Social Policy, Justice, & Advocacy – SOWK 625

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 09/18/2023

Course Description

Social Justice, Policy, and Advocacy addresses social policy and advocacy from a social and environmental justice perspective. Students will have the opportunity to assess policy, recognizing the influence it has on individuals, groups, organizations, and communities. Students will engage in advocacy for socially just policies.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Social workers advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.  Students will learn to professionally advocate for research-informed social policy.   

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will engage in course discussion regarding relevant course content. The student will engage with content from the required text for a total of three Discussions to critically think through the impact of personal values and experiences, the role of fear and power in stigmatization, and the application of the Takahashi Model of Stigmatization to an infographic. Each thread must be at least 400 words and each reply must be at least 200 words.

(CLO A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I) (Dimensions: Knowledge, Values, Skills, Cognitive and Affective Processes)

The Legislative Analysis is a compilation of research to promote social justice in policy practice as a catalyst for change. Identification of legislative initiatives will create opportunities for advocacy surrounding awareness, systemic change and broad social change. The student will research a current policy focused on one of the 13 Grand Challenges for Social Work. 

The student will identify and track throughout the semester the piece of legislation related to the Grand Challenge in either the House of Representative or the Senate from website. For the first part of this legislative analysis, the student will write a summary of the legislation following set guidelines given in the assignment instructions.

(CLO E, D) (Dimensions: Knowledge, Values, Skills, Cognitive and Affective Processes)

The student will increase awareness of the cycle of policy change through the creation of an infographic demonstrating an understanding of history of policy studies and the sequence of stages including agenda setting, policy formulation, decision-making, policy implementation, and policy evaluation. 

A combination of the previous analyses with this analysis builds toward the development of the final evaluation product. This specific analysis involves an infographic showing the cycle of policy change, as described in Module 3 readings (Broer Module 3, Howlett & Giest, and Shiffman) specifically related to the chosen legislative bill. This will be a research-informed and comprehensive infographic based on scholarly sources.

(CLO A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H) (Dimensions: Knowledge, Values, Skills, Cognitive and Affective Processes)

The student will create comprehensive knowledge of the cycle of policy change by combining all components of their previous legislative analyses. This final part includes the identification of legislative initiative, the stages of change infographic as an appendix, and the final product analysis through the option of two frameworks discussed in the required reading.

In critically thinking through all previous analyses the student will produce the final written evaluation in a research paper using a chosen template related to policy frameworks found in the required text, Broers, from either the Generalist Intervention Model (GIM) described in Module 3 or Appendix C described in Module 5.

The student will present an abbreviated version of their comprehensive policy analysis in a Fact Sheet. 

A minimum of 3 or more scholarly sources as found in the comprehensive legislative analysis to prepare a Fact Sheet (visual or list format) with a minimum of three points related to the importance and relevancy of their chosen legislation.

(CLO A, C, E, F) (Dimensions: Knowledge, Values, Skills)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the Module: Week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain either 5 or 10 multiple-choice questions, and have no time limit. The student will have 2 attempts to complete each quiz with the highest points earned counting toward the final course grade.