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Influencing State Policy (ISP) assists social work faculty and students in learning to effectively influence the formation, implementation, and evaluation of state - level policy and legislation. Please explore our site to learn more about ISP and use the resources provided.

The National Research Conference on Child and Family Programs and Policy is among the first of research conferences to exclusively focus on policy issues pertaining to child and family well-being. The conference draws in researchers from many disciplines including family studies, psychology, sociology, social work, public policy, political science, economics, criminal justice, child development, and many others; practitioners from social and human services; and policy/decision-makers who are concerned about programming and policy to support child and family well-being. For more information please go to our website.

It's time to apply for the ISP State Policy Contest and the Robert L. Schneider Ph.D. Award!

Please remember to renew your membership!

Winners in ISP Contests

The Robert L. Schneider Ph.D. Award goes to Dennis Kao from the University of Southern California School of Social Work for his dissertation study of the effectiveness of state language policies in addressing the disparities in accessing health care between immigrant and US-born populations. 

The MSW Award goes to Maria Conforti, Cynthia Mulac, Jennifer Ross, Adria Paya, and Tiffany Roland from Dominican University and Charlie Stoops, faculty mentor, for  their efforts to include $100 million  for affordable housing in the Illinois Capital Budget to alleviate homelessness in the state.

These MSW winners noted in their entry, “The group learned that legislators rely on lobbyists and advocates to provide them with the ‘cliff notes’ version (fact sheets, personal stories) of many different important issues in order to make sound decisions on subjects they may not know enough about that will affect many people.  Legislators are generalists, and advocates are the specialists…”  They conclude with the importance of understanding policy and how it affects practice and people’s lives.

The BSW Award goes to Rachel Yoder and her faculty mentor, Christine Fulmer at Cedarville University, for her efforts to fight the high interest rates of payday lending in Ohio.

Rachel concluded her entry, “I now see advocacy as seeking social justice and work to achieve change that will better the life of your client, community, and society as a whole, while ultimately holding onto the hope of a fair and just society.  Through this campaign I learned social workers are powerful advocates by themselves, but when they join together they can become an unstoppable force.”  ISP hopes that this contest serves to inspire a number of students to understand their own efficacy in this same way.

I know ISP members join me in congratulating all these students for their accomplishments so early in their careers and their demonstration of how to influence state policy.  A hearty round of applause!

Contests for 2010

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Dr. Kathy Byers | (812) 855-4427 | kvbyers@indiana.edu