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Policy brief on access to mental health care barriers for Medicaid recipients Why Per the NASW Code of Ethics (n.d.) a social worker’s ethical responsibility to the broader society asserts that “social workers should engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully” (section 6.04 Social and Political Action). Advocating for social justice policies enables us to promote equity in our society. A policy brief is a tool for providing policy advice and advocating for a desired solution to a social problem or challenge. They are a short document which provides findings and recommendations to an audience who may not be experts in the area of need. What For this assignment, you will create a policy brief on a social problem of your choosing. This project offers the opportunity to think and learn more about a population/ social problem related to inequality/ disparity and how policy affects this issue at the local, state, or national level(s). When considering and examining disparities, consider three common dimensions of the issue: inequalities in outcomes; inequalities in access; and inequalities in quality and/or quantity of services and care received. As you do this, you may also consider and explore both physical and mental health disparities (if they intersect). Please note that there are always interactive effects when examining inequalities and disparities (e.g. female African American experiences). Your work should centrally focus on the population you chose, but you may also need to refer to other demographic and socioeconomic positions in the assignment (e.g., while the intersectionality of being African American and female contribute to the disparity you are reviewing, there are further differences between women of higher versus lower socioeconomic statuses within this population). For this policy brief, you will present an overview of central disparity(ies) in health/mental health/health care experienced by the group you are examining, highlighting the issue(s) that are the focus (i.e. those you are targeting for change) of your policy brief. The policy brief will have the following components: Audience – To whom is the brief addressed? (which legislative committee will be receiving the brief). Central issue – Disparity addressed (Define the problem. What is the scope of the problem and why should they care?). Relevant background (including factual information w/ references). Recommendations about how to address the disparity via policy. Delineate 1 to 3 specific policy actions that will address the problem. Rationale for the recommendations. Make your case here. Display and describe relevant data. You may use tables or figures. Expected outcomes. Discuss the impacts and implications of both action and inaction. Funding Considerations/Sources How Policy briefs are concise and persuasive documents. It should be used to set the scope of the problem, address one or more issues and advocate for a specific policy change. Your brief will be addressed to a legislative body in the position to help bring this change about (i.e., local, state, or national). The target audience for the brief are the members of the legislative committee that will be holding hearings on the proposal. You should include a reference list, including at minimum, 5-6 citations/sources of information about your topic. Your brief should not exceed six, double spaced pages with 12-point font, one-inch margins and clear headers. Policy Brief Analysis Rubric Policy Brief Analysis Rubric Criteria Ratings Pts This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Completion Brief complies with specific guidelines provided by the instructor. • Paper sufficiently addresses each topic specified on the class syllabus and Canvas. • Paper meets page-count requirements. 4 pts Excellent 3.28 pts Above Average 2.8 pts Average 2.4 pts Below Average 2 pts Needs Significant Attention 4 pts This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Organization Brief is well-organized • An introduction/overview clearly describes the central issue. • Body of the brief relates directly to the issue described in the title and introduction. • Conclusion clearly articulates how the policy addresses the issue. • Headings are used appropriately. • Paragraphs are focused on one topic • Transition phrases and sentences help the reader move smoothly from one idea to the next. 4 pts Excellent 3.28 pts Above Average 2.8 pts Average 2.4 pts Below Average 2 pts Needs Significant Attention 4 pts This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Development Brief reflects careful critical thought and is fully developed yet concise. • Writer defines terms that are key to the central topic. • Writer develops each new idea or content area with relevant and specific supporting evidence. • Writer consistently interprets the relevance of supporting evidence. • Writer fully explores the central issue, disparities, and relevant background. • Writer fully explores recommendation(s), rationale, and outcomes. 10 pts Excellent 8.2 pts Above Average 7 pts Average 6 pts Below Average 5 pts Needs Significant Attention 10 pts This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Clarity Sentences are clear and coherent; unnecessary jargon is avoided • There are few proofreading errors. • Sentences are concise and/or easily understood • Word choice is appropriate and precise. • Writer uses punctuation and mechanics proficiently. • Writer uses active voice most of the time. 4 pts Excellent 3.28 pts Above Average 2.8 pts Average 2.4 pts Below Average 2 pts Needs Significant Attention 4 pts This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Credibility Writer uses APA style to cite a variety of credible sources. • Writer uses outside sources including experts, scholarly articles, relevant unbiased print media, and personal experience to support a central idea or argument. • Paraphrases seem appropriately reworded. • Writer use quotation marks for direct quotes. • In-text citations contain necessary information. • Reference page is in proper format and corresponds with in-text citations. Note: Reference page is not required. However, if you cite information that is not part of the assigned course materials, then add the reference at the bottom of your reflection. 8 pts Excellent 6.56 pts Above Average 5.6 pts Average 4.8 pts Below Average 4 pts Needs Significant Attention 8 pts
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