Political social work is social work practice, theory, and research that focuses on the use of policy and politics to create social change. The Certificate in Political Social Work is designed for all social workers, regardless of area of primary practice, to fulfill their ethical obligation to engage in social and political action, or for anyone interested in applying social justice to politics and policy. Participants of this certificate program will learn how politics impacts the lives of those that they serve on both a micro and macro level, practice skills for advocating to policymakers, gain tools to empower clients to become politically engaged, and explore opportunities for running for office.
Participants will complete 28 online social work continuing education credits including:
This module will include the historical and current role of social workers in the political process, emerging political social work research and theory, as well as the NASW Code of Ethics standard which calls for social workers to engage in "social and political action" as part of their ethical responsibilities to the broader society.
1.1 Political Social Work Theories & Research
1.2 Political Justice & Voter Engagement
1.3 Ethics in Political Social Work
1.4 Bridging Divides
1.5 Engaging Elected Officials: An Inside Perspective
This module will cover skills and strategies that social workers can apply to effectively engage and communicate with constituents, policymakers, and elected and appointed officials to enact change across practice settings.
2.1 Identifying the Elected/Appointed Officials in Your Community
2.2 Activism and Advocacy
2.3 Building and Maintaining Coalitions
2.4 Political Social Work in the Workplace
2.5 Planning, Organizing, and Funding a Campaign
2.6 Identity, Messaging, Voter Contact & Targeting
2.8 Public Discourse
2.9 Reaching Your Audience: A Data Visualization Toolkit
This module covers important topic areas social workers should be familiar with when engaging in political social work practice, including organized labor and immigration. This module is intended to be responsive to emerging political topics relevant to social work and will be built upon and expanded in later iterations of the program.
3.1 Information Literacy: Combating "Fake News"
3.2 Political Parties
3.3 Social Work and Immigration
3.4 Environmental Justice/Climate Change
3.5 Tax Policy
3.6 Social Work and Unions
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Michigan School of Social Work
Legislative Education & Action Delivers (LEAD)
Michigan, District 1
Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, and Professor of Art and Design, School of Art and Design
University of Michigan
School of Social Work
1080 South University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106