It is important for social workers to be well-informed and skilled in policy development, implementation, and analysis since the scope of community practice encompasses the economic and social development of the community. Policy development is fundamental in social work. When social workers identify a problem in the society like substance abuse and domestic violence, it is upon them to use the knowledge gained in the practice of social work to come up with solutions to tackle the social issue. As such, the development of policies helps social workers to make critical decisions effectively while providing instructions on how best to solve the social issues (Coburn, 2016). Similarly, policy development helps to reduce bias in decision-making for the good of the community. After the development of social policies, social workers should also understand the process of policy implementation. Implementation refers to the practice of defined policies to mitigate social problems.
Planning and coordination of policies is important for a successful policy implementation. Moreover, social workers should have vast knowledge on policy analysis. Policy analysis is the tool used by social workers at micro, macro, and mezzo levels to evaluate social policies from the point of development to the end-user beneficiary. It is important to note that social services are provided to the community from the implementation phase and social workers assess, and evaluate the cost-benefit analysis to determine the importance and productivity of social policies. However, while developing policies, social workers are governed by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) code of ethics which sets standards and values to be followed by social workers while carrying out their projects (National Association of Social Workers, 2008). In summation, policy development, implementation and analysis is important in social work because social workers are the firsthand experts in solving social and welfare problems (Thompson, 2015).
Leadership Profile and the Analysis of TANF
As a social worker, I believe that poverty is a persistent structural problem. Social assistance is one of the main levers available to help people lift themselves out of poverty and break the divide that separates them from the rest of society. But it is not easy to put in place aid that leads to lasting results for the people living in poverty. Nonetheless, social assistance programs aim to help individuals and families overcome their financial difficulties. When it comes to US programs, the term "social assistance" is common and the TANF (Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) policy program in Texas is an incredible example. The program provides medical and financial support needy children and the guardians or parents. Families facing multiple problems often need to be helped in a sustainable manner to regain social integration and this can be achieved through the TANF program.
The TANF program has been a huge success while looking at the cost-benefit analysis of the policy program. The states funding of the program has increased the labor force participation of single mothers and has reduced the poverty index in the state. However, the program needs to increase the work participation rate (WPR) (Coburn, 2016) in Texas by implementing policies that help TANF recipients to access employment opportunities. However, while helping the families through this program, it is important for a social worker to take in consideration the code of ethics stipulated by the NASW such as the issue of consent and commitment to the customer. It is important for a social worker to obtain informed consent as the code mainly emphasis on the need for the customer to be well informed of the right to refuse involuntary help (National Association of Social Workers, 2008). Additionally, while using the TANF program, it is vital for social workers to focus on promoting their clients concerns and well-being according to the NASW codes of ethics.
Addressing the Social Problem
The quality of management of relationships of people living in poverty is likely to improve if the structures of social organizations allow and encourage the way of working that we have described above. This is why I would conclude this section with some remarks concerning this social problem, the policy, and organization. As indicated by Moffitt (2015), in the welfare sector there a lack of structural anchor for intensive support and sometimes long-term for the benefit of people living in poverty. It is mostly on their own initiative, and by personally that social workers provide support to families with complex problems as stipulated in the NASW code of ethics. Some families, however, need such an approach to be able to live a life worthy and somewhat stabilize their situation. However, social workers face the organizational boundaries that ultimately force them to give up or prevent them from working as they would like. Support by decree "Associations where the poor have their say" does not guarantee that individual support.
The work of these groups is in fact primarily focused on the goal of bringing together people in poverty, promote empowerment and social structures, organizing training activities and establish a dialogue. The methods used for the accompaniment of the participants are very diverse. Some initiatives are opting for intensive coaching while others prefer to keep it to a minimum. As a result, I propose that we make possible voluntary counseling, intensive and long-term poor people in the welfare work. But beyond this specialization also requires that services generally pay attention to developed methodological principles. People living in poverty will remain in contact with countless services. In any service, hospitality and humanized treatment of poor families must remain a central concern. The key element in this respect is to learn to see inside people (their experiences and the meaning given to it); among poor people, the process is complicated by the confrontation of ways of thinking and different action.
Coburn, C.E (2016). Whats policy got to do with it? How the structure-agency debate can illuminate policy implementation. American Journal of Education, 122(3), 465-475. doi:10.1086/685847
Moffitt, R. A. (2015). The deserving poor, the family, and the US welfare system. Demography, 52(3), 729-749.
Rostad, W. L., Rogers, T. M., & Chaffin, M. J. (2017). The influence of concrete support on child welfare program engagement, progress, and recurrence. Children and Youth Services Review, 72, 26-33.
National Association of Social Workers. (2008). NASW Code of Ethics. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics
Thompson, N. (2015). Understanding social work: Preparing for practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
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