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SSA Reflective Essay

Decent Essays
My goal in coming to SSA was to gain the theoretical knowledge and skillset needed to be an effective social work administrator at the federal level. Specifically, I wanted to learn the research and best practices for supporting and empowering some of our nation’s most vulnerable populations—children, mothers, and women living in poverty—in order to implement effective social policy. I strongly believe that to be an effective policymaker, I needed to understand the needs of human services policy beneficiaries and service-users and how these individuals are shaped by their social, physical, and emotional environments. The direct practice curriculum exposed me to a variety of tools, such as anti-oppressive practice, cultural competency framework,…show more content…
Current social policies often pathologize or penalize families that differ from a defined norm, ignoring the fact that families are diverse in composition and background and that the notion of a “normal family” is a falsity. By employing family systems theory, I will work to advance an inclusive perspective of what constitutes a family unit, and honor blended families, foster families, adoptive families, single-parent families, multi-general families, multicultural and multi-lingual, immigrant families, and other families that differ from “the norm.” I will act to make connections “between families and existing social, political, economic, and environmental structures;” to understand “structural conditions that impact family well-being;” and to ensure that families have access to resources needed to support change, growth, and positive development (Morgaine & Capous-Desyllas, 2015, p. 204). For example, I am passionate about social policies that have a dual- or multi-generational impact, such as childcare or universal preschool. I intend to employ the knowledge of FST in designing and implementing these policies to help families empower…show more content…
According to Morgaine and Capous-Desyllas (2015), this viewpoint acknowledges that individuals cannot by fully empowered until society is transformed. However, my manifesto deviates slightly from Malcolm Payne’s vision in that I will be working within existing systems—the federal government—to enact this change rather than organizing individuals to overhaul the current system. By working to incorporate anti-oppressive practices, cultural competency, family systems theory, positive youth development, and practice-informed policy, I will gradually change society by designing and implementing policy that pursues social justice and challenges individuals to change their systems so that those most marginalized and oppressed in society can gain power over their own lives (Morgaine & Capous-Desyllas,
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