Policy Affects Practice & Students/Practitioners Affect Policy
by Influencing Social Policy
Does the thought of becoming active in the policy-making process fill you with dread? This video will help lessen your fears and give you specific tools to help you be a more effective advocate.

Many social work students enter the field with one thought in their mind: how can I help people? But even students whose focus isn’t direct practice often feel powerless or anxious when it comes to calling their congressperson or testifying at a committee meeting.

This video, the third in the series, Policy Affects Practice, is intended to educate and inspire students (as well as faculty and other practitioners) to participate in their state legislative and decision-making processes. Featuring students, BSWs, MSWs, and PhDs, this video shows how inspiring policy making can be, and why it is required by the National Association of Social Worker’s Code of Ethics.

Ready to affect your practice through policy? Included in the video are concrete steps students at any level can begin to take right away. The fear is real, but not a sufficient reason to stay on the sidelines—let these students show you the way.

In Depth
Many social work students are understandably overwhelmed when thinking about becoming a public face for social policy. Fears of not knowing enough, not understanding the political systems, and the idea that their primary role is working with clients has often meant that social workers’ voices are not heard when laws and policies are written. Policy Affects Practice is a six-part series that demystifies the legislative process and the many ways social workers can engage with it.

From a student’s perspective, the videos explore budgets, the legislative process, and the importance of coalitions.

After watching this series you’ll be able to:

  • Describe how a budget is formed.
  • Understand the legislative process and describe the steps for enacting legislation.
  • Understand the importance of building coalitions with other social workers and learn how to do this effectively.
  • Explain how direct practice experience can be an effective tool when advocating on the macro level.
  • Illustrate the ethical dimensions of lobbying Congress for social workers using the National Association of Social Worker’s Code of Ethics.

Length of video: 00:19:50

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-488-6

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-488-8

ISP is the only national membership organization dedicated exclusively to promoting social work’s involvement in policy and policy practice. Now a 501(c)3, it was created in 1997—in the wake of welfare reform–to address concerns about devolution. Comprised of social work educators, students, and practitioners, its expanded mission seeks to increase social work efficacy in influencing policy at all levels of government by educating students in policy and policy practice, and engaging students and faculty in the policy-making and political processes.

Visit their website for more information.
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