What are all of the descriptions of social work careers in policy practice?  What interests you about these roles?  What strengths do you possess that could help you someday in these roles?

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Social workers are used in a variety of ways.  In policy practice, a social worker might be working in the political arena as well.  For example, a social worker might work for a politician, helping campaign to get that person elected because you believe that once in office that person will pass laws that will help people.  You might also run for office yourself, using your knowledge of the system to make policy.  You could write legislation to improve conditions for people that you could not help one on one, because they were trapped in an endless cycle of poverty.  Another useful area of policy practice is in lobbying itself.  As a social worker, you can keep your day job and lobby specific politicians to pass legislation you think will be useful.  Thus, you can still have a career as a social worker and do more too.

You are obviously going to have to answer the second two questions yourself.  I do not know anything about you.  I can help you out a little.  First of all, you are going to be a social worker.  I am assuming you want to help people.  It takes a big heart to help people.  One of the hardest things about being a social worker is the feeling of powerlessness you get from feeling like no matter how much you do, it is never enough.  I think that is where policy practice comes in.  It picks up where social work leaves off.  There is only so much you can do to help each single person, as their social worker.  But with policy practice, there are some systemic things you can do to help them as a group.  This might help you feel like you can do more to help each one.  So, for example, if one of your strengths is that you are compassionate, policy practice allows you to use that compassion to help more people.

Note:  For the Wiley link, you have to click "Read an excerpt"