chapter  Chapter 1
20 Pages

Social Work and Social Policy: A Strengths Perspective

ByRosemary Kennedy Chapin, Melinda Lewis

Social Work and Social Policy: A Strengths Perspective provides an overview of social policy and programs and introduces the basic concepts that are the foundation for the rest of the book. We discuss the connections between micro, mezzo, and macro practice and how all three connect to policy practice. Our goal is to help students understand why policy practice is critical to effective social work practice and how their social work practice skills will facilitate effective policy engagement. We discuss the value base of the strengths perspective and explain how a strengths approach and solution-focused strategies change not only the policy product but also the process of policy analysis and development. Students are challenged to find an issue they are passionate about and to begin to build policy practice skills. Integral to this chapter is the concept of dual assessments. Students are encouraged to incorporate an assessment of the specific policy issues that impact their clients into their initial assessment and planning processes. By the end of the first chapter, we hope students will be excited about policy practice and interested in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to help influence social policies and programs.