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Navigating Policy and Practice in the Great Recession

Stacey Borasky and Miguel Ferguson

Publication Date - 22 June 2018

ISBN: 9780190871086

152 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Navigating Policy and Practice in the Great Recession uses an engrossing narrative to explore issues and themes in policy practice, leadership, and non-profit management.


Navigating Policy and Practice in the Great Recession is a fictional narrative that follows Martha White, the intrepid executive director of a small non-profit organization, as she navigates policy practice and demonstrates enlightened administrative leadership in the years during and following the Great Recession. Based on the authors' 20-plus years of experience in non-profit management and the evaluation of more than 40 welfare-to-work programs, the narrative encompasses a broad range of policies, programs, and critical issues related to macro-practice and organizational leadership. Readers will be exposed to the causes and consequences of the Great Recession and learn the real-life implications of policy and practice on the lives of vulnerable families and the social service system. Engaging for students and helpful for professors, the text is ideal for to social work, social policy, and social justice introductory courses.


  • Serves as uniquely accessible book that uses narrative dialogue to inform on the subjects of social policy and macro practice
  • Includes compelling graphic art that brings characters and situations to life
  • Features critical questions and creative assignments at the end of each chapter
  • Includes a short list of Spanish words with translations

About the Author(s)

Stacey Borasky, EdD, MSW, is former professor and academic administrator with over 20 years' experience in social work education. She has been recognized for her passionate and creative approach to preparing students for policy practice. Having worked to reform the child welfare system in TN, Dr. Borasky brings real-world experience to her writing and teaching.

Miguel Ferguson, PhD, taught policy and social justice courses for twenty years at top ranked social work programs. In 2016, he founded OfCourse!, an educational startup that produces dynamic curricular and digital material for use across the social work curriculum. He is co-author, with Dr. Stacey Borasky and Heather Neuroth, of Caught in the Storm, a prequel to Navigating Policy and Practice in the Great Recession.


"Ferguson and Borasky have done it again. With a compelling storyline and characters that any social worker can identify with, they capture the distinctive realities and challenges of social work practice today. While most social work practice and policy books take a theoretical approach to policy practice, the authors thrust the reader into the day-to-day experiences and dilemmas that social workers face and bring the policy realities to life. This book is a must- read for social workers and educators. This is sure to generate some critical thinking and debate in the classroom. I look forward to using it with my students for years to come." Adam G. McCormick, PhD, MSSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work, St. Edward's University

"Stacey Borasky and Miguel Ferguson have crafted a treat for social work students. Following the story of Martha White, a fictional agency executive during and after the Great Recession, they introduce a wealth of content on nonprofit management, interprofessional practice, social work ethics, and social policy. Peppered with references to historical events, important policies, and shifting political landscapes, Navigating Policy and Practice in the Great Recession seamlessly crosses the micro-macro divide by illustrating, in human terms, the impact of social and economic decision-making on ordinary clients. It's an engaging testament to the versatility of the social work profession - one that students won't want to miss!" Sunny Harris Rome, MSW, JD, Professor of Social Work, George Mason University

"Set amidst the backdrop of the 2008 economic collapse and its devastating impact on communities and social service agencies, Navigating Policy and Practice in the Great Recession provides a nuanced street- level study of macro practice and organizational management. Based on a composite (and fictional) community-based organization, readers follow its Executive Director, Martha White, as she faces real world problems of housing foreclosures, corruption, budgets cuts, and a non-profit agency asked to do more with less. Highly readable and relevant, with a range of teaching resources, this book offers instructors and students useful tools to understand and refine skills in advocacy, policy practice, and macro social work. Recommended for both graduate and undergraduate courses." Scott Harding, PhD, Associate Professor and Co-Director, PhD Program, School of Social Work, University of Connecticut

"Having been in both positions - executive director of a community action agency and social work professor at several university universities - I recognize at once truths revealed in the day-to-day realities of this book: at the intersection between social policy, and nonprofit management, and the subsequent impact on people we work with and on our neighbors and friends. Then, too, I recognize the challenges of teaching these realities to social work students, as Borasky and Ferguson obviously do so well." Dennis L. Poole, PhD, MSW, Professor, College of Social Work, The University of South Carolina at Columbia

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: A New Beginning

    Chapter 2: Facing the Future

    Chapter 3: January 2008 : Change is Coming

    Chapter 4: History in the Making

    Chapter 5: Great Recession Realities

    Chapter 6: Change is a Coming

    Chapter 7: The Path Forward

    Spanish Terms

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