Describe the schism that developed between Jane Addams and Mary Richmond with respect to an understanding of the social work profession through policy advocacy and action.

Jane Addams believed that social condition was the cause of poverty and welfare concerns being an advocate for social action. Addams worked on changing policies by improving social conditions that have been affecting different populations. On the other hand, Mary Richmond believed the people were responsible for their situation and rehabilitation would help with their individual needs . Jane worked more on the macro level and Mary worked more on the micro and mezzo level. They both worked to help people and the community but at different levels.

Describe similar schisms that exist in contemporary social work.

A schism that exists in contemporary social work is the division of micro, mezzo, and macro levels. There are social workers that are not interested in working in a macro level and stick to the micro and mezzo level. Very few are known to work in the macro level which we do need social workers in the macro level in order to continue improving social conditions. Jansson (2018) states how other politicians (nonsocial workers) can make a decision that would affect the people even more unless there were social workers taking their place that have more knowledge about what the communities and the people need. It would be great if policies were changed by social workers to address social conditions, but I have never taken an interest in macro. There is a need of social workers in all levels in this time and they are mostly focusing on helping the client in a micro and mezzo level.

Explain how the contemporary schisms prevent social workers from fulfilling their ethical obligation(s).

NASW’s code of ethic shares how social workers are to help individuals concerns but also the social injustice at the same time. Social works have just been providing therapy and other micro/mezzo services, but not wanting or taking an interest in trying to change policy to improve social conditions. On the other hand, NASW also shares how social workers should continue to grow within their area of competence. Contemporary schism prevents social workers form fulling their ethical obligation maybe because a lot of the social’s workers are overloaded in their cases and there no room to think about working in a macro level. There are a lot social workers needed to help individuals and I think that is the most important area that social workers are trying to focus on to bring down the caseloads. There’s also a need for social workers in a macro level and maybe social workers do not have enough education about becoming an advocate or it is time consuming that some people want to stick with micro/mezzo levels.


Jansson, B. S. (2018). Becoming an effective policy advocate from policy making practice to social justice. (8th ed.). 1-28.

National Association of Social Workers. (2021) Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers.

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