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Social Workers as Policy Advocates: Functions and Roles. Using Power & Influence to Make a Difference. What are some of the reasons that social workers engage in policy advocacy? Lets look at the following case study.
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Using Power & Influence to Make a Difference
SOCIAL WORKERS AT THE RAISIN COUNTY HEALTH CLINIC HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THEY WILL BE REQUIRED TO REPORT UNDOCUMENTED CLIENTS TO IMMIGRATION (ICE). SOCIAL WORKERS ARE CONCERNED THAT IF THEY START TO REPORT UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE, BOTH UNDOCUMENTED AN RECENT LEGAL IMMIGRANTS WILL STOP COMING TO THE CLINIC. THE SOCIAL WORKERS HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT IF THEY FAIL TO REPORT UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE, THEY COULD BE FIRED BY THE AGENCY OR ARRESTED BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Recent article in Fresno Bee
6.04 Social and Political Action
Involves fairness and equity. Pertains to the distribution of resources in society.
- elected office
- campaign donations
Interest Groups (formed to advance the personal or financial interests of members). NASW is an interest group. Other powerful interest groups include the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Rifle Association, and the American Association of Retired Persons.
Interest groups have members, money, access to legislators, and access to the media and use these resources to gain power.
Interest groups also make campaign donations. Although Federal law prohibits interest groups from making donations directly to candidates, their individual members can make donations. Often they make donations to people who will advance their interest.
The law permits interest groups to set up separate organizations called political action committees to make donations.
PACs solicit donations from their members and give these donations to candidates. Multiple donations from individuals give the PACs who transfer these funds to candidates much power.
NASW has a PAC called PACE.
It raises money from social workers and endorses candidates.
WHAT OTHER SOURCES OF POWER DO SOCIAL WORKERS POSSESS? WHAT POWER DO YOU HAVE AS AN INDIVIDUAL?WHAT POWER DO YOU HAVE AS A MEMBER OF A GROUP?