Socw 6361 Week 6: Developing Policy Proposals

Socw 6361 Week 6: Developing Policy Proposals

Early in the process, policy advocates have to establish policy goals . . . Do they want basic change or incremental change? . . . What points of a proposal are most important to them? . . . What style of approach will be most effective?
—Bruce S. Jansson, Becoming an Effective Policy Advocate: From Policy Practice to Social Justice (8th ed.)

Developing an effective policy proposal is a balancing act that requires careful planning, from specifying content, getting sponsors, establishing a style, framing an approach strategy, making the most effective use of resources and the media, to having a back-up plan if your policy proposal is blocked. How is all of this accomplished?

In Week 6, you meet two individuals who are coping with social issues that require attention. You create a policy proposal for one of these individuals that will impact the situation he or she faces. You also develop Part 2 of the Project you began in Week 3. You analyze a social policy created and implemented to address the social problem identified in Part 1 of your Project.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Create policy proposals
  • Analyze policy proposals
  • Evaluate approaches to social issues in policy work
  • Create proposal for social advocacy
  • Apply social advocacy skills
  • Evaluate long-term impact of policy practice and advocacy

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.

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 8, “Placing Policy Proposals in Policy Briefs in the Second, Third, and Fourth Steps of Policy Analysis” (pp. 246-283)

Plummer, S.-B, Makris, S., Brocksen S. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Concentration year.Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
“Working with Clients with Addictions: The Case of Jose” (pp. 65–68)
“Working with the Aging: The Case of Iris” (pp. 68–69)

Stuart, P. H. (1999). Linking clients and policy: Social work’s distinctive contribution. Social Work, 44(4), 335–347

Midgley, J., & Livermore, M. M. (Eds.) (2008). The handbook of social policy (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Chapter 6: “The Impact of Social Policy” (pp. 83–100) (PDF)

Optional Resources

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

Discussion: Policy Proposals

In your reading for this week, you meet Jose and Iris, two individuals who are in situations that require assistance and guidance from a professional social worker and policy advocate.

In this Discussion, create a policy proposal that will impact the situations faced by either Jose or Iris. Describe the trade-offs you used to develop your proposal.

To prepare: In your text, review “Trade-Offs: Systematically Comparing Policy Options in Step 3” in Chapter 8.

By Day 3

Post a brief summary of the policy proposal and its purpose that you created based on either Jose’s or Iris’s situation and the trade-offs you used to develop your proposal.

Be sure to support your post with specific references to this week’s resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.

By Day 5

Respond to a colleague who selected a different case from yours with another approach to address the identified problem. What is the responsibility of the social workers working with Jose and/or Iris to advocate for a change in the social policy?

Response 1


A brief summary of the policy proposal:

In the case of Iris, she is struggling with aging and losing her independence. She needs long-term care, whether it is by home-health aides to around the clock attention in a nursing facility. Most people like Iris, do not plan for this expense. Yet, most would do anything to avoid living out the end of their lives in a nursing facility. The problem is that local, state, and federal policies affect this case and many other aging individuals (Plummer, Makris, Brocksen, 2013).  The Social Security Act, Medicare, and the funding of programs such as Meals on Wheels, in-home support services, and community mental health centers recent budget issues have slowed these efforts (Norman, 2013).

Consequently, waiting lists for these services can take years for Iris to receive. A resolution to this issue is challenging politically at this time when Medicare and Medicaid programs are forced to spending cutbacks (Department of Human Services, 2020). However, creating a mandatory system of social insurance that requires people to pay for long-term care before their aging years; maybe the only option for the aging population to live their old years with many choices.

Its purpose that you created based on either Jose’s or Iris’s situation:

The purpose of this policy proposal is that all Americans should have the security of knowing that they are not on their own and that they can receive care in their homes and communities rather than institutions or facilities; when they reach a point to end of life care.

The trade-offs you used to develop your proposal:

Trade-offs are beneficial for one outcome but have an adverse effect on the other issue (Jansson, 2018). The trade-offs utilized to create the proposal is that consumers will have to pay more for private insurance but decreases the need for state-funded programs to help the aging population. Therefore, when one becomes elderly and suddenly needs assistance with their ADLs, private insurance will provide a life for them that is self-sufficient and allows them or an advocate to make choices for their well-being.


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.

Norman, J. (2013). The aging population: A crisis in plain sight. Healthbeat Journal. Retrieved from

Plummer, S., Makris, S., Brocksen, S. M. (2013). Social Work Case Studies: Concentration Year [VitalSource Bookshelf version].  Retrieved from vbk://9781624580055