Where is the Support for Policy Practice?
By Rachel L. West
The Political Social Worker
I came across this article from the NASW blog. Basically it discuss the need for more social workers to enter into policy practice. I am thrilled to see NASW publishing an article like this, however there is a problem that needs to be addressed. The lack of support and resources for social workers interested in policy.
A substantial barrier that prevents many social workers from pursuing policy work (and other areas of macro practice) is the lack of classes and internships in the policy arena. Most schools of social work, including many of the ones with a macro track, lack classes that focus on policy work. Yes, everyone has to take a social welfare policy class but that course barely scratches the surface of what someone interested in a policy career would need to know.
Once you get out of school finding continuing education credits geared towards policy is also difficult. Actually, CEUs related to any macro social work area is hard to come by. You will, from time to time, read articles from the NASW or hear a social worker professor toss out a line about macro social work when discussing career avenues but no one ever goes into detail about how to pursue that career path. It was this frustration that lead to the creation of this blog, which in turn lead to me writing the Job Search for a Macro Social Worker series.
This is my call to action: If you are a macro social work professional please take the time to put together and present workshops. Also, advocate for schools of social work to offer more learning opportunities and internships that focus on macro social work practice.