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However, unlike micro social work (sometimes referred to as direct practice or clinical social work), macro social work does not focus on assessing and addressing people’s problems through one-on-one or even small group assessments, diagnosis, counseling, and treatment.
Macro social work is a broad field that centers on the investigation of larger scale social problems, and the development and implementation of social interventions that aim to effect positive change at the community, state, and national levels.
Macro social work encompasses such practices as social work research, program development for small and large communities, program evaluation, community-based education initiatives, policy analysis and advocacy, non-profit administration and leadership, and organizational development.
In an interview with Online MSWPrograms.com, Amy Beaulieu, LCSW, who is a licensed clinical social worker and program development specialist in Bloomington, Indiana, described her program development responsibilities in her past role as a Policy Associate for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
“I helped develop ideas for systems improvement initiatives alongside managers at DHHS based on needs assessments that I helped to conduct or that were done by their own staff,” she told Online MSWPrograms.com, “Priorities for program development were often in line with funding priorities and federal program improvement guidelines.
Community outreach specialists can also be independent consultants hired on contract by non-profit agencies and associations that need help in reaching or positively impacting their target audiences. West, LMSW, who owns her own advocacy and community outreach consultancy, told Online MSWPrograms.com, “As a consultant I provide advocacy and community outreach solutions to nonprofits and social good organizations.
In addition to consultancy work with organizations, I offer career coaching to helping professionals as well as consultation and training to private practice clinicians on the use of social media.” Due to the broad and diverse nature of macro social work as a field, the path to entering macro social work may look different for each individual.
Due to the wide variety of responsibilities and roles that fall under macro social work, social workers in this field can work in many different settings, including but not limited to political advocacy groups, universities and other research institutions, non-profits and volunteer organizations, and government think tanks.
Specific macro social work roles include but are not limited to policy advocates and analysts, community and human services specialists, program development specialists, and research associates and analysts.
Karamoko Andrews, LMSW, who works as a Public Health Social Work Consultant for New York City Human Resources Administration’s Department of Social Services, explained to Online how he provides guidance, support, and systems advising to staff members and contracted vendors of New York City’s We CARE program.
“[We CARE] assists individuals who are recipients of public assistance and may have a medical or mental health barrier to employment,” Mr. “As an onsite representative of We CARE Operations, I provide consultation to the contracted provider on service administration and delivery; which may include information systems related issues, policy interpretation and resolution of programmatic issues.