Preparing for the ASWB exam, it's easy to get caught up the small details of micro practice (eg, "How many weeks of depression before it can be considered a Major Depressive Episode?"). But don’t sleep on macro practice. Macro practice is a big part of social work--don’t be surprised to see macro practice questions on the licensing exam.

What’s macro practice? Examples of macro practice in social work include.

  • Policy advocacy. Social workers engage in advocating for policy changes at local, state, or national levels to address social issues and promote social justice.
  • Community organizing. Social workers facilitate community organizing efforts to mobilize community members, build collective power, and address community-level problems.
  • Program development and management. Social workers design, develop, and manage social service programs and initiatives that aim to address systemic issues and improve community well-being.
  • Research and evaluation. Social workers engage in research and evaluation activities to gather data, analyze social problems, and inform evidence-based practices and policies.
  • Grant writing and fundraising. Social workers may be involved in securing funding through grant writing and fundraising efforts to support social service programs and initiatives.
  • Leadership and administration. Social workers take on leadership roles within organizations and agencies, overseeing and directing operations, policies, and practices to address social issues on a larger scale.
  • Social policy analysis. Social workers analyze existing social policies to assess their impact on vulnerable populations and advocate for changes that promote social and economic justice.
  • Program planning and community development. Social workers engage in strategic planning and community development initiatives to address community needs, promote social cohesion, and enhance community resources.

TL;DR: Macro practice in social work focuses on addressing social issues and creating systemic change through policy, community engagement, program development, research, and leadership.

Here’s a quick community organizing practice question to help get you macro-focused:

Which of the following best describes the primary goal of community organizing?

A) Promoting individual self-sufficiency. 

B) Advocating for social justice and equity. 

C) Increasing the utilization of community resources. 

D) Facilitating interpersonal connections within the community.

What’s your answer?

Not sure? What’s your best guess?

Community organizing is a social work practice that aims to create social change by empowering individuals, groups, and communities. While promoting individual self-sufficiency (option A) and increasing the utilization of community resources (option C) are important aspects of community development, they are not the primary goals of community organizing.

Facilitating interpersonal connections within the community (option D) is another important aspect of community building and social cohesion. However, it is also not the primary goal of community organizing.

The correct answer is B) Advocating for social justice and equity.

Community organizers generally work to address systemic (macro!) issues, challenge inequalities, and empower marginalized groups. They seek to create a more just and equitable society by addressing structural barriers, advocating for policy changes, and fostering community engagement.

Got it? Great.

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July 3, 2023
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