Why I Joined The #SWKresistance

If you are on social media you might have seen the hashtags #Resist or #TheResistance. This symbolizes people who are more than unsatisfied with the Trump Administration.  Come to think of it, “unsatisfied” might be the understatement of the year. People are angry.  His proposed policies hurt many vulnerable individuals; Refugees, Immigrants, women, and people with Chronic Health conditions ( just to name a few).  Based on my work with vulnerable youth, policies effecting healthcare and education are alarming. It is for that reason I have joined and helping to organize The Social Work Resistance (#SWKresistance)

From the social work perspective, proposed legislation and already completed executive orders are disturbing.  Before I talk about how passionately about fighting Trump’s agenda, we need to do a slight disclaimer. President Trump spoke to a lot of under-served people. His voters felt marginalized or slighted.  I don’t think it’s fair to have a conversation without first acknowledging this.  However, the policies put forth seem to not benefit these individuals.  As social workers we need to respect these individuals but also present information in a competent manner.  This is the role of the “Social Work Resistance”. Their mission is to

To transform the social work profession to one that is politically active by educating social workers about policies impacting them and their clients, establishing social workers as credible voices for political change, and mobilizing the profession to take action against anti-social work policies.

Whenever I grapple with issues, political or otherwise, I find looking at the core values and ethics of social work helpful.  This idea was first brought to me be the Ohio Chapter of The National Association of Social Workers. In reaction to the initial executive order on the Travel Ban and suspension of the Syrian refugee program, they created this…

Even before him arriving in office, it was clear President Trump’s values conflict with social work values.  Just seeing it in black and white is helpful.   In looking at the core values of  service, social justice, dignity and worth of individuals, integrity, and competence. His policies and rhetoric often fly in the face of our profession.

New Justice Department policies call for harsher sentences for minor crimes are a blow to social justice. Healthcare policies effecting reproductive justice for women detract from the dignity of worth of individuals. The administration has often lied and talked about alternative facts. Proposed changes in the Environmental Protection Agency, Justice Department, and Health and Human Services devalue the competency of science.

If you are in social work practice, one of many of these policies will effect your population.  There continues to be an assault on Medicaid and this is what I am fighting for. This administration will have you believe that they would like to improve the situation.  I created this twitter moment about how inaccurate this is…

 

Also working with youth I am concerned about education in under-served communities and assistance with transitional age youth. Proposed changes in education seem to be an assault on this as well..

  Trump’s Budget calls for Deep Cuts in Education 

As a social worker, I suspect you have your shortlist of things the Republican administration will impact your practice. No matter who the President is, the one undeniable core value of social work is “Service“.

Being prone to complaining about The Trump Administration was not enough. I wanted to use my social media presence to attempt to take action for social work and the vulnerable people we serve.

The first initiative put forth to Resist for Social Work is fighting the proposed budget’s implications on Loan Forgiveness for Social Work. At this point, we need to fight for our profession so that we can fight for others…

Please go to the Save Student Loan Forgiveness for Social Work page to sign the petition and find out how proposed education cuts would profoundly effect our profession.

We will also attempt to continue to create a dialogue on how policies will effect us and the individuals we serve.  Please stay tuned to The Social Work Resistance on Social Media on…

Facebook 

Twitter 

and

Use the hashtag #SWKresistance to add things that matter to you (we will try our best to keep up)

 

 

 

 

Tools For Practice Tuesday: Participatory Design via Mad*Pow

Last week I attended this informative webinar via Mad*Pow Design.  It was about the concept of “Participatory Design” and how it can help discover unmet needs.  Taken from the presentation here is the definition…

I found this a great tool to perhaps get your organization “unstuck”.  In mental health and non-profit spaces we often design programs with organizational leaders as the experts. Typically the closest thing we come to engaging participants in program design is having a focus group.  Sometimes we don’t even engage our own staff in the design of programs.

I found this diagram especially helpful. When starting a new program who the “experts”, “participants”, “researchers” and “designers” are fits in this spectrum. Think about the last program you developed and where it fit…

This sets the table for using a variety of strategies to walk through the design process.  The concept of going well beyond “the experts” pushing design can be powerful.  I can’t really do this process justice as it involves a lot of strategies. Those familiar with solution focused therapy, it reminds of activities to “externalize” or “name” the problem.

By designing programs and interfaces with Lego’s, collage, stickers, Post-It’s and even pipe cleaners; participants are able to walk through a concept. One is able to identify flaws and workflow problems. Most importantly discover things you didn’t discover in your basic concept. Learning about this process has a lot of value. This could assist your group or organization with design or even redesign of a program.

I would encourage to watch the rest of the WEBINAR FOUND HERE

Or view the slides..

 

Also stay tuned to “the experts” in design at Mad*Pow on…

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