For some, advocacy might conjure images of speaking at a congressional hearing or soliciting petition signatures at library entrances. Yet, social workers engage in advocacy as an agent of social change in numerous ways:
- Case advocacy—When a social worker addresses the lack of services or resources at the micro level, educates the client about available resources and programs, or fights for clients’ rights
- Legislative advocacy—When a social worker addresses a policy gap at the macro level and provides information and suggestions to legislators in order to close that gap
- Community advocacy—When a social worker represents the needs of a community at the mezzo level by engaging in group-oriented activities, such as holding a town meeting to educate the neighborhood about a particular issue they are facing
Reflecting as a social worker, what are the benefits to engaging in an act of advocacy? Are there risks associated with being an advocate? Do the risks ever outweigh the need to advocate for what is just?
Throughout this term, you have been asked to engage in an act of advocacy. For this Discussion, you will reflect on the advocacy in which you engaged and discuss both risks and values related to advocacy.
By Day 3
- Describe the advocacy in which you engaged this term.
- Explain how the concepts from this week’s resources apply to the act of advocacy in which you engaged.
- Describe potential risks that you considered or that may exist for a social worker who serves as an advocate.