Nonpartisan voter engagement is central to social work's mission, professional mandate and impact. Schools of social work can be effective catalysts for increasing voter turnout and political power in the communities and clients served by the profession
Nationally, social workers touch 12 million people a day. They work with marginalized populations in all types of organizations, including state agencies, schools, health centers and nonprofit organizations. Supporting people to vote values communities’ own power and voice to effect change.
Below are ideas and resources to get your school started!
- Visit our field education tool kit.
- Share our fact sheets with faculty, agencies and students: Social Work Education's Role in Voter Turnout and Agencies Role in Voter Turnout
- Add content on the importance of voting to your class.
- 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.
- Build students' civic IQ, confidence and political efficacy by giving them opportunities to apply what they learn! Get ideas from our Sample assignments for class and field education and having them complete the Voting in your state worksheet to learn more about the rules and deadlines that apply.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.