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SOCW 6361 week 11

SOCW 6361 week 11


Week 11: Assessing Policy: Toward Evidence-Based Policy

Evidence-based policies are ones that achieve positive outcomes where they are evaluated with research.
—Bruce S. Jansson, Becoming an Effective Policy Advocate: From Policy Practice to Social Justice, 8th ed.

Social workers hope that a proposed policy will be effective and make a significant impact toward social change. However, as Jansson (2018) points out in the introductory quote, you will not know if your policy is effective until it has been evaluated with research and has a significant body of evidence that supports the policy’s goal.

In this final week of the course, you discuss evidence-based policies and evidence-based practices that support effective policies. In addition, you discuss the significant role that values play in determining the evaluation of specific policies. Finally, you also discuss the hard realization that even when policies and programs are evaluated and show great promise for effectiveness and success, they are not always enacted and implemented.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze influence of values on policy evaluation
  • Analyze practices of policy advocacy
  • Analyze advocacy roles of social workers

Learning Resources

Required Readings

SOCW 6361 Webliography
These websites will be required throughout the semester. Become familiar with these websites, especially when doing research for your assignments.

Community Toolbox. (2016). Chapter 8 Section 6: Obtaining feedback from constituents: What change is feasible? Retrieved from 

Community Toolbox. (2016). 12. Evaluating the Initiative. Retrieved from 

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 14, “Assessing Policy: Toward Evidence-Based Policy During Task 8” (pp. 488-503)

Midgley, J., & Livermore, M. M. (Eds.) (2008). The handbook of social policy (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Chapter 33, “The Future of Social Policy” (pp. 557–569) (PDF)

English, D. J., Brummel, S., & Martens, P. (2009). Fatherhood in the child welfare system: Evaluation of a pilot project to improve father involvement. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 3(3), 213–234.

Swank, E. W. (2012). Predictors of political activism among social work students. Journal of Social Work Education,48(2), 245–266.

Required Media

TEDx Talks. (2016, May 12). Problem-oriented policing: Where social work meets law enforcement: Derrick Jackson. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Optional Resources

MSW home page
Use this link to access the MSW home page, which provides resources for your social work program.

Discussion 1: Policies and the Influence of Values

Ideology, politics, and the influence of values often override evidence-based policy. When there is evaluation conflict, a policy advocate must be prepared to defend his/her reasons for wanting to implement a policy. Because almost all proposed policies are circumscribed by politics (for reasons brought up by Jansson throughout the course when discussing the subtleties of policy implementation), you should be prepared for some conflict, ranging from having your research ignored, to having the accuracy of your data questioned, to having your personal values brought into question.

In this Discussion, you consider the assertion that the evaluation of specific policies is often strongly influenced by values. You also examine and evaluate ways to mitigate evaluation conflict to defend the feasibility of your policy.

By Day 3

Post a response to Jansson’s assertion that evaluating specific policies is strongly influenced by values with respect to the case of the evaluation of special services. How do the values of evaluation conflict adhere to social work values? What practices would you use to defend the feasibility of and effectiveness of your evidence-based policy?

By Day 5

Respond to a colleague with a discussion of why the evaluation of policies is often controversial and political and how the values of evaluation conflict adhere to social work values. What policy advocacy skills can social workers use to ensure that appropriate evaluations are being conducted on policies?


 Anna Lear RE: Discussion 1 – Week 11COLLAPSE

Social workers must be cautious and diligent to check personal bias when working with clients or advocating for positive social change.  Evaluation must be put through this same process.

In advocating for social change, the use of value based power and expert power are two essential tools necessary to identify and develop evidence based policy to advocate for change (Jansson, 2018).


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.

Thank you

Anna Lear


Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 11 Discussion 1 Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 11 Discussion 1

Discussion 2: Becoming a Lifelong Advocate

It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.
—Tenzin Gyatso

As this course comes to a close, consider and reflect on how you can become a lifelong advocate for social change in your future social work practice. As a motivated policy advocate and social worker, your actions in your chosen profession will reflect your motivation to help relatively powerless, disenfranchised groups of people improve their resources, their opportunities, and their quality of life.

In this Discussion, you reflect upon your responsibility as a social worker, politically and professionally.

By Day 4

Post your thoughts on this question: As a social worker, what is your responsibility to engage in political action? Identify an area of social welfare where social work policy advocacy is needed.

By Day 6

Respond to a colleague with suggestions on how he or she can put his or her policy advocacy into action. Discuss which policy advocacy skills you can use as a social worker in all levels of practice.


 Surnita Warner RE: Discussion 2 – Week 11COLLAPSE

Post your thoughts on this question: As a social worker, what is your responsibility to engage in political action?

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of all people, with particular attention to those who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.(NASW, 2017) In providing this enhancement, Social Workers may have to pursue a change. These changes are social, which include working with politicians to change policies to benefit the well-being of the vulnerable population. As a Social worker, our responsibility to engage in political actions is to advocate for change by challenging social injustice. These actions include writing letters to politicians, surveying the community, and or making the media aware of the changes needed for the populations that are lacking resources.

 Identify an area of social welfare where social work policy advocacy is needed.

An area of social welfare, where social work policy advocacy is needed is in the homeless population. Currently, this population has been identified as vulnerable and lacking resources during this COVID- 19 pandemic. As the medical field has recommended masks to wear and to remain 6 feet away to refrain from receiving COVID-19, the homeless population lacks the resources to acquire masks. Therefore, the homeless population chances of receiving this worldwide disease is increased.


NASW. (2017)“Read the Code of Ethics: Ethical Principles.”, 2019,

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