Prepare for class discussions by answering the discussion questions.
1. Social workers have significant power in some clients’ lives; for example, some social workers have major input into custody decisions made by child protective services. How can a social worker show a client that despite being in a position of power and having the potential to cause negative outcomes for the client, they actually want to work as a team with the client?
2. Are there clients for whom you would have a hard time advocating? What would you do if you and your client had very different perceptions of what the core issue at the foundation of their presenting problem was?
3. What current problems for which social workers engage in advocacy seem most important to you? Which are you most passionate about? What practical steps do you think you could take as a social worker to alleviate some of these social problems that particularly motivate you?
4. All of us have biases and values. However, it’s important that we refrain from using our own biases and values to sway a client toward a particular plan of action. What biases do you have that could bleed into your work with a client? What would be a value conflict you could have with a client that might be difficult for you to understand?