Power and politics have a bad reputation among some [social work] professionals, who regard them as unseemly, even unethical. However, power and politics can often be used for ethical purposes, and each of us can develop and use power resources to help stigmatized groups and unpopular causes. (Jansson, 8th ed.)
Do you agree?
This week you will examine strategies for developing and using power in policy advocacy. You will become familiar with ways to affect policy indirectly by strategically and creatively using power resources—and even politics—to your advantage in shaping policy outcomes. You will also gain insight into the delicate and difficult task of balancing power so that it is not perceived as intimidation, force, or coercion.
Finally, you will explore the strengths and weaknesses of a social policy created and implemented to address a social problem you selected.
SOCW 6361 Webliography
These websites will be required throughout the semester. Become familiar with these websites, especially when doing research for your assignments.
Jansson, B. S. (2018). Becoming an effective policy advocate: From policy practice to social justice (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning Series.
Chapter 10, “Developing and Using Power in the Policy-Enacting Task” (pp. 372-419)
Rocha, C., Poe, B., & Thomas, V. (2010). Political activities of social workers: Addressing perceived barriers to political participation. Social Work, 55(4), 317–325.
MSW home page
Use this link to access the MSW home page, which provides resources for your social work program.
Politics represents efforts by people in governmental and nongovernmental settings to secure their policy wishes by developing and using power resources.
—Bruce S. Jansson, Becoming an Effective Policy Advocate: From Policy Practice to Social Justice (8th ed.)
Social workers are in the business of empowering people. They are also often faced with power structures that are entrenched and difficult to navigate. Skillful policy practitioners recognize the many kinds of power resources that exist, thus expanding their options in specific situations. As a social worker, you will learn various strategies that can create and expand personal networks that might be useful in negotiating your policy practice within an agency. You want your power resources to be recognized as effective ways to get things done, not as coercion and force.
In this Discussion, you identify various kinds of power resources (including person-to-person, substantive, process, and procedural) that you can use to secure the adoption of a policy proposal.
To prepare: Review Chapter 10 in your text, focusing on Jansson’s categorization of types of power resources in the policy-enacting task.
Post a description of how social workers use power resources in their social work practice and advocacy. Select a type of power resource you would use in your practice and advocacy. Describe the ethical issues or concerns in using the type of power resource you selected.
Be sure to support your post with specific references to this week’s resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.
Respond to a colleague who identified and selected a power resource different from the one you selected. Offer a supportive perspective to his or her choice. Include in your perspective some thoughts on how a social worker can manage the use of his or her power resource.
To access your rubric:
Week 8 Discussion Rubric
To participate in this Discussion:
Week 8 Discussion
As an astute social worker and professional policy advocate, once you have selected and identified a social problem, you begin the process of creating and implementing a policy that addresses that social problem. One of the first things you do in the implementation process is an analysis of the social policy you identified.
In Part 3 of your ongoing Social Change Project assignment, you analyze the selected social policy.
Complete Part 3 of your Social Change Project.
Address the following items within a 2-3 page paper:
Make sure that your assertions are supported by appropriate research and reputable resources.