Importance of Participating in Advocacy and Legislative Action as a Social Worker
Policy affects practice
The NASW said it best, the social work profession was founded in social change. Social workers are there for those who need it. They are the public's biggest advocates in times of need. They also see the effects of law every day in practice, and those who endorse the laws can be moved by the important stories social workers have to tell.
Why is law important to know?
Social workers help all kinds of people. They assist in adoption, therapy, poverty, addiction, unemployment, disability, abuse, discrimination, and so much more. All these things that they help with, have laws that are attached.
Being involved with legislative action keeps social workers up to date on current issues and issues to come. Being engaged in legislative action also prepares them to better serve their clients. They can help shape policy and help constituents by working with federal, state and local agencies to get individual appropriate assistance. For social workers to help change law, it is important for them to stay current on laws.
If social workers want to create new policies, it is best to first understand why existing policies were developed. They can then be able to identify problems in these policies, find ways policies could be improved, and design solid proposals to help move towards change. In the end, these changes can help all people and improve humanity.
How do social workers advocate for policy change?
Social workers can interact with their communities to learn more about the challenges they face. They can then raise awareness about those issues by educating everyone, from the lawmakers to nonprofit groups and empower community members to advocate for policy change. Social workers can also go to their elected officials and working within their agency to make a change.
To get policy updates, go to:
To see policy issues, go to:
To stay informed, act, or to get legislative alerts from the NASW to:
Election Time in Kentucky
It is that time of the year again. A time where you, the sovereign individual, can express any concerns or support of ideas through way of voting. Fortunately, voting turnout has reached record-breaking numbers in the past few years. In the U.S. 2020 general election, upwards of 158.4 million people voted, amounting to about 62.8% of people of voting age (Desilver, 2022). That marks the largest voter turnout in U.S. history, and Kentuckians did their part. With over two million Kentuckians doing their civic duty, the state saw the highest number of voters in a Kentucky election (Shreve, 2021). So, it is evident we are all doing our part in the U.S. general election, but what about voting for our local representatives? Unfortunately, for this year's primary election, the unofficial turnout for the state only reached 19%, which was short of the 31% turnout we had for the 2020 primaries (Watkins, 2022).
Luckily, we have another chance. The general election in Kentucky is Tuesday, November 8th. This is our last chance of the year to cast our vote and fight for what we believe in. A common theme amongst people who do not vote is that their vote will not matter or that their lives will not be affected whether they vote or not. This thought could not be further from the truth. If you decide not to vote, you simultaneously decide not to have a voice. The consequences will affect your job, family, healthcare, and overall way of life. Use your freedom. Use your right. Moreover, use the most essential tool any human has at their disposal, their voice. And use it by going out to vote!
Desilver. (2022, November 1). Turnout in U.S. has soared in recent elections but by some measures still trails that of many other countries. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/11/01/turnout-in-u-s-has-soared-in-recent-elections-but-by-some-measures-still-trails-that-of-many-other-countries/
Shreve. (2021, January 14). 2020 Saw Kentucky’s Highest Voter Turnout Ever. 2020’s Record-High Kentucky Voter Turnout. Retrieved from https://spectrumnews1.com/ky/louisville/news/2021/01/14/kentucky-2020-election-turnout-highest-ever
Watkins. (2022, May 19). Voter turnout figures are in for Kentucky’s primary. Here’s how they compare to past years. The Courier-Journal. Retrieved from https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2022/05/19/kentucky-primary-election-2022-how-voter-turnout-compares-prior-years/9826730002/
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