According to the Council on Social Work Education, Competency 5: Engage in Policy Practice:
Social workers understand that human rights and social justice, as well as social welfare and services, are mediated by policy and its implementation at the federal, state, and local levels. Social workers understand the history and current structures of social policies and services, the role of policy in service delivery, and the role of practice in policy development. Social workers understand their role in policy development and implementation within their practice settings at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels and they actively engage in policy practice to effect change within those settings. Social workers recognize and understand the historical, social, cultural, economic, organizational, environmental, and global influences that affect social policy. They are also knowledgeable about policy formulation, analysis, implementation, and evaluation. Social workers:
Identify social policy at the local, state, and federal level that impacts well-being, service delivery, and access to social services;
Assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services;
Apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.
This assignment is intended to help students demonstrate the behavioral components of this competency in their field education.
To prepare: Working with your field instructor, identify, evaluate, and discuss policies established by the local, state, and federal government (within the last five years) that affect the day to day operations of the field placement agency.
Describe the policies and their impact on the field agency.
Propose specific recommendations regarding how you, as a social work intern, and the agency can advocate for policies pertaining to advancing social justice for the agency and the clients it serves.