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This social work book is the first of its kind, describing practical steps that social workers can take to shape and influence both policy and politics. It prepares social workers and social work students to impact political action and subsequent policy, with a detailed real-world framework for turning ideas into concrete goals and strategies for effecting change. Tracing the roots of social work in response to systemic social inequality, it clearly relates the tenets of social work to the challenges and opportunities of modern social change. The book identifies the core domains of political social work, including engaging individuals and communities in voting, influencing policy agendas, and seeking and holding elected office. Chapters elaborate on the necessary skills for political social work, featuring discussion, examples, and critical thinking exercises in such vital areas as:
Power, empowerment, and conflict: engaging effectively with power in political settings.
Getting on the agenda: assessing the political context and developing political strategy.
Planning the political intervention: advocacy and electoral campaigns.
Persuasive political communication.
Budgeting and allocating resources.
Evaluating political social work efforts.
Making ethical decisions in political social work.
Political Social Work is a potent reference for social work professionals, practitioners, and students seeking core political knowledge and skills to practically advance their work. For specialists and generalists alike, it solidifies political action as vital for the evolution of the field.
About the Author
Shannon R. Lane, LMSW, PhD is Associate Professor at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University, where she teaches policy and research in the MSW, and PhD programs. Her research includes efforts to increase the political involvement of social workers and underserved populations and her advocacy focuses on issues such as health care access and gender based violence. Her political social work experience includes eight years with Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. Shannon earned her BA in Psychology from George Washington University, MSW from the University of Michigan, and PhD in Social Work from the University of Connecticut. She is affiliated with the Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work at the University of Connecticut, where she contributes to the Annual Campaign School for Social Workers, an evaluator of the Voter Empowerment Program, and chairs the Board Committee on Research. She is also a member of the Council on the Status and Role of Women in Social Work Education with the Council on Social Work Education, an ally of the Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work, and a member of the advisory board of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP).Suzanne Pritzker, PhD is an Associate Professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, where she teaches courses in policy analysis and advocacy in the MSW and PhD programs. Her research focuses on young people's civic engagement and on strategies to increase political participation. She has authored over 20 publications on topics specifically related to policy and civic engagement. Her political social work experience includes working as a Virginia Governor's Fellow, as an appointee in the Office of the Virginia Secretary of Education, and as an analyst with the Virginia General Assembly. Suzanne earned her BA in History and M.Ed. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia, MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a PhD in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. At the University of Houston, she coordinates the College's Austin Legislative Internship Program, through which graduate social work students are competitively selected to intern full-time in the Texas Legislature, founded and leads a monthly Policy Insider Series that brings social work policy experts to campus monthly, and chairs the College's Political Social Work Specialization. She is a member of the Council on Practice Methods and Specializations with the Council on Social Work Education, an ally of the Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work, and a member of the board of Influencing Social Policy (ISP).