Becoming an Effective Policy Advocate: From Policy Practice to Social Justice
"Without a doubt, the BEST social work text on policy ever written"
University of North Carolina, Pembroke
This book innovates a practice approach to social policy. It discusses how policy practitioners need analytic, value-clarifying, political, and interactional skills to be able to reform policies in organizational, community, legislative, and government settings. It places policy making in its economic, cultural, and political context. It discusses key perspectives needed by policy reformers, including the ability to work in a crowded field, a vision, persistence, and willingness to take risks.
It discusses how to determine whether policy reforms are needed by use of ethical reasoning and social research. It helps readers develop navigational skills by discussing the "field of play." It provides skills in placing issues on the agendas of decision makers. It provides readers with skills in analyzing problems and developing policy proposals (three chapters are devoted to policy analysis). It analyzes how to enact specific policies by analyzing the nature of power and influence and providing ways to develop strategy in specific settings (three chapters are devoted to strategies for enacting policies). It discusses how to implement policies with extended case examples. It provides information about how to assess or analyze policies, including use of evidence-based practice and policies.
This book provides, then, a multi-faceted approach for participating in the making of policy. It defines "policy advocacy" as policy practice devoted to securing policy reforms that will benefit vulnerable populations including women, persons of color, low-income persons, persons with disabilities, children, and elderly persons.
This book provides many inserts to help readers develop policy-practice skills. Some of them discuss ethical issues. Some of them are contributions from policy practitioners in agency, community, and government settings. The book provides 25 three-minute video clips that illustrate policy practice that can easily be accessed through the publisher's web site.