Advocacy in Social Work Practice: #MacroSW Chat March 26, 2015

by University at Buffalo School of Social Work #UBSSW

(see the Storify summary here: )

image: Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning
image: Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning

Advocacy is the heart of social work.

The NASW Code of Ethics addresses this in the Preamble:

“Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living…[we] strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. These activities may be in the form of direct practice, community organizing, supervision, consultation administration, advocacy, social and political action, policy development and implementation, education, and research and evaluation. Social workers seek to enhance the capacity of people to address their own needs. Social workers also seek to promote the responsiveness of organizations, communities, and other social institutions to individuals’ needs and social problems.”

All six ethical principles – service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence – can be applied to advocacy in macro, mezzo and micro areas of social work practice.

Here are some questions for our discussion:

  1. How do you define advocacy?
  2. What have been your own experiences of advocacy?
  3. What skills are needed to be an effective advocate?
  4. If you are a SW educator or student: what is taught about advocacy in your school?
  5. How can we measure outcomes of advocacy?
  6. What are current issues for bettering the SW profession?

We hope you will join us this Thursday at 9pm ET / 8 PM CT / 6 PM PT !


NASW Advocacy page

The ABCs of Lobbying

Dalrymple, J. and Boylan, J. (2013). Effective Advocacy in Social Work. London: Sage.

Social Worker & Professor Kristie Holmes’ Run for Congress:

Vice-President Inonge Wina of Zambia: Social Work Prepared Her for Politics

How Social Workers Can Engage Congress in the Pursuit of Social Justice / Network for Social Work Management

Student Reflections on the 2015 Legislative Action Day

Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act

Freddolino, PP, Moxley, DP, Hyduk, CA (2004). A Differential Model of Advocacy in Social Work Practice, in Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services 85:1, pp 119-128.

Payne, M. (Ed.) (2014) Modern Social Work Theory 4th Ed.   London: Palgrave Macmillan OR New York: St. Martin’s Press. See Chapter 11 Empowerment and Advocacy

How to Participate

To participate in the #MacroSW Twitter chat, go to the search box and enter the hashtag #MacroSW and then click on “all.” To join in the discussion include #MacroSW in all your tweets, including replies.

#MacroSW chats takes place on Twitter on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. The chat is a collaboration between the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) @acosaorg, The Network for Social Work Management (NSWM) @TheNSWM, USC School of Social Work @MSWatUSC, the University at Buffalo School of Social Work @UBSSW, Karen Zgoda @karenzgoda, and Sunya Folayan @SunyaFolayan.


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