Nonpartisan voter engagement is central to social work's mission, professional mandate and impact. Students need to understand the important connection between voting and healthy communities, and they need the skills to include voting into their social work practice.
Below are best practices, ideas and resources to get you started:
- Add training on voting as a social work intervention into a required course or seminar.
- Share this Social Work and VotER recorded webinar and corresponding webinar slides.
- Invite speakers to your class/event (for ideas contact, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Build students' civic IQ, confidence and political efficacy by giving them opportunities to apply what they learn! Get ideas from our Sample assignments.
- Share our fact sheets with faculty, agencies and students: Social Work Education's Role in Voter Turnout and Agencies Role in Voter Turnout
- Add voter activities to students' educational contracts, which tie to all nine CSWE competencies. Here is an Example Practice Activities for Voter Engagement along with this Sample letter to Field Agencies about your school's voter engagement initiative.
- Support clients to vote and be counted with this voter engagement worksheet for organizations
- Know who represents you! This simple worksheet (Know Your Elected Officials) can be used in classrooms or workshops to build awareness of the three levels of government, how to contact elected officials and find local resources.
- Know the facts! Nonpartisan voter activities by social workers, nonprofit organizations and most government agencies is legal, ethical and professional. Nonprofit Vote’s 501(c)(3) Fact Sheet.
- Share student student success. Twenty Ways to Make Voting Matter! lists examples students provided from an urban school of social work for a policy assignment about their agencies' practices related to voter engagement.
The Humphreys Institute has developed an evidence-based model for integrating nonpartisan voter education into classroom and field education for schools of social work. For more information, contact Tanya Rhodes Smith at email@example.com.