how advocacy is integrated into social work prac­
    tice. In this book, advocacy is broadly defined as actions taken to
    defend or represent others to advance a cause that will promote
    social justice (Hoefer.2012. p. 3). More specifically, social workers
    promote fairness. secure needed resources, and empower people
    (especially members of disadvantaged groups) to take an active
    role in decision making. Some of the specific advocacy activities
    that social workers pursue in everyday practice, as well as in their
    efforts to advance policy development, are captured in Exhibit 4.3.

    Although this list of advocacy activities looks straight­
    forward, it is important to realize that conflicting goals and
    values often complicate advocacy. Social workers live and work
    in their own social worlds, which are frequently distinct from
    the social and economic realities of their clients. To support
    client self-determination, social workers must often ignore their
    own interpretations of the environment and commit to advo­
    cating for change based on the hopes, ambitions, desires, and
    interests of their clients. The social worker (or the agency) and
    the client may have “competing and sometimes contradictory
    values” (Boylan & Dalrymple, 2011. p. 20). When the values
    of clients conflict with professional values and ethics, social
    workers typically seek guidance from supervisors. professional
    ethics panels, and legal staff.

    Keep in mind that advocacy typically occurs with clients and
    not simply for them. Although there are exceptions to this prem­
    ise (e.g., mentally challenged clients and very young children),
    social workers make a special effort to ensure that client self­
    determination and the will of the client remain at the forefront
    of all forms of intervention, including advocacy. A social worker
    whose activities to advance the interests and rights of a client or
    population group have become misaligned with the desire and
    will of clients often ends up in a lonely place.

    Advocacy in Social Work Chapter4 69

    EXHIBIT 4.3 Advocacy Activities in Social Work

    • Supporting clients in court and in front of appeal committees
    • Promoting human rights and dignity in everyday life
    • Educating clients to advocate on their own behalf

    • Working to change policies, practices, and personnel in an organization (including one’s
    own social service agency)

    • Making organizations accountable for the welfare of people being served
    • Improving service delivery systems
    • Creating new functions within organizations and communities so they can better address

    human needs

    • Educating people about important social issues
    • Conducting research to document the needs and the plight of disadvantaged population

    • Campaigning for a new law or for politicians who support socially beneficial legislative

    • Advancing projects and programs in communities and nationally
    • Combating discrimination and oppression
    • Educating communities to advocate on their own behalf

    Hoefer {2012) suggests that advocacy takes place through
    education. negotiation, and persuasion. Common techniques
    used by social workers to influence others concerning client
    causes include documentation of issues, provision of expert testi­
    mony, letter writing, use of social media, telephoning, promotion
    of voter registration, face-to-face lobbying (e.g., individually and
    at hearings), economic and social support of politicians, becom­
    ing an elected official, and involvement in political parties and
    functions. As with much of social work practice. strong interper­
    sonal skills are vital. Social workers need to be able to listen to
    others, form relationships, capture thoughts. and communicate
    in clear, concise, and convincing ways via written word and oral
    presentation. Advocacy often involves calculated decisions as to
    whom should be contacted, how, when, where, and for what

    One of the signature themes of this book is the special place
    advocacy holds within social work practice. In each of the
    chapters that follow, you will find a section that examines a
    particular practice population, need, or setting in terms of four
    basic philosophical principles, or tenets, that many social work­
    ers embrace. The diagram in Exhibit 4.4 depicts the dynamic
    advocacy model, a way of conceptualizing advocacy, and
    its four interlocking tenets-economic and social justice, a

    supportive environment, human needs and rights, and political
    access-to ensure ethical and effective practice. We say that
    these tenets are dynamic because they tend to shift constantly;
    we say that they are interlocking because it is hard to draw clear
    boundaries between, for instance, political access and economic
    and social justice.

    We have identified tenets of advocacy that social work­
    ers often routinely use as a score sheet for their endeavors on
    behalf of a case or a cause. For instance, “Does my work pro­
    mote economic and social justice? Does it promote a supportive
    environment, human rights and basic needs. political access?”
    There are other tenets that can motivate and guide advocacy,
    but this model helps aspiring social workers understand some
    of the most important elements associated with advocacy and
    policy practice.

    It is important to point out that the four tenets identified
    in our dynamic advocacy model are not purely distinctive or
    independent. Instead, in social work practice with real people
    and situations, these tenets have considerable overlap with and
    influence on one another. For example, one’s political perspective
    and involvement influence the definition of and thinking about
    economic and social justice. And environmental factors and con­
    text impact the conceptualization of economic and social justice
    in a specific time and place. The intent of the dynamic advocacy
    model presented throughout this book is to prompt critical and
    multidimensional thought and discussion about advocacy in
    social work practice.

    70 PART 1 Understanding Soc ial Work

    EXHIBIT 4.4 Dynamic, Interlocking Tenets of Advocacy
    Practice and Policy Model

    Social justice is a core value of social work. as expressed in the
    Code of Ethics of the NASW (2018):

    These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowl­
    edge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity.
    Social workers strive to ensure access to needed infor­
    mation, se rvices, and resources: equality of opportunity;
    and meaningful partic ipation in decision making for all
    people. (“Ethica l Principles”)

    In the APPM. the tenet of economic and social justice is
    closely related to the NASW definition of social justice. It involves
    “promoting and establishing equal li berties. rights. duties . and
    opportunities in the social institutions (economy, polity, fam­
    ily religion. education , etc.) of a society for all [people]” (Long
    et al .. 2006, p. 208) .Justice includes relational justice, which is
    people ‘s ability to exert influence over decision-making processes
    and in relationships with dominant groups. Economic justice is
    captu red in the concept of distributive justice, which is the
    ability to allocate or spread resources. income . and wealth in a
    manner that ensures people’s basic material needs are met.

    When socia l workers advocate for social change with clients.
    these activities should be justice centered. However. what does
    “justice centered” really mean for advocacy practice7Because there
    are a multitude of issues associated with economic and socia l

    justice. this is often a challenging question for practitioners. We
    can say that just practice involves equality. tolera nce. and the
    promotion of human rights . as well as an active attempt to over­
    come social and economic inequalities (Finn &Jacobson. 2008).

    Social work scholars have proposed a number of schemes for
    determining the degree to which advocacy is justice oriented. One
    of them (Hoefer, 2012. p. 80) emphasizes these four key aspects of
    social justice: respect for basic human rights. promotion of social
    responsibility, commitment to individual freedom. and support
    for sel f-determi nation. Scoring systems have also been devised for
    monitoring advocacy practice based on the type of justice being
    pursued (economic justice . distributive justice, relational justice,
    and so on). the strategy employed. or the underlyi ng principles
    (Reisch , 2002 , p. 350). Whicheve r scoring system is used. the
    point is that profess ional social workers need a way to determine
    whether advocacy has lived up to the tenets they espouse. The
    social and economic checklist might include the followin g:

    • Am I sensitive to my client’s right to think and act

    • Am I supporting equality of opportunity for my client?
    • Am Iencouraging my client’s meaningful participation in

    decision making7
    • Am I helping my client unearth opportunities for eco-

    nomic and social justice?
    • Am I helping my client secure needed resources?
    • Am Iensuring that all parties· rights are being respected?
    • Am I advancing thought about the need for social

    responsi bility?

    Let’s return to Nancy’s advocacy for improving the licensure law
    in her state. Her motivation is firm ly rooted in the tenet of economic
    and social justice and her desire to promote just practice. Many
    of her clients have received inferior services and experie nced lim­
    ited opportunities. She is dedicated to people’s receiving effective,
    high-quality services from professional social workers who have
    earned appropriate degrees and credentials. Nancy also believes
    the meaningful participation of clients in decision making about the
    implementation of programs and services can best be accomplished
    by properly educated and trained social workers. Clients deserve
    and have a right to receive as high a quality of service as possible.

    The term environment is abstract, expansive . and loosely defined:
    yet the concept pervades social work theory and practice. Dom­
    inant theoretical approaches for intervention include the eco­
    logical pe rspective and the person-in-environment perspective
    (see Chapter 3). The underlyi ng idea is that social work involves
    not just a client but a client system-all the people and social
    systems surrounding that client (e.g., significa nt others. friends,

    Advocacy in Social Work Chapter4 71

    Natural Disasters

    SEVERE natural and weather-related circumstances-floods,

    tornados, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, typhoons, blizzards­
    are often catastrophic environmental phenomena. People
    who are affected need immediate emergency services, water,
    food, shelter, clothing, medical assistance, and mental health
    services. Organizations such as the American Red Cross and

    World Food Programme provide aid to communit ies devastated

    by these crises. Many social workers receive advanced training

    for responding lo crises and implementing crisis intervention

    Identify a recent natural or weather-related catastrophe that

    concerned you, and identify the organizations, professionals, and

    families, groups, churches, companies, associations, organiza­
    tions, communities, societies). as well as natural and tangible
    resources (e.g., funds, land. buildings, time, computers. goods,
    water, food, housing, clothing). A thorough assessment and
    holistic awareness of the environment is essential for contem­
    plating and enacting change.

    For social workers engaged in advocacy and policy practice,

    an environmental perspective leads to the premise that clients
    need a supportive environment. Any key part of a client’s envi­
    ronment that is not supportive needs to be considered. Social
    workers must be in tune with the social and physical conditions.
    human relationships, and interaction patterns involved in any
    aspect of social work practice, including advocacy. Ask yourself:

    • Has a determination been made in col laboration with
    the client about which elements of the environment are
    currently supportive and which are detrimental or not as
    supportive as possible?

    • Are existing resources available to advocate successfully?

    • Is collaboration occurring to generate ideas for solutions
    and to make reasonable and effective choices about
    courses of action?

    • Am I examining with the client ways to work with
    people and organizations to create a more supportive

    Nancy is encouraged that her social work colleagues, the state

    NASW chapter, a handful of elected state officials, and a couple
    of consumer groups want to pursue licensure reform for social

    other people who responded to the needs of the people affected

    by this natural disaster. As an example, with Hurricane Sandy-a

    powerful storm that hit the northeast coast and New Jersey and
    New York shorelines in 2012-social workers partnered with
    the Red Cross and numerous crisis relief agencies to address
    the basic needs of people affected and to provide counseling.

    Social workers also advocated for the immediate availability and
    implementation of state and federal relief services and funds.

    Note, advocating for resources to assist victims of natural and
    weather-related trauma is a year-round activity. Is this an area of
    interest for you in social work practice?

    workers in her state. However, she is cautious about and sensitive
    to the timing of a legislative initiative. She is undertaking this
    advocacy effort during a period of restricted funding for social ser­
    vices. Nancy sees social workers and clients who are overwhelmed
    by day-to-day operations and struggling to provide effective ser­
    vices in their agencies. Additionally, fiscally and socially conser­
    vative politicians are reluctant to advance legislation that would

    contribute to additional spending. or the expansion of regulatory
    bodies and the state bureaucracy. She and her colleagues must

    Social workers are often thought of as people willing to

    do good for others, which often means that others expect

    them to be willing to do good 24/7/365. Professional social

    workers must learn to maintain boundaries for relationships

    with clients and use of personal time. Contemplate your

    use of time, especially in relationship to potentially labor­

    intensive activities such as advocacy. Are you able to

    effectively set boundaries between personal and work

    time? For example, do you currently text message or e-mail

    family and friends during class time or at work? During

    personal time, are you tethered to work, answering work­

    related text messages and e-mails at all hours? If you were
    passionate about a cause, as Nancy is about licensure for

    social workers, would you be texting and e-mailing people

    all the time? What are the possible consequences of these

    kinds of behaviors?

    72 PART 1 Understanding Social Work

    formulate a strategy for not only strengthening ties with allies but

    also approaching the skeptics and persuading them to change their

    minds. She knows how important creating a supportive environ­
    ment will be for the success of her initiative.

    Human history is full of instances in which well-intentioned

    people (often white men) from dominant classes established
    programs and services for people they determined to be in need.
    People in positions of power and policymakers often decide
    who has needs. what is needed. and how programs and ser­
    vices should be implemented and evaluated. These top-down
    decision-making processes yield disconnects between how clients
    view their own needs and what others believe they deserve.

    In contrast, the perception and reality of human need from
    the client’s point of view is the primary concern of social workers.

    Need is to be framed in the spirit of what the person in need
    requires, not what others believe that person deserves or should
    receive. Social workers contemplating human need would ask
    these questions:

    • Who is defining the need and for whose benefit?
    • What are the consequences for the client of such a defi­

    nition of need?
    • Are consumers of services being included or consulted

    when defining what is needed?

    As important as it is to address the immediate human needs
    of clients in social work practice. doing so can often overshadow
    the relevance and importance of human rights and liberties
    (Murdach, 2011 ). It may appear that social work’s dual obliga­

    tions to address human needs and advance human rights are
    consistent and complementary, but in practice advancing human
    rights can too easily become secondary to the quest to address
    the immediate needs of clients.

    Basic human rights can be thought of in a number of
    realms, such as personal, civil, and political rights. Generally, how­

    ever, humans should be able to live free of persecution, discrim­
    ination, and oppression, and have access to important societal
    resources, which often include work, education, health care, and
    equality before the law. For many people and professions around
    the globe, an important source for defining and advancing human
    rights is the United Nations and the UN Human Rights Council,
    which disseminates up-to-date information and news about basic
    human rights. From a social work practice perspective, a key to
    promoting basic human rights is the ability for people to have
    meaningful participation in decision-making processes, which
    typically includes freedom of thought and expression.

    The integration of human rights into the activities of social

    work practice has not been easy, especially in the United States

    (Witkin. 1998). In an individualistic and capitalistic society such
    as the United States, the general public and social workers tend to

    conceptualize human pain and suffering as the result of the indi­

    vidual’s psychological makeup and choices in life rather than as the

    result of an unjust society (Witkin, 1998). Nancy, this chapter’s
    featured social worker, believes that clients are people deserving of
    dignity. Clients have the right to receive high-quality services from

    competent and effective helping professionals. Advocating for the
    licensure of social workers in her state is one way of promoting
    professional services that recognize and support client respect,
    understanding, self-determination. and rights.

    The crass reality of macro-level decision making in much of

    the contemporary United States is that relatively few people
    have sufficient power to dictate policies, laws, and administra­
    tive orders. This situation exists in city, county, state, and federal
    governments as well as many private organizations and entities.
    Unfortunately, the primary interest of politicians (and CEOs and
    board members, in the case of private organizations) may not be
    what is best for the general welfare or for your clients. Instead,
    self-preservation, public perception and opinion, and reelectabil­
    ity (especially for politicians) or profitability (for CEOs) are often

    powerful concerns.
    Politicians are elected because of their ability to acquire

    support and funding from others; CEOs are typically chosen
    because of their ability to focus on profits. Especially in the case
    of politics, being a candidate generally requires a considerable
    amount of funding and support from “heavy hitters” willing

    to donate appreciable money and time to the campaign. Of
    course, politicians are inclined to lend their ear and afford influ­
    ence to major contributors, Politicians often feel beholden to
    longtime friends, loyal allies, dedicated supporters. and leaders
    of special interest groups and political action committees who
    have worked on their behalf. Often. key decision makers and

    policymakers meet with their allies and contributors to discuss
    “what ought to be” prior to asking for general input and taking
    a formal vote or action during a public forum or meeting-a
    practice sometimes referred to as “the meeting before the
    meeting.” In such circumstances, newcomers and people out­
    side of a politician’s inner circle find it difficult to exert influ­
    ence and sometimes even to provide information. Exhibit 4.5
    describes the basic process for creating federal legislation. Con­
    sider where and how in this legislative process U.S. Senators and
    Members of the House Representatives are influenced by “heavy
    hitters” and financial supporters.

    Advocacy in Social Work Chapter4 73

    As a student considering the profession of social work, you

    might be asking yourself, “So what can I do to effect political

    change? Wouldn’t it be a better use of my time to focus just on

    helping clients access existing services?” But consider that not
    becoming politically involved or active-through apathy, igno­
    rance, or cynicism-can also be viewed as a political act. Effective
    social workers identify ways to become politically involved and

    develop political access for their clients as a means for “creating

    a dialogue and solution that view societal and structural inequi­

    ties as the fault needing the fixing, not the people” (Haynes &
    Mickelson, 2006. p. 4).

    Mary Richmond, one of the founders of social work. was impa­
    tient with “do-gooders” who gave little thought to the causes of
    their clients’ troubles (Haynes & Mickelson, 2006, p. 5). Today,
    social workers are enjoined to care for their clients while advocating

    for clients’ access to, and influence within, the political process.
    A scorecard for this kind of intervention might ask the following:

    • Am I assisting clients to understand the bigger. fuller con­
    text of their problems?

    • Am I facilitating the collaboration of others who have
    similar challenges or who work to overcome these kinds
    of challenges?

    • Am I assisting clients with communicating their predica­
    ments to politicians and policymakers?

    • Am I enabling politicians and policymakers to look beyond
    these clients’ situation to assess the structural and systemic
    issues contributing to the creation of private troubles?

    To accompl ish their goal of instituting a licensure require­

    ment for social workers in their state. Nancy and her colleagues

    need to influence key political decision makers. Nancy has

    already completed a considerab le amount of research to identify

    state legislators aligned with poli cies that are consistent with
    a new and improved licensure law for social workers. The vot­
    ing patterns for state legislators are very clear and consistent.
    Proponents and supporters of social legislation aimed at pro­
    tecting and advancing rights and opportunities for consumers
    of social services and programs come from progressive urban

    , areas. Opponents of social legislation are elected in affluent, con­
    servative, suburban and rural areas and frequently vote against
    government intervention .

    Personally. Nancy has been considering the actions she is
    willing to take to achieve her goals. She is prepared to give expert
    testimony before legislative bodies or committees interested in
    examining the licensure issue. She is brushing up on the skills
    she needs to lobby legislators, being especially attentive to inno­
    vative forms of communication involving new technology and
    media. To learn more about the use of technology for lobbying,
    she plans to enroll in two new contin uing education workshops

    examining the effectiveness of social media. Nancy has begun
    to assess the political action groups and special interest com­
    mittees that might be good allies in the licensure cause. She
    has also considered running for the state legislature herself, or
    encouraging or supporting someone with similar views to do
    so. She knows that her willingness to participate in the political
    process is necessary.

    EXHIBIT 4.5 A Basic Overview as to How Federal Legislative Bills Become Laws

    1. Laws are initiated by people with ideas about needed change. These thoughts become formalized by constructing and writing a bill for
    consideration by U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives for sponsorship of a bill.

    2. Representatives or senators meet in small groups to discuss, collect research, and make changes to the bill. Congressional members will
    typically make an initial determination on whether to advance the bill prior to moving it to a subcommittee for further research or directly to
    the House or Senate floor for debate.

    3. Members of the House or Senate debate the bill and offer changes or amendments. The bill can originate in either the House or Senate
    chamber. If either chamber approves the bill, it moves to the other chamber and experiences a similar process of committee consideration,
    debate, and voting.

    4. Both the House and Senate must agree on the same version of the final bill before it is sent to the president of the United States. Agreement
    on House and Senate versions of the bill is often relegated to a joint subcommittee.

    5. If the president signs the bill, it becomes law. The president can also veto the bill. Or, the president can take no action.

    6. If the president vetoes the bill, it requires a ‘2/3 vote of those present in both the House and Senate to become law and “override” _the
    presidential veto. If the president takes no action and Congress is in session, after 10 days of no answer from the president, the bill
    becomes law.

    74 PART 1 u

    The next time you hear someone suggest that social work sounds like an easy major, explain that the actions of social workers significantly
    impact lives and that the professional accreditation requirements by the Council on Social Work Education are high. Social work students
    are required to demonstrate their ability to perform specific practice behaviors, among them advocating for their clients and for communities.
    Social workers do not just match their clients with available resources; they actively attempt to change “the way things are” to improve their
    clients’ lives and communities.

    Advocacy requires value orientation, ethics, knowledge, skill, and passion. This chapter provides only a sprinkling of what is expected
    of social work students in terms of advocacy. As a beginning, however, the advocacy practice and policy model and the dynamic advocacy
    model derived from it provide conceptual orientations for entertaining the value and effectiveness of a social worker’s advocacy efforts on

    a client’s behalf. In the following chapters, these models are adapted to guide social workers through advocacy activities in relationship to
    particular social welfare issues. Regardless of the issue, advocacy should be collaborative, client centered, and ethical, and should act to
    help people in need.

    absolute needs cost of advocacy
    advocacy dynamic advocacy model
    basic human rights economic and social justice
    case advocacy relative needs
    cause advocacy social action


    1. Identify the causes for which you feel particular passion

    (e.g., feminism, gay rights, gun rights, benefits for veterans,

    racial discrimination). Why do these causes seem particularly

    relevant to you? Consider your geographical location, current

    social conditions, and aspects of your own identity.

    2. Is it possible to separate personal from professional values

    in practice, especially when engaged in advocacy? Identify a

    couple of personal values that would challenge your ability to

    advocate for a client population.

    3. Can you hold conservative political views and be an effective

    social worker? How about an extreme or radical perspective?

    4. Does the current “safety net” of services in the United States

    address the absolute needs of people in our society? If not,

    which groups of people are falling through the safety net? To
    what degree are people’s relative needs being met?

    5. Should everyone holding the title of social worker be

    professionally educated in a program accredited by the Council

    on Social Work Education? Should government agencies

    and social welfare organizations reimburse only licensed

    professionals (e.g., social workers, counselors, psychologists,

    nurses) for services?

    6. Would you ever consider running for a political office or

    becoming a volunteer for a political party? How might your

    sentiment affect your ability to be an effective social worker and

    advocate for causes?

    7. On the website for your school, closely examine the research

    requirements for a BSW or MSW degree. Is this coursework

    congruent with your passion for helping others?

    1. Consider attending a rally or some form of public advocacy

    event. Can you identify the objectives and desired outcomes of

    the gathering? Are social workers involved in the demonstration?

    How do you explain their presence or absence?

    2. Contemplate attending a political fund-raiser or rally for a

    candidate. Be attentive to the seating arrangements and

    interaction patterns of participants. Is there an “inner circle”
    of confidants surrounding the politician? How are those in

    attendance given opportunities to ask questions or enter

    meaningful dialogue with the candidate?

    3. Many schools offer a legislative day in the state capitol. Sessions

    allow students to listen to legislators and their legislative

    aides describe how the business of state government and the

    legislative branch takes place. Attend and ask questions about

    effective ways to become involved in political processes. How

    challenging do you think it would be to get involved? What seems

    to be the secret to accessing decision makers and policymakers?

    4. Select a human service organization in which to serve as a

    volunteer. Observe social workers at the agency and inquire
    about their typical workday and workweek. What kinds of

    activities do they perform? Use the chart in Exhibit 4.6 to record

    information about their time spent in activities such as advocacy

    and policy practice. Ask them directly, if necessary. In summary,

    how much of their work is related to advocacy?


    Advocacy in Social Work

    5. Attend a service learning immersion class, such as an “urban someone who has already had this type of experience. How
    plunge” or trip abroad, that will expose you to people who does it challenge your thinking about the need to advocate for
    have serious unmet absolute needs. As an alternative, talk with human needs and rights?

    EXHIBIT 4.6 Time and Advocacy Activities of a Social Worker

    Ask a Social Worker the Following Questions Collect This Data

    In a typical workweek, how many hours on average do you spend Average number of hours per week ___
    engaged in advocating for clients and causes?

    What are some of the more common advocacy activities included in
    your job?

    List the advocacy activities.

    Do your advocacy activities take place during your paid or personal

    Check the appropriate response:


    What is your employer’s level of commitment to advocacy?

    On a scale from 1 to 1 0 (1 being lowest and 1 0 being highest), rank
    how important it is to you and your satisfaction as a social worker to be
    able to engage in advocacy activities during work time.



    Check the appropriate response:

    __ Just right

    __ Not enough

    Too much

    Provide a score of 1 to 10.


    The Advocate, a national gay and lesbian magazine
    ( Exemplifies the use of technology to
    promote awareness and advocate for rights
    Council on Social Work Education (
    Accreditation): Provides background about social work
    accreditation and links describing the criteria and expectations
    for the accreditation of educational programs in its
    Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, including the
    competencies and practice behaviors required in social work

    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (­
    Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Advocacy): Promotes social
    justice and advocates for ideals and values aligned with faith
    National Association of Social Workers (
    advocacy/default.asp): Recommends ways to become involved
    in advocacy as a social worker
    Political Action for Candidate Election (
    pace/default.asp): Provides information about social work
    participation in political processes and recommends action to
    elect candidates


    ®SAGE edge™
    Sharpen your skills with SAGE edge at

    SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help you accomplish your coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

    Expert paper writers are just a few clicks away

    Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.

    Calculate the price of your order

    You will get a personal manager and a discount.
    We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
    Total price: