On Monday I enjoyed calling NASW members in Minnesota as part of the election phone bank. The calls focus on the importance of the upcoming elections and encourage members to support our NASW-PACE endorsed candidates approved on line drug stores and to get involved in their campaigns. On my first call, I happened to reach a member who has been on the county board for 14 years. This is a full-time position, although he also teaches. I was reminded of how social work skills and practice are excellent for full-time public service. This member is a political social worker.
The next member I reached worked at a community center that is very involved in getting clients registered, educated and to the polls. The member casino explained all of the activities planned, including voter registration drives, a candidates' night for
a legislative race, and vans to take senior citizens to the polls. This member reminded me of the ethical principles and tenets of our profession regarding our responsibility to society.
On October 7, I will be one of the presenters for the Lunchtime Series Teleconference “The Political Power of Social Work.” Some of us practice or extensively volunteer in political settings and all of us need to learn and utilize advocacy skills for effective everyday practice. The teleconference will highlight both political social work and practice-wide advocacy skills.
For seven years I served as an elected member of an urban school district. The school board position was unpaid service; however, I believe some of my most exemplary and challenging social work practice occurred during those seven years, working with eight other members for the welfare of our children and, ultimately, our community.
To me, our advocacy skills and our ethical and philosophical understanding of our responsibility to society distinguish us as a profession. They are what allow us to not only address the immediate needs of our clients, but also to change rules, regulations and systems that adversely affect our clients on an ongoing basis. I hope you will join us for the teleconference to learn more about this important area of social work practice.
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