Walden University WK 5 Policy Practitioner in Society Issues Discussion

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Respond to your colleagues’ by describing at least 3 actions a policy practitioner can take to move a social issue from obscurity to attention and consideration from those in positions of power.

Use Reference

DB 1


Many social issues do not receive the necessary attention from decision makers. Why might these issues be cast aside?

One of the reasons social issues do not receive the necessary attention or support could be the amount of time and effort that goes into proposals. According to Jansson (2018),” Legislators often avoid issues that appear to give them little or no political advantage in reelection” p.179.Policy makers are intentional when it comes to addressing issues, if an issue does not gain them or their constituents support, they are less likely to be attracted to it (Jansson, 2018).

Some issues lack sufficient support to ensure that they are added to decision-makers’ agendas. Why might this be?

Other reasons for a lack of support could be a lack of resources which includes funding and staff, to help support the issue; or the issue could cause conflict (Jansson, 2018). According to Jansson (2018),” Legislators must limit the number of issues they consider and must prioritize them” p.177.There are many issues that could be presented but decision-makers do not have the time to attend to each issue with the detail that may be needed (Jansson, 2018). In order for an issue to gain attention, social workers must use inside tactics and outside tactics. Inside tactics work directly with decision-makers to help lobby for change (Edwards, & Hoefer, 2010). Outside tactics are groups who put pressure on the decision-makers (Edwards, & Hoefer, 2010).

Some issues receive significant attention from decision makers. Why might these issues easily find their way onto decision makers’ agendas?

The issues that gain attention from decision-makers are those that further their personal interest or the interest of their constituents (Jansson, 2018). Sometimes an issue gains attention due to web 2.0, the use of social media. Social workers can utilize advocacy skills by using social marketing, conduct policy-related research to help influence decision-makers, and educating the public to gain their buy in (Jansson, 2018).

Edwards, H., & Hoefer, R. (2010). Are Social Work Advocacy Groups Using Web 2.0 Effectively? Journal of Policy Practice, 9(3/4), 220–239. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1080/15588742.2010.489037.

Jansson, B. S. (2018). Becoming an effective policy advocate: From policy practice to social justice. (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning Series.

DB 2



Why might many social issues get cast aside?

There are a number of reasons certain social issues get cast aside. One is that the issue may be seen as unclear or insignificant if they would clash with issues of importance to those in power (“Policy Agenda,” 2002). Another is that some issues do not necessitate action by the government and should be handled in the private sector (“Policy Agenda,” 2002). Also, some issues never get on the agenda due to missing information, they can be postponed until an investigatory panel can be convened, or they can be replaced on the agenda by issues that are easier to deal with instead (“Policy Agenda,” 2002).

Why might some issues lack sufficient support to ensure they are added to decision-makers’ agendas?

The “power elite” generally do not support issues that go against the status quo and established privilege they enjoy (“Policy Agenda,” 2002). Those in power are not neutral and control access by outsiders by resisting outside support of issues they do not favor (“Policy Agenda,” 2002). These people “generally accommodate the wishes of clients and care little for adequate public representation (“Policy Agenda,” 2002).

Why might some issues easily find their way into decision-makers’ agendas?

One reason some issues find their way onto the agenda is that the large majority of those that initiate policy issues and participate in national or civic debates on policy are political leaders (“Policy Agenda,” 2002). In cases where political leaders want a policy passed, they may support another politician with his issue to get their own item onto the agenda (“Policy Agenda,” 2002). Another reason is thar3e viewed as too powerful to ignore, others are held in high esteem, and the decision-maker may be part of a group that supports the policy (“Policy Agenda,” 2002). With this support, these groups have the ability to mobilize voters and gain their support also (“Policy Agenda,” 2002). Some groups have more access to different levels and branches of the government (“Policy Agenda,” 2002).


“Policy Agenda”. (2002, Summer). Retrieved December 31, 2020, from https://web.csulb.edu/~msaintg/ppa590/agenda.htm

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