Session: Building Advocacy Skills to Translate Your Research Findings into Policy Solutions (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

283 Building Advocacy Skills to Translate Your Research Findings into Policy Solutions

Sunday, January 19, 2020: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Liberty Ballroom N, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Social Work Practice (SWP)
Joan Zlotnik, PhD, ACSW, National Association of Social Workers, Sunny Rome, JD, MSW, George Mason University and Denise Juliano-Bult, MSW, National Institute of Mental Health
The current political landscape is increasing concerns about civil and human rights, access to affordable health care, immigrant rights, quality education, and economic well-being. It is more imperative than ever to effectively use data and research findings to make the case for achieving racial and economic equality, and improving services and public policies that support these goals. Persons and communities that experience racial and economic inequality are often the focus of social work research, and the values and ethical code of the social work profession drive social workers toward pursuit of social justice. Thus, social work research findings need to reach policy makers. Yet researchers and policymakers often remain in their own silos, speaking different languages. Manuscripts published by social work researchers rarely reach the attention of those in a position to influence policy. When they do, they may fail to convey important findings in a format that policymakers find accessible and persuasive. Rarely are researchers trained to systematically shape policy outcomes. The purpose of this Workshop, led by individuals experienced in both research and policy practice, is to enhance the ability of social work researchers to (1) translate and package their research in ways that maximize its impact with policy audiences, (2) develop strategies to effectively communicate with policy-makers and policy influencers, and, (3) build partnerships with key stakeholders who have the skills and connections to effect policy change.

The workshop leaders, using examples targeted to reducing racial and economic inequalities, will (1) demonstrate strategies for communicating research findings to both the legislative and executive branches of government; (2) share examples of how social work research has successfully been used to influence policy outcomes, and (3) provide guidance on the how advocacy organizations, coalitions, and expert workgroups use research to influence policy. The presenters will demonstrate practical tips for translating research findings into briefs and fact sheets and will facilitate an exploration of potential partnerships between researchers and policy professionals.

Participants will have the opportunity to describe their research in policy-relevant language; volunteer to be part of research/policymaker role plays; critique briefs of research findings; and, explore steps that they can take to have their research influence policymakers. Time will be reserved for discussion.

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