Igniting the Fire: Creating and Sustaining Innovation in Macro Social Work Practice #MacroSW 10/23, 9pm EST
- How do we build macro social work innovation?
- How do we build macro social work in a sustainable way?
- Lots of individual shops, but not working together
- Even when working together, where is quality?
- How can macro social workers become more influential? How can we lead the conversations?
- How can social workers make an impact NOW?
- Development, Impact, & You (DIY): Practical Tools to Trigger & Support Social Innovation
- Innovation in Social Work: Where Does it Come From?
- If Steve Jobs Had Been a Social Worker
#MacroSW chats is a live Twitter chat the focuses on macro social work practice. It takes place on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month at 9:00 PM EST. The chat is a collaboration between the Association of Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA), University of Southern California – School of Social Work, the University at Buffalo – School of Social Work, The Network for Social Work Management (NSWM), and Karen Zgoda, Instructor at Bridgewater State University.
(Editor’s note: I am a copy editor at JSWVE)
The term papers will be collected by the JSWVE editorial board and judged by a board of professionals not associated with JSWVE. Winning papers will be published in the Fall 2015 issue of the Journal.
Details for the contest are:
- Must have a central theme of social work values or social work ethics
- Must be written as an MSW or BSW student (student may have graduated)
- Must be nominated by a faculty member (the nominating professor’s name will be published)
- Must follow the general manuscript submission guidelines found at
- Must be in APA citation style (except NO headers, NO footers, and NO page numbers)
- Deadline for submission: May 15, 2015
- Paper must be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy sent to
- Winning term papers will be published in The Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics in the fall
issues of 2015.
- Judges will be professionals who are NOT associated with the JSWVE editorial board
Judging criteria will include:
- Demonstration of Critical Thinking
- Relevance to Theme of Social Work Values and Ethics
- Relevance and Interest of Essay to Social Work Students, Practitioners, and/or Academics
- Coverage of the Topic
- Use of Relevant, Scholarly Citations
- Coherence (flow of ideas)
- Quality of Writing (literary competence, spelling, grammar, organization)
- Originality (of topic, ideas, and/or arguments)
What are best practices in evaluating practice? What have you found to be helpful in integrating evaluation into your practice? What do you need to be better at evaluating practice? Join us as we discuss evaluating practice and share best practices!
Chat discussion questions:
- What are the current goals of the program? What does the literature say about this phenomenon in terms of program intervention?
- What kinds of data will evaluators need? What is readily available? Are government statistics relevant, for example? Does the agency keep data that might be useful? With whom might evaluators want to gather information? Agency directors? Middle-level staff? Clients?
- What type of design makes the most sense and why?
- What type of data collection tools would be most appropriate?
- How will the evaluation address culture and social contexts?
- What limitations will this evaluation present? What obstacles might evaluators encounter and how would one counter these obstacles?
- Having already identified the primary stakeholders, how would one disseminate the results of the program evaluation?
“Collaboration is an unnatural action among non-consenting adults.” Eugene Bardach (as cited in Chever, Clifton, & Hogan, 2005)
For our next #macrosw Twitter chat, we’ll be focusing on collaboration as an example of macro social work practice. As you may know, I conducted a long-term, qualitative evaluation of an interagency collaboration program called Charlestown Connects for my dissertation. The Charlestown Connects program sought to improve community outcomes via interagency collaboration between local government and nonprofit agencies. Building on a prior evaluation, this study examined how the processes involved in the Charlestown Connects interagency collaboration evolved and long-term intervention effects. Using qualitative interviews with program stakeholders and observations of community meetings sponsored by Charlestown Connects, this study provides guidance on improving interagency collaborations for social workers and others engaging in community work. Major findings include the impact of interagency collaboration relationship building, an examination of factors and processes that helped grow and sustain the collaboration, and implications for the role macro social work may play in leading community infrastructure rebuilding efforts in the future.
Questions for discussion:
- How can macro social workers make an impact in our communities?
- How do we engage modern social workers in community practice work?
- How can social workers help rebuild community communication infrastructure?
- What resources do you need to get more involved in community work?
- Alameda County Public Health Department (2004). A handbook for participatory community: Assessments experiences from Alameda County. Retrieved from: http://www.livingknowledge.org/livingknowledge/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/3-AC-01-Participatory-community-assessments.pdf
- Bronstein (2003). A model for interdisciplinary collaboration. Social Work, 48(3),297-306.
- Cheever, K., Clifton, R., & Hogan, A. (2005). The best and the brightest: Fostering innovation and community involvement in small Colorado communities. The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, 10(1), 1–15.
- Polivka (1995). A conceptual model for community interagency collaboration. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 27(2), 110-115.
- White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative
- Association for Community Organizing and Social Administration (ACOSA), @acosaorg
- Network for Social Work Management (NSWM), @TheNSWM
- Social Work Helper, @deonahooper
- University at Buffalo School of Social Work, @ubssw
- University of Southern California School of Social Work, @mswatusc
- The Macro Social Work Student Network, @MSWSN
UPDATE: Complete chat archive here! Here are some chat highlights:
UPDATE: More chat highlights here:
Between resubmitting dissertation revisions (for those of you counting at home it has now been a year of back and forth edits…ugh) and working five jobs this semester, life RAM and morale are pretty low these days. It will likely stay this way for the next seven weeks when teaching two courses will end. Couldn’t have said it better myself:
- WHEN: The chats will be held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 9:00 PM EST.
- WHAT: An awesome new series of Twitter chats over the next few weeks discussing macro social work practice, policy, and collaboration.
- WHO: Myself and colleagues from the Association for Community Organizing and Social Administration (ACOSA), the Network for Social Work Management (NSWM), Social Work Helper, the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, the University of Southern California School of Social Work, social workers and others interested in discussing macro social work practice.
Over the past year I have written often about the findings in the Rothman Report, which you can read below. The report found that macro social work is in trouble. Schools of social work are increasingly cutting out macro focused courses, there are few macro field placements available, and faculty and administration are actively discouraging students from pursuing community practice work.
Following the publication of the report, ACOSA formed a commission that was tasked with expanding on the research in the report and coming up with solutions to the concerns raised. Recently the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) wrote an article about the Rothman Commision. You can find that article here.
UPDATE: Read the chat transcript here: View the story “#MacroSW Chat Recap (3/13/14)” on Storify