5 Advocacy Tips for Social Workers

The Advocating Social Worker – Five Tips For Advocacy Success

  • Be A Power Broker
  • Exercise Strong Case Management Skills
  • Educate When Possible
  • Canvas and Research Continuously
  • Increase Community Participation

Social work advocacy is all about selfless service and advocacy to those in the community needing it the most. But how can one truly excel in this noble mission beyond what is simply the industry-standard expectation? Here are five great tips for achieving above-standard excellence in advocacy from within the social work profession today.

See our ranking of the Top 25 MSW Online Programs.

1. Be A Power Broker

One of the main functions of many social workers is that of acting as an effective broker, getting the benefits and other services connected to those in need of them. Unfortunately though, with much paperwork and bureaucracy involved, continuous follow-up and extra work is often necessary. An excellent social worker advocate stays on top of these processes assuring that there is not excessive time lapse or further complications in administering benefits and services.

2. Exercise Strong Case Management Skills

Yet another progressive step forward in social work advocating efforts comes by way of providing excellence in another already-core job responsibility – case management. By providing excellent case management, help-needing clients get an overall more effective experience. This speeds access to needed services and benefits, provides timely notices of actions and needed actions, helps to provide more fair outcomes relative to the intentions of legal and ethical stance, and much more.

3. Educate When Possible

While many social workers are able to provide effective services without much effort in educating their clientele, those who do put some effort into some simple educational attempts provide the utmost advocacy advantage to their clients. As once summed up handsomely by Nelson Mandela, "the worst enemy of humanity is ignorance and fear, and the best weapon to fight this is education. If you educate a person you are empowering that person." To be the best advocate, one must take every opportunity to inform, guide, and educate.

4. Canvas and Research Continuously

Another often overlooked yet potentially highly beneficial approach to social work advocacy and greatness comes by way of continued research inside and outside of the community for emerging or previously unknown resource opportunities. A community's resource pool is always changing because its various qualities and characteristics are always changing. Furthermore, resource options and opportunities from larger-scale groups such as state and federal governments can also change at any time. Subsequently, staying in the loop with research and canvassing can be a great way to provide some substantial advocacy.

5. Increase Community Participation

Finally, nearly any social worker can ramp up their advocacy efforts ten-fold simply by putting in some targeted volunteer work within the community. As reported by Forbes, in many cases, research has shown that such investment in volunteer work actually builds and betters the volunteer more than the actual recipient of the volunteerism. As such, volunteer work in and around the community truly is itself a type of high-grade advocacy.

Social work is top-rated career option for those wishing to be involved in helping and giving back to the community on a daily basis. For those interested in upping their game here, there are a number of great ways with which to do just that. These are just five of the many great ways for those wishing to be able to provide above-standard excellence in social work advocacy today.