State legislator perceptions of the political advocacy involvement of nonprofit human service organizations

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dc.contributor Phelps, Carroll
dc.contributor Alameda-Lawson, Tania
dc.contributor Pollio, David E.
dc.contributor Grayson, Marissa
dc.contributor.advisor Smith, Brenda D. Knierim, Matthew Thomas 2017-07-28T14:13:00Z 2017-07-28T14:13:00Z 2017
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0002686
dc.identifier.other Knierim_alatus_0004D_13037
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Advocacy has long been a central tenant of the social work profession. From its inception, the profession of social work has considered itself a vehicle for social change by providing a voice for those who have been traditionally oppressed, marginalized and underrepresented in the decision making processes that impact their lives. As a result, social workers, the majority of which are employed within the nonprofit sector, have a unique opportunity and a professional obligation to leverage their knowledge and skills with the resources and reach of their organizations to advance the interests and increase the well-being of those they serve though political advocacy. Yet, despite their importance in the delivery of social services, the current body of literature suggests that there is not a corresponding level of political engagement among social workers, and consequently by nonprofit human service organizations (NHSOs). In order to better understand the political advocacy involvement of NHSOs, a pragmatic qualitative approach was employed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 state legislators, in order to answer the research question, “How do state legislators perceive the political advocacy involvement of nonprofit human service organizations in the policymaking process?” Thematic analysis of the data yielded five themes: that perceived advocacy involvement by NHSOs was mixed, that legislators saw a clear opportunity for NHSOs to influence policy decisions, that NHSOs often lack an understanding of the political process, that legislators recognized capacity issues create challenges for some NHSOs interested in advocacy, and that legislators perceived relationships to be the most valuable political currency for NHSOs. These findings not only provide something of a snapshot of the current state of nonprofit political advocacy, but also provide novel and important insights into the perceived participation and the impact of NHSOs in the policymaking process at the state level. Furthermore, these findings also have important implications for social work practice and social work education. These implications, as well as some preliminary strategies to increase the advocacy participation and effectiveness of advocacy efforts of NHSOs, are presented.
dc.format.extent 104 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Social work
dc.subject.other Public policy
dc.title State legislator perceptions of the political advocacy involvement of nonprofit human service organizations
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. School of Social Work Social Work The University of Alabama doctoral Ph.D.

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