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Essay Example: Social Work and Social Welfare Policy

3 pages
637 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
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Arguably, the core role of the social workers in their profession is to promote and enhance the human well-being as well as assist in meeting the basic human needs with specific attention to the empowerment and the needs of the people who are living in poverty, the oppressed and the vulnerable. This being said, social workers are therefore tasked with the role of promoting social change and justice with and also on behalf of individuals and the community as a whole (Hoefer, 2013). The study of social welfare policy substantiates how social workers are widely called upon to take the responsibility of influencing social welfare policy. This essay, therefore, seeks to discuss how social workers may have influenced the development, the implementation as well as the evaluation of some past social policies.

Firstly, in the United States, the federal social policy is described as a government enactment that primarily impacts the peoples well-being. This is inclusive of the regulations, the laws, executive orders as well as court decisions. Two excellent examples of past federal social policies are such as, The Woman Suffrage, and the Anti-Trust Regulation Policy.

The Woman Suffrage Policy was more of a movement that was primarily aimed at securing the right to vote for the women. Many women from different classes, race, and ethnicity joined together to win the federal Amendment. With regard to how social workers impacted this policy, social workers such as Jane Addams, during the progressive era, among other reformers contended that owing to the fact that both women and children were perceived as victims of industrialization, the government, therefore, had obligations to protect the women and the children (Hoefer, 2013). On the other hand, the Anti-Trust Regulation Policy is one that was developed with the aid of various social workers and reformers during the progressive era. This policy particularly sought fairness in the economy of capitalists. In this regard, the involved social workers aided in its implementation since they thought that if businesses during this era, became trusts and monopolies, then they could not only exploit their workers and the consumers, but they would also drive out many small businesses. This being the case, various progressives and social works mainly influenced its evaluation through contending that the federal government needed to intervene to regulate the size and the power of corporations.

How Social Policies Impact Social Work

Owing to the fact that most social policies affect human behavior and the society at large, there has been increasing importance for social work practice in the sense that social policies recognize the fact that the profit and non-profit organizations, as well as corporations, help in the development of the policies. Thus, these policies affect clients and the people they serve, and for this reason, they are known to have social implications not only on the society but also on individual social workers. For instance, one of the most common ways in which some of these policies impact social work is such as, the improvement of the ideologies and ethics of social work (Colby, Dulmus & Sowers, 2013). According to modern day literature, both the ethics and the ideologies of social work have not been following various political systems over time. Nonetheless, with the development and the implementation of different social policies, social work has over time been grounded efficiently in methods and theories of social sciences and for this reason, social workers have significantly contributed to substantial knowledge of both social process and structures that are not only related to social well-being but also to social equity and social justice (Hoefer, 2013).


Hoefer, R. (2013). Social workers affecting social policy in the US. Social workers affecting social policy, 160-182. doi:10.1332/policypress/9781847429735.003.0009

Colby, I. C., Dulmus, C. N., & Sowers, K. M. (2013). Social Work and Social Policy: Advancing the Principles of Economic and Social Justice. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.

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