The Coalition for Policy Education and Practice in Social Work—Advancing Equity and Social Justice
The Coalition for Policy Education and Practice in Social Work brings together social work groups to give policy advocacy and policy practice greater prominence in social work education and professional development for social work faculty, students, and practitioners. This initiative is generously funded through the Fund for Social Policy Education and Practice (FSPEP), which is supported by the Lois and Samuel Silberman Grant Fund of The New York Community Trust.
While the United States is recognized as one of the most successful countries in the world, there is significant and growing inequality for its people along income, health, education, and other fronts. Research shows that poverty, injustice, and inequality are at the root of many of the social and economic hardships faced by individuals, families, and communities.
Given the mandate that all social work programs prepare students to understand and act on the policy implications of their work, the social work profession could greatly improve the effectiveness of policy and service efforts designed to ameliorate persistent poverty and growing inequality. The aim is to sharpen the focus of social work education and professional development on social policy in order to more strongly influence policy at the local, state, and national levels.
The Coalition will work to:
- build excitement and interest in policy practice in the profession;
- prepare all social workers to engage in policy practice regardless of field of practice; and
- coordinate and connect existing efforts underway.
Coalition activities to achieve those aims will include data collection and analysis, celebrating policy activities of students, faculty, and practitioners, creating professional development opportunities, collaborating to fill gaps in the curriculum, building opportunities for students to connect and network, and developing a clearinghouse of resources.
The Coalition advisory committee includes representatives from the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD); the Congressional Research Institute on Social Work and Policy (CRISP); the Grand Challenges Executive Committee of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW); Influencing Social Policy (ISP); the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work (NADD); the National Association of Social Workers (NASW); the Network for Social Work Management (NSWM); the Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work of the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA); the Race, Ethnicity and Poverty Network (REAP Centers); and the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) along with staff from the Council on Social Work Education and the Fund for Social Policy Education and Practice.