Social workers often have commitments to specific policies, laws, or funding of programs that are vital to the population they serve or an issue that they strongly support. Such commitments often lead social workers to become involved in political issues and the campaigns of specific candidates. Being a social worker, such campaign experiences, the outcomes of your efforts, and how effective you felt you were may affect your view of the political process and the likelihood of becoming involved in similar campaigns in the future.
For this Discussion, reflect on your experiences if you have ever participated in a political campaign. What was the outcome of your participation? If you have not participated in a campaign, choose a campaign topic you support or oppose and consider the ways you might like to participate in that campaign. Likewise, think about your experiences if you have ever lobbied on a topic. If you have not, choose a topic for which you might like to lobby in favor or against. Finally, consider how you think social workers might have a powerful and positive effect as elected officials.
Respond to at least colleagues by offering a suggestion for how your colleague might gain political and/or lobbying experience for the political issue your colleagues described. Also, explain the steps you might take to incorporate policy advocacy in your practice based on insights, experiences, and/or opinions your colleagues described. Be sure your explanation takes the perspective of a social work professional with a responsibility to uphold professional ethics.
Support your response with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
Response to Efrain
Consistent with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, many social workers contribute to lobbying campaigns to advance the well-being of their clients or to promote social justice; some social workers become professional lobbyists, focusing their careers on government relations work (socialwork.oxfordre.com). Successful lobbying involves forming and nurturing relationships with decision makers and generating and sharing information. Key elements of a lobbying campaign include agenda setting, face-to-face meetings with policymakers, coalition building, field organizing, testifying, preparing written materials, and the strategic use of media (socialwork.oxfordre.com).
One lobbying topic that should be lobbied for is stopping the over incarceration of mentally ill individuals are we going to keep using prisons as acceptable mental health facilities? We can no longer ignore the massive oppression we are inflicting upon the mentally ill throughout the United States (law.stanford.edu). Although deinstitutionalization was originally understood as a humane way to offer more suitable services to the mentally ill in community-based settings, some politicians seized upon it as a way to save money by shutting down institutions without providing any meaningful treatment alternatives (law.stanford.edu). This callousness has created a one-way road to prison for massive numbers of impaired individuals and the inhumane warehousing of thousands of mentally ill people (law.stanford.edu). We must not engage mental illness from a criminal justice perspective and approach instead we should look at it from a health care/health policy point of view.
When did prisons become acceptable mental health facilities. (n.d.). Retrieved November 05, 2017, from https://law.stanford.edu/index.php?webauth-documen…
Lobbying. (n.d.). Retrieved November 05, 2017, from http://socialwork.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefo…