NASW Virtual Roundtable – Social Work Ethics in Today’s Political Climate
The Office of Ethics and Professional Review (OEPR) has identified an opportunity for the Association to respond to the expressed need for insight into how the NASW Code of Ethics applies in the wake of the elections in the United States. There has been a lot of commentary and questions raised about how social workers’ political positions and values relate to their ethical obligations. A facilitated dialogue between some of the profession’s experts in social work ethics is one of many ways that the OEPR aspires to address the many questions that continue to come up around this “hot button” topic:
- Are there inherent ethical concerns about social workers publicly taking a position on issues facing the nation? e.g. immigration
- Are social workers ethically required to do something in reaction to proposed policy that is not in line with the profession's values?
- How do social workers negotiate differences in their political opinions with colleagues? Clients? Employers?
- Can social workers be held accountable to the NASW Code of Ethics for expressly voicing positions that may not be perceived as consistent with the Code but may be aligned with the current administration and their policies?
- How do social workers deal with counter transference and related issues involving the disconnect between their own personal / political values and those of their clients?
Social Work Ethics in Today’s Political Climate is a virtual round table discussion to be held on April 21, 2017. This interactive discussion will address the topic of contemporary issues in politics and social work ethics. The purpose of the round table is to convene national experts to weigh in on today’s political climate and the ethical implications of social work practice and administration. The goals are that:
- social workers will obtain a stronger knowledge of the standards of the Code that address professional rights and responsibilities regarding opposing political views and participation
- social workers will be better able to interpret and apply the appropriate standards
- to situations with colleagues, clients and others
- the round table will result in more productive, respectful dialog and overall adherence of the Code
- the discussion will result in a decreased likelihood that ethics complaints will be filed regarding these issues