Happy Social Work Month!
Social Workers are Essential
As we take a moment to recognize the contributions of social workers in our field, this year’s theme cannot be more appropriate.The essential nature of social work is to find ways to promote the dignity and worth of all people, recognizing the challenges that are experienced from environmental forces.The past year has given us the opportunity to see just how complex these forces can be.
Social workers have been essential in responding to these environmental forces by:
- Providing support in medical settings during the pandemic- prevention efforts, admission, and discharge support.
- Creating policy and practice change, taking on more roles of leadership in the current administration.
- Providing mental health care to individuals, families, and groups- and expanding those services through telehealth.
- Helping our youth, who have now had a year of disrupted school, providing resources and connection in the midst of uncertainty. Ensuring child safety in all settings, navigating family systems.
- Engaging in system change to supporting individual re-integration in criminal justice and correction settings.
- Improving overall services for clients, systems, and the field of social work through research, education, program development, and administration.
Thank you for the work that you do and the ways that you have adapted to continue to deliver quality services to those in need over the past year.Your work is essential to the mission of social work- which is defined in the Preamble to our Code of Ethics (below).
Thank you again for all that you continue to do,
NASW Code of Ethics Preamble
The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.
Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. “Clients” is used inclusively to refer to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers are sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. These activities may be in the form of direct practice, community organizing, supervision, consultation administration, advocacy, social and political action, policy development and implementation, education, and research and evaluation. Social workers seek to enhance the capacity of people to address their own needs. Social workers also seek to promote the responsiveness of organizations, communities, and other social institutions to individuals’ needs and social problems.
The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective:
- social justice
- dignity and worth of the person
- importance of human relationships
This constellation of core values reflects what is unique to the social work profession. Core values, and the principles that flow from them, must be balanced within the context and complexity of the human experience.