Advocacy in social work can be small actions targeted toward individuals and large programs that benefit society and the community. Social workers advocate for communities and individuals so they can have better access to resources such as healthcare, food, and housing. If you want to pursue a career in social work, learn about advocacy and why it is important.
According to the Code of Ethics set out by the National Association of Social Workers, social workers should engage in political and social actions that ensure everyone has equal access to the opportunities, services, employment, and resources they need to meet their human needs. One of the ways to uphold this standard is through advocacy.
Advocacy is an important part of social work because it serves as a voice for the underserved and helps individuals remain independent. Advocacy promotes social justice, inclusion, and equality. All of these are goals in social work practice. Successful social workers inform their clients about their rights and teach them how to exercise them. This allows their clients to have a direct influence on decisions affecting them.
Advocacy allows social workers to achieve social justice by standing up for disadvantaged people. One part of advocacy is social justice, which occurs on a large scale. Social justice allows professionals to help create a society where every member has the same social benefits, obligations, opportunities, and protection.
Why advocacy is important
Students pursuing a course like the Spalding MSW program will learn to use advocacy and reflective practice to promote a just society. The versatile degree will prepare you for a wide range of roles in social work through which you can make a meaningful difference.
Advocacy is important because it seeks to change the frameworks impacting communities and individuals. Social workers advocate on behalf of marginalized and underrepresented groups. They also address policies affecting their well-being. Through advocacy, social workers can speak out against policies that may disenfranchise individuals, reduce resource funding, or negatively impact communities in any way. Social workers can also make a difference by writing policy briefs to inform lawmakers, media outlets, and the public to garner support.
Social workers help shape policies that regulate rental rate increases and the extent of policing when dealing with homelessness. Advocacy is also important because it supports policies enhancing behavioral health resources. Furthermore, advocacy addresses important policies such as access to counseling and affordable housing. An online course in social work showcases that advocacy can happen at a systemic level and a smaller, local level.
Social work professionals have always been courageous, moral leaders who have used their values, determination, and passion for challenging exploitation, poverty, injustice, and oppression. Today’s social workers have the resources and knowledge to use advocacy at all levels to support their clients and help create a just society.