Analyzing the main factors influencing the willingness of people to get involved in advocacy efforts is the key to figuring out how to boost the activity of the workers. Chapter 3 “Getting Involved” of “Advocacy Practice for Social Justice” provides an in-depth analysis of the valid literature resources exploring the specifics of getting involved in politics and defines the main directions of influencing the level of advocacy among the social workers.
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The first part of the chapter investigates the causes of difference in political activity among various people. Several classifications related to the level of political activity of the citizens are presented and the main factors that influence to which group a person belongs are discussed. The author reveals that the largest group of the population belongs to passive spectators who do little else except participating in the basic civic activities.
The second part of the chapter is aimed at answering the question whether social workers are politically active. The author analyzes the relevant literature and comes to a conclusion that social workers appear to be more politically active than most Americans. Most of the studies investigating the causes of the high level of involvement of social workers indicate such main factors as personal values, education level, participation in other organizations, and time. The methods of influencing these factors are discussed in the final part of the chapter.
Encouraging people willing to graduate in social sciences to obtain basic knowledge in policy making and other forms of advocacy and providing continuous educational activities for current social workers are identified as the keys to enhancing political activity through education. The main ways of affecting involvement of social workers through influencing their values are considered to be hiring those candidates who have desirable values and are eager to make a change and cultivating the organizational culture that encourages people to be active. Team leaders need to encourage workers to demonstrate professional advocacy efforts and reward such initiatives.
The author also emphasizes the importance of maintaining the high sense of professional responsibility among the workers. It can be done mainly by accepting those applicants who have the corresponding experience in social work advocacy gained while receiving the education. Stimulating the interest of the workers is also described as an essential method of increasing advocacy activity of social workers. Such method includes providing advocacy opportunities and revealing the relation between such efforts and satisfaction of personal interest.
Moreover, not only the interest should be promoted, but the corresponding skills should also be enhanced by giving the opportunities for enhancing advocacy skills and receiving the help of highly qualified mentors. The author also emphasizes the importance of encouraging the employees to cooperate with organizations engaged in advocacy and organize the working schedules in such way that the workers have enough time for advocacy efforts. One more variable influencing the involvement of social workers and discussed in the chapter is wealth. Hoefer (2015) claims that social workers receiving wages enabling them to live a good life are more likely to engage in advocacy activity.
The chapter provides a comprehensive information about the levels of involvement in politics, the main factors influencing it, and the possible directions of stimulating the advocacy activity of social workers through providing positive changes in certain aspects impacting their motivation and ability to engage in advocatory efforts.
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Hoefer, R. (2015). Advocacy practice for social justice (3rd ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Lyceum Books, Incorporated. Web.