Advocacy Practice for Social Justice, 3rd Ed., by Richard Hoefer, Chicago, IL, Lyceum Books, ISBN: 978-1-935871-82-8, 2016, 296 pages, $43.95 paperback.
Social work students need to believe that advocacy practice is something they can handle. Dr. Hoefer responds to this need in the revised edition of his textbook, Advocacy Practice for Social Justice. Dr. Hoefer’s purpose is to help social work students become comfortable with their ability to do advocacy in their upcoming careers.
Hoefer’s “Unified Model of Advocacy” aligns with the familiar generalist practice framework. For example, the “Unified Model” focuses on getting involved, understanding the issue, planning, advocating, evaluating, and ongoing monitoring, while the generalist practice framework includes engagement, assessment, implementation, evaluation, termination, and follow-up.
It is important for students to know that the steps to advocacy practice exclude termination and include ongoing monitoring. Therefore, students face the dilemma of defining ways of continuing advocacy practice over a lifetime of practice. Hoefer frames advocacy skills as education, persuasion, and negotiation. Again, he uses terminology that is student-friendly, thus making advocacy practice easy to understand and implement. By using the “Unified Model,” the most tentative student gains confidence in the knowledge, values, and skills required for advocacy practice.
After using the earlier editions of Hoefer’s text, I am excited to find several new and expanded chapters. First, the new chapter on electronic advocacy reflects current practice methods used in policy and advocacy organizations. The use of the Internet and social media for advocacy matches the tools that today’s students already use. Although students are comfortable with the Web 2.0 format, Hoefer expands their knowledge and builds their skills in competently using the Internet and social media for learning about policies and influencing others toward social change.
Second, Hoefer enhanced a section on distributive justice to include an anti-oppression framework and a discussion on the need for economic justice. With this framework, students gain perspectives on ways to change systems of all sizes and levels that affect people’s well-being, particularly vulnerable populations.
Third, I am pleased to see the inclusion of instructional assistance in each chapter. Hoefer added discussion questions that make connections between current events and advocacy.
Because of the expanded and updated information and chapters, Hoefer’s revised text meets the new CSWE EPAS standards for students’ competencies in policy and advocacy practice behaviors.
Hoefer’s third edition is an excellent text for any policy, advocacy, or community practice courses at the BSW level. Because it offers the knowledge, values, and skills of advocacy practice from a generalist practice perspective, this text easily fits as a secondary text in the MSW specialization tracks and concentrations, such as mental health, health, aging, and child welfare.
Overall, I strongly recommend the third edition of Advocacy Practice for Social Justice for any course in which seeking justice is a focus of the student’s work. Dr. Hoefer continues to promote excellence in social work advocacy practice in this revised text.
Reviewed by Susan T. Parlier, Ph.D., LMSW, ACSW, MAR, Clinical Instructor and former BSW and Social Work Minor Program Coordinator, College of Social Work, University of South Carolina.