Sociology homework help.
Week 4: Ecology of Policy in Social Work Settings
The planning process can be seen as developing a road map for getting from “here” to “there.” “Here” is the current situation and “there” is the solution developed . . . ”
—James Midgley & Michelle M. Livermore, The Handbook of Social Policy
The ecology of policy is the environment of policy and advocacy systems within which the social worker and policy advocate must navigate in order to effect change in a social issue. As the quote above implies, the advocate must have a plan or a policy road map to help him or her navigate through a complicated system of institutions, legislatures, and funding bodies that provide the ecology of policies in local, state, and national settings. Having a solid plan is the first step in preparation for successfully handling the sensitive issues that may arise when public opinion influences the policy process.
This week you complete a community assessment which will help you to understand your community in order to develop an appropriate policy action plan. You also explore how public opinion influences the policy process and, in turn, how that influences the direction your map (i.e., your plan) takes as you attempt to skillfully navigate through social work settings and issues.
- Analyze how public opinion can influence the policy process
- Apply social work skills
- Analyze social justice implications
- Assess a community related to a social problem
- Create a plan for community change based on community assessment
- Analyze influence of policy on a community action plan
Jansson, B. S. (2018). Becoming an effective policy advocate: From policy practice to social justice. (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning Series.
Chapter 4, “Understanding the Ecology of Policy in Government, Electoral, Community, and Agency Settings” (pp. 100–140)
Discussion: Policy Process and Public Opinion
Managing public opinion and understanding the balance between its influence and your advocacy goals is a delicate matter. It is a task fraught with uncertainty because, as a policy advocate, you must navigate through the territory of politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists whose primary goals are to appease and please their constituents.
In this Discussion, you select a social problem that is of interest to you and identify how public opinion influences the process and political approaches involved in addressing that social problem.
To prepare: Refer to your Week 2 Small Group Discussion Forum for ideas.
By Day 3
Post a description of the importance of public opinion in addressing the social problem you have selected. How does public opinion influence political approaches to the problem? Explain. What policy advocacy approaches and skills can you use to address the problem with political leaders? What are the social justice implications of your approach?
Be sure to support your post with specific references to this week’s resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.
By Day 5
Respond to a colleague who has chosen a social problem that is different from the one you selected, addressing the following:
- Offer an explanation of how public opinion can be influenced to address the problem identified by your colleague.
- Suggest policy advocacy approaches and skills he or she can use to address the problem with political leaders.
- Comment on the social justice implications of the approach or approaches you suggested.
Submission and Grading Information
To access your rubric:
Week 4 Discussion Rubric
Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5
To participate in this Discussion:
Week 4 Discussion
Assignment: Community Assessment
The purpose of this assignment is to broaden your understanding of a community, develop analytical skills regarding communities in relation to specific populations and their needs, and to better plan and develop interventions to address issues and problems facing the community.
This assignment has three parts: Part I Understanding Your Community, where you will consider the current demographics of the community and analyze how that has changed over the past 20 years; Part II Community Assessment, where you assess your community and a problem within your community; and Part III Community Action Plan, where you develop a specific action plan to address the problem you identified. As you reflect on the learning resources and concepts from Weeks 1-4, be sure to explain what you have learned about the policy’s effect on various groups. Consider how will this knowledge assist you with your community action plan.
By Day 7
Submit a 4-6 page paper. The paper needs to be well-researched and written using APA guidelines. Data should come from at least five sources.
Part I: Understanding your Community
- Analyze how your community has changed over the past 20 years. Use policy and community concepts and theories from the learning resources to support your analysis.
- Describe your community, using research and statistics to describe socio-demographic make-up. (For example: How many persons live in the city and/or in the town? What were/are their cultural/racial characteristics? What were/are their incomes, ages, political affiliations, etc.?)
Part II: Community Assessment
- Describe a problem that the community is currently experiencing.
- Assess the duration, intensity, and frequency of the problem.
- Analyze the probable etiology of the problem, supporting your analysis with resources.
- Analyze the key elements and characteristics of the community that make it vulnerable to this problem.
- Analyze the key strengths of the community that give the community resilience and the potential for overcoming the problem.
- Identify major institutions (e.g., schools, factories, churches, attraction sites, etc.) and explain how these institutions contribute to or inhibit the community’s ability to address the problem?
- Explain which groups are most affected by the problem.
Part III: Community & Policy Action Plan
- Describe your proposed plan for community change.
- Explain the strategies and tactics you would you use to bring about change. Consider if you would need multiple strategies, and if so, explain which strategy would be used for each target.
- Explain any policies that may influence the ability, either supportive or prohibitive, to influence proposed community change.
- Explain what policies would need to be in place to ensure proposed plans are sustainable.