Monday, April 5, 2010

Policy Evaluation

SW 225B Policy Implementation and Evaluation with Dr. Alfreda Iglehart

"Social workers are the implementation arm of public policy. We support and carry out the values of the larger society.

(Hmm, this makes me wonder how we can play a bigger role in influencing the values of the larger society. Marketers and Madison Avenue seem to do this well - they make us believe that we need things that we don't, that in fact may harm us. What about a counter-movement or marketing strategy that "sells" love, hope and compassion?)

We work with people to beat the odds instead of trying to change the odds (that is, change the social structure), partly because we benefit from the social structure as it is. Karen Seccombe has an article on 'beating the odds' versus 'changing the odds.'

Do we feel the social structure is in need of change? If we think the structure is oppressive, do we have the tools to achieve social change and reform?

If we are funded by the federal government, then it limits our opportunity to challenge it. As a contractor, we become an extension of the public agency - we are an extension of government.

As an example of this, social workers were involved in the Mexican-American repatriation process of the 30s and 40s and the processing/screening of Japanese-Americans in interment camps.
(How on earth did this happen and how do we make sure that it does not happen again? Would a culture of critical thinking and reflection across our profession help to prevent or challenge our involvement in social injustice perpetuated by the state in the future?)

Professions exists to advance members."

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