2nd Edition

Policy Practice for Social Workers An Ethic of Care Approach

    452 Pages 66 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    452 Pages 66 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The second edition of Policy Practice for Social Workers expands the concept of policy practice in social work settings and illustrates how significant policy change may be achieved at a local, community, state, and national level. Guided by an ethic of care approach, this textbook is intended to raise readers’ awareness about policy practice and its fundamental relationship with the aims of the social work profession, offers a foundation for key skill development, and contextualizes the work of policy practitioners in the larger political-economic settings in which they work.

    This textbook is divided into two parts. First, readers will expand their understanding of policy practice, its beginnings and development over the course of social welfare history, and the political, economic, and social drivers that affect policy decisions and undergird the U.S. political system. Readers will also learn about the ethic of care framework and the value-based lens it contributes to the policymaking process. Later, in the book’s second part, readers will explore the essential skills and values in policy work. Detailed coverage and vivid examples offer valuable insight into specific advocacy skills including lobbying, community organizing, mobilizing advocacy publics, coalition building, campaigning, problem analysis, policy analysis, and policy evaluation.

    Within its comprehensive overview of policy practice and advocacy, the new edition of this text extols a value-laden perspective to identify and assess unmet needs and promote a more socially just environment for all. Combining these dual aims, Policy Practice for Social Workers is an excellent cornerstone of policy and policy work for undergraduate and graduate students in social work.

    Acknowledgments  I. Policy Practice Then and Now  1. Defining Policy Practice in Social Work  2. Examining Social Welfare History  3. Doing Policy Practice within an Ethic of Care Framework  4. Making Policy: Politics, Economics, and Policy Practice  II. Policy Practice Skills  5. Developing an Ethical Policy Practice  6. Analyzing Social Problems and Social Welfare Policies from An Ethic of Care Perspective  7. Working with the Media and Shaping Public Opinion  8. Influencing Government Action: The Legislative Process, Interest Groups, and Lobbying  9.Building a Coalition to Create Change  10. Campaigning  11. Evaluating Policy: Implementation and Outcomes 12. Building an Equitable Future


    Linda K. Cummins, PhD, has been a social work researcher and educator for more than 25 years, teaching students research methodologies, social policy and social welfare, and ethics and diversity in various online and in-person settings. Currently, Dr. Cummins is a Full Professor in the Department of Advanced Graduate Studies at National University where she also serves as the Academic Program Director for PhD programs, faculty mentor, dissertation chair, and a member of the Institutional Review Board. Dr. Cummins continues to conduct research and is currently researching the moral orientation of licensed professional caregivers and its influence on resolving ethical dilemmas in practice. Since earning her PhD from the Ohio State University, Dr. Cummins, in addition to her work as an educator, has served as chair of many curriculum and technology committees, worked as an online curriculum designer and consultant, presented at national conferences, and co-authored two textbooks, Policy Practice for Social Workers, with Katharine V. Byers and Laura Pedrick, and Social Work Skills for Beginning Direct Practice, with Judith A. Sevel, now in its fourth edition (Pearson 2018). Dr. Cummins resides on her organic farm on the south coast of Oregon.

    Katharine V. Byers, PhD, has spent her career advocating, teaching, and leading programs within the social work field. Now retired, Dr. Byers was an Associate Professor and Director of the BSW Program at the Indiana University School of Social Work in Bloomington. She was also a founding member of Influencing Social Policy and chaired the organization, whose objectives include building social workers’ capacity and influence on policy in local, state, and federal settings. In collaboration with other social workers, Dr. Byers initiated Indiana’s Social Work Lobby Day, now in its 23rd year. Prior to becoming an educator, Dr. Byers had 10 years of practice experience, primarily with children with disabilities and their families. Following the completion of her PhD from Indiana University, Dr. Byers spent more than 25 years teaching undergraduate students. In 2019, at the culmination of a sterling career, Dr. Byers was recognized as a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers for her service and contributions to the evolution and growth of the profession.

    Laura Pedrick is an Executive Director in the Division of Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, where she oversees UWM’s online and blended programs. In her role as Special Assistant to the Provost for Strategic Initiatives, she has written state budget requests, facilitated strategic planning for technology, and communicated with a wide array of higher education stakeholders. Her background is in political communication, and she holds a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota.