Social workers have consistently advocated for a just and peaceful world. Social justice is central to the profession’s values and specifically emphasized in the NASW Code of Ethics, as social work professionals are instructed to "promote policies that safeguard the rights of and confirm equity and social justice for all people.”
Social workers are similarly encouraged to apply the profession’s values to work with clients of all races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations, and to advocate for sound social policies at the systems level.
Key aspects of the NASW Committee on Advocacy and Social Justice, and current topics being considered by the Utah Chapter of NASW are health care, social work education and licensing (particularly as it relates to disenfranchised groups), poverty, women and children’s issues, equality and protections for LGBT Utahns, and promoting the dignity and care of the disabled and mentally ill.
Our goal is to first and foremost restore civility to the political discourse by convening stakeholders with disparate points of view and facilitate productive dialogue, and inform the board on issues of importance to social work.
1. Convene stakeholders with disparate points of view to facilitate dialogue, peace, and mutual respect
This committee will bridge differences through relationships and free and open dialogue. Our goal is to bring together and seek common ground within the issues. Social workers are uniquely equipped to manage and safely contain this type of dialogue and are also equipped to propose solutions.
2. Traditional lobbying on behalf of specific legislation
This committee, with approval by the NASW Board of Directors, will assume positions on specific, numbered bills related to social justice issues.
Issues might include mental health, immigration, LGBTQ issues, social programs or other issues identified by the committee and approved by the board.
The position of NASW will be communicated vis a vis: our lobbyists and letter-writing campaigns
Our website will contain a section to facilitate communication between social workers and legislators
3. Promoting regulatory change at the executive level
This committee will promote social justice through regulatory change. AN example might be working with DOPL and ASWB to provide dispensations for dual language/culture social work test takers.
If you would like more information on this committee, please email the NASW office.