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The Australian Association of Social Workers and Social Policy Debates: A Strategy for the Future?

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It has been argued that the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) not only has a mandate, but also an important role to play in influencing social debates for the benefit of the users of social services and, further, that as a professional association, it is ideally positioned to do so. However, the AASW has been criticised for failing to meet this mandate and have any lasting impact on the formulation of social policy. In the present article, the author considers the process by which the AASW engages in social policy debates and speculates on the historical, cultural, and structural factors that may impede its ability to do so. From this analysis, strategies are suggested for the AASW to increase its impact on the formulation of social policy.
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Keywords: Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW); Professional Social Work; Social Policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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