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date: 27 January 2022

Lobbyinglocked

Lobbyinglocked

  • Sunny Harris RomeSunny Harris RomeDepartment of Social Work, George Mason University
  •  and Sabrina Gillan KiserSabrina Gillan KiserThe Salvation Army, Western Territory

Summary

Lobbying is the process of influencing public policy. It involves developing and implementing strategies to persuade those in power. Consistent with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics and the Global Social Statement of Ethical Principles, many social workers participate in lobbying campaigns to advance the well-being of their clients and to promote social justice. Some social workers become professional lobbyists, focusing their careers on government relations work. Successful lobbying involves forming and nurturing relationships with decision-makers and generating and sharing information. Key elements of a lobbying campaign include agenda setting, meeting with policymakers, coalition building, field organizing, testifying, and the strategic use of media. Social work education provides opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for engaging in lobbying efforts. Lobbying activity is regulated by government entities; although social workers and their employers should understand and comply with these rules, social workers are encouraged to remain as active as possible within these parameters. Future challenges include the demand for evidence to support policy recommendations and the inadequate numbers of social workers pursuing lobbying careers. While social workers can apply these concepts to international practice, this entry predominantly focuses on lobbying within the United States.

Subjects

  • Macro Practice
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Social Work Profession

Updated in this version

Content and references updated for the Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work.

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