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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.


Posted by Rachel L. West

In addition to being the founder of The Political Social Worker blog, I am a consultant. My consulting practice offers advocacy and community outreach solutions to nonprofits, social good organizations, and private practitioners. Additionally, I offer career coaching to macro social work students and professionals.


  1. I am a first year MSW student from Albany, NY and I very interested in pursuing a career in Macro social work. May I just say that I love your blog because of the insight you provide for emerging macro social workers. As you mentioned, we are the scarce minority amongst the majority of clinicians and I too wish that more MSW students saw the allure to bridging the divide between the two realms of micro and macro. I have been following your posts for some time now and I thought it was so ironic that today’s post touched upon gaining support for policy practice, of which, this is the area I most definitely want to pursue. I really appreciate the awareness you present about issues/topics that I contemplate and want to learn more about all the time…Thanks for creating this awesome blog! By the way, my school commended your blog as a wonderful resource for emerging macro students, but I found you way before they did…I look forward to reading and learning more of what you have to offer, thanks again.

    • Hi Brittany:

      Thank you so much for the support. It is nice to get feedback from readers and find out about who they are and how they found the blog. I highly recommend joining ACOSA. Their Journal of Community Practice focuses on macro topics like policy and community organizing.

      I offer the Job Search for a Macro Social Worker workshop for free to schools of social work. If you think there would be interest in the workshop please feel free to pass the info on to your programs admin or the career services center. I can be reached at rlwestconsulting@gmail.com or by phone (631) 615-1709.


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