The Social Work Reinvestment Initiative: Advocacy and Social Work Practice

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In 2006, NASW launched the Social Work Reinvestment Initiative by granting each state chapter $15,000 in seed money to address the most pressing social work needs in the state. This article describes how NASW-SD, with 246 members, launched an epic campaign that resulted in the establishment of the only MSW program in South Dakota. Using historical research methods, this article demonstrates the power of social work advocacy when members unify in pursuit of a common goal and describes how the social workers rallied to educate policymakers and the public on the value of social work and its delivery of necessary social services at all levels and in all fields of practice. The research highlights an uphill battle of advocacy and the skillful planning and implementation of a campaign to secure state funding to establish the first MSW program in the state, at the beginning of the most difficult economic recession since the Great Depression.



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