Laura Dresser, Clinical Assistant Professor | UW-Madison School of Social Work


Hi, and welcome to
the School of Social Work at UW-Madison! I’m Laura Dresser, and I teach Social Work practice in policy and administration in the field seminar. This is the critical work in Social Work at the community, system, and policy level, and an area where the social justice values of the profession are put into practice. I’ve worked for more than two decades in this state on policy, research, and advocacy for low wage workers, for programs to support working families, and to develop new policy frameworks to overcome inequality. In this field unit, we will learn from each other and from leaders in the field. We identify critical issues and approaches inside agencies and consider advocacy for for change inside agencies, and more broadly as well. We build understanding of systems– political systems, policy systems, economic systems– and use that knowledge to help inform practical, policy advocacy, and program development skills. Macro practice field placements take place across all focus areas of the program. These placements are in a variety of government organizations, human service agencies, advocacy and community settings. Activities in the field range widely: working on client flow models, developing grant proposals, reviewing best practices, designing and supporting community engagement processes, developing formal administrative policies, and more. This field unit is for second-year students and the placement and coursework are designed to develop advanced competencies in Social Policy and administration. The diversity of placements of students allows for rich discussion in seminar about approaches to change at organizational and policy levels. . If you are interested in social change and social justice, this is the field unit for you. I’m happy to talk with you personally about this field unit, potential jobs in the area, and any other questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me. I would love to talk to you more. Thanks.

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