Policy paper analysis and recommendations for change

 

Submit an integrated 5-8 pp. (not counting references), double-spaced paper incorporating a focused policy analysis and recommendations for improving the selected policy.  The paper should build on the five short paper assignments completed earlier (but should not simply be a “cut and paste” of the earlier work). 

Include the following components (numbered headings are strongly recommended):

1.  Description of the policy itself, including the policy’s (a) purpose; (b) major provisions/components; (c) relationship to one or more social welfare problems/issues; and (d) the population(s) supposed to benefit from the policy.  (If relevant, you may want to include in this section material on historical, political, economic, or ideological factors that provide important context to the policy and so help to understand it.) 

2.  Assess the major impacts (effects/results) of the policy, including (a) material (money or other benefits) impacts on the policy’s target population(s); (b) effects on the systemic factors of race, gender, and class; (c) effects on “community cohesion,” i.e. the set of trusting, reciprocal, interdependent relationships that enable people to prosper, to support one another, and to develop and sustain resilience.

3.  Specify (a) a measurable policy improvement objective; (b) the best policy approach to reaching that objective; and (c) the reason you think that approach is best.  (Nearly always, the preferred policy approach and the reason for picking it will relate to inadequate or negative policy impacts identified in section #2.)

4.  Outline a realistic advocacy plan for achieving the desired policy change.  In the plan, identify (a) formal policy actors (such as elected officials); (b) informal policy actors (such as advocacy organizations and social movement activists), and what they should do; and (c) the role(s) social workers should play in achieving the change. 

5.  Attach a reference page (which does not count to the minimum page total), including at least four relevant citations.

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