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Politics, Social Work, and Public Policy Development

social workCandies Kotchapaw is a Master of Social Work graduate from York University in Toronto, Canada.

She is an emerging researcher whose interests look at the issues of race relations in Canada. Candies has written The Politics of Social Work: Do Racialized Social Workers belong in the Practice Space of Public Policy Development? (2016; Canada Watch Magazine), which is a critical analysis paper on how social work education in Canada has been constructed to funnel radicalized social workers into front line only positions in employment.

Candies has presented the findings of this research paper at several conferences in Canada at the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies conference, Critical Social Work Symposium and internationally at the Institute for Research on Labour and Employment (IRLE) conference in Seattle, Washington. From this paper, Candies has co-created the Introduction to Policy Practice for Social Workers, a practice based workshop series offered to undergraduate students to instruct them on how to fully engage with and in the policy development process.

Candies is a graduate student member of the Global Labour Research Centre and recently completed an independent study on The Black Experience of Precarious Work in social service agencies…: Causes and Characteristics of Precarious Work. This paper will be presented at the Canadian Association on Work and Labour Studies Congress at Ryerson University in May 2017.

Candies’ aim is to further study the absence of social work in the practice space of Canadian Public Policy as an employment equity policy advisor. By building on this primary research, Candies hopes to create a space for racialized social workers to see public policy as a legitimate place for social work practice as opposed to determining that direct social work practice is the only way to further social justice, advocacy and education within the Canadian society.

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