Discussion: Power in Social Work Practice
Social workers are in the business of empowering people. They are also often faced with power structures that are entrenched and difficult to navigate. Skilful policy practitioners recognize the many kinds of power resources that exist, thus expanding their options in specific situations.
As a social worker, you will learn various strategies that can create and expand personal networks that might be useful in negotiating your policy practice within an agency. You want your power resources to be recognized as effective ways to get things done, not as tools for coercion and force.
For this Discussion, you will identify power resources (including person-to-person, substantive, process, and procedural) that you can use to influence decision-makers and secure the adoption of a policy proposal.
Review Chapter 10 in the Jansson text. Focus on Jansson’s categorization of types of power resources in the policy-enacting task.
Review the article by Rocha et al. in the Learning Resources this week.
Identify a type of power resource you would use in your practice and advocacy.
Search for and select at least one additional scholarly article (not from the Learning Resources this week) related to the power resource you identified. You will use this article to help explain your selection.
Post a brief description of why it is important for social workers to be familiar with power dynamics when working with decision-makers. In your description, address the following:
Identify the power resource you selected for use in your practice and advocacy.
Explain the resource you selected.
How does this power resource work to influence decision-makers?
Why is this power resource more appropriate for your approach to practice and advocacy than others?
Describe the ethical issues or concerns in using the type of power resource you selected.
Be sure to support your post with specific references to this week’s resources, as well as the additional scholarly article you selected.