NASW Celebrates 60th Anniversary with Forum on Ethics, Family Well-Being, and Equity

Presenting Award 1

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) celebrated its 60th year with a special anniversary forum on Oct. 23, 2015 bringing together leaders of the profession to discuss how social workers can lead national efforts that improve family well-being, ensure liberty and equity for all, and develop ethical responses to new technologies and globalization.

The event also commemorated the 55th anniversary of the NASW Code of Ethics, which guides the ethical conduct of the profession, and the 40th anniversaries of the NASW National Committee on Women’s Issues (NCOWI) and National Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (NCORED). These committees continue to support initiatives that advocate for women’s rights and ensure that racial and ethnic diversity are included in NASW policies and programs.

In conjunction with the forum NCORED released an updated “Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice,” originally published in 2001, and “Indicators for the Achievement of the NASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice,” published in 2007.  These standards will help social workers better serve the increasingly diverse U.S. population.

As part of the celebration, 19 eminent social workers were inducted into the NASW Social Work Pioneers®, an NASW Foundation program that recognizes social workers who have elevated the profession. NASW will also honor six individuals who have made significant contributions to the Code of Ethics and to the advancement of social work ethics (See lists below).

“NASW and the social work profession have much to celebrate and much to be proud about,” NASW CEO Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW said. “This leadership forum will be an opportunity to reflect on how NASW has helped pave the way for positive change in our society since 1955. It challenges leaders in the field to discuss how social workers can have the greatest impact on serving our nation’s families, helping achieve critical social justice goals, and understanding the ethical implications of seismic changes in technology and globalization over the last decade. ”

“This forum is also an excellent way to publicly honor our new NASW Social Work Pioneers and individuals who have helped make the NASW Code of Ethics the guiding light for the profession,” McClain said. “NCORED and NCOWI have also helped guarantee that NASW continues to be one of largest professional organizations in the world advocating for equal rights and social justice for all.”

Three panels were shared via live stream which included “Family Well-Being Across the Lifespan,” “Equity and Liberty in the 21st Century” and “Code of Ethics: Evolution and Emerging Issues.” Social workers and other human service professionals can register for the live stream to listen to the panels and take part in a virtual Q&A. NASW President Darrell Wheeler, PhD, MPH, ACSW, will help moderate the program.

Family Well-Being Across Lifespan

Panel was moderated by Howard University Professor Tricia Bent-Goodley, current editor of the Journal of Social Work. Panelists are Richard Barth, dean of the University of Maryland School of Social Work; Alexandria, VA school social worker and NASW 2014 Social Worker of the Year Ana Bonilla-Galdamez; and Laura Taylor, national director of social work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Equity and Liberty in the 21st Century

Panel was moderated by past NASW President Gary Bailey, professor of practice at Simmons College School of Social Work. Panelists are Ellen Kahn, director of the Children, Youth and Families Program at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation; Carol Bonner, associate dean at Salem State University School of Social Work and chair of NASW’s National Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity; and Joyce James of Joyce James Consulting, a trainer with the People’s Institute Undoing Racism Campaign.

Code of Ethics: Evolution and Emerging Issues

Panel was moderated by Allan Barsky, professor of social work at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Panelists are Frederic Reamer, professor at the Rhode Island College School of Social Work and author of “The Social Work Ethics Case Book”; Mary Jo Monahan, CEO of the Association of Social Work Boards; and Jo Ann Regan, vice president of education at the Council on Social Work Education.

NASW Social Work Pioneers® Program Inductees:

Mimi Abramovitz, DSW, MSW: Professor at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. New York City.

Ronald Aldridge, PhD, MSW: Executive Director of AIDS Services of North Texas. Denton, TX.

Jeane Anastas, PhD, MSW: Past NASW President, educator, researcher, author and women’s issues advocate. New York City.

Frances Coyle Brennan, LCSW, ACSW: Cancer care and elder care expert, advocate on national eldercare issues. New York City.

Iris Carlton-LaNey, PhD, MA: Social work educator, author, researcher and advocate for African Americans in social work. Chapel Hill, NC.

Yvonne Marie Chase, PhD, MSW: Former Deputy Commissioner and former Assistant Secretary of Children’s Services for Washington state. Anchorage, AK.

Chia-Chia Chien, MSW, MPH: Founder of the Culture to Culture Foundation, advocate for mental health services for Asian Americans. San Francisco, CA.

Elizabeth Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH: Former NASW CEO, social work advocate, developer of innovative programs for oncology support services and end-of-life care. Saugerties, NY.

Sister Ann Patrick Conrad, PhD, MSW: Dean of Catholic University of America’s School of Social Work and Council on Accreditation of Family and Child Services Agencies accreditation standards developer. Washington, D.C.

Vilona P. Cutler, MSW (deceased): Former director of the University of Oklahoma School of Social Work and head of the YWCA in Oklahoma City, human rights and anti-racism activist. Oklahoma City, OK.

Wayne D. Duehn, PhD, ACSW, LCSW: Professor Emeritus at the School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Arlington. Known for research on issues such as sexuality and trauma and innovations in adoption and foster care and standards of assessment for child abuse offenders and treatment of victims. Arlington, TX.

David E. Epperson, Phd, MSW (deceased): Former dean emeritus and professor emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social work. Longest serving dean of social work in the United Sates (29 years) and social work education trailblazer. Pittsburgh, PA.

Anita S. Harbert, Phd, MSW: Founder of the Center for Alcohol and Drug Studies and Services. San Diego, CA, and renowned social worker advocate within the California State Child Welfare system.

Hortense King McClinton, MSW: Academic and professional accomplishments paved the way for African American social workers in North Carolina. Durham, NC.

Alex J. Norman, DSW, MSW: Researcher on groundbreaking cross-cultural studies in family planning and inter-ethnic conflict resolution. Pacific Palisades, CA.

Salome Raheim, PhD, MSW: Former dean and professor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and former director of the University of Iowa School of Social Work. Hartford, CT.

René Robichaux, DSW: Mental health trauma expert and social work leader in the U.S. Army whose programs were designed to help military families navigate the health care system. San Antonio, TX.

Barbara Wenstrom Shank, PhD, MSW: Founding dean of the School of Social Work, University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine University. St. Paul, MN, and BSW generalist practice and curricula developer.

Michael Sheridan, PhD, MSW: National recognized scholar of spirituality and social work and a master teacher and in diversity and social justice. Washington, DC.

Excellence in Ethics Honorees:

Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD: Served on the NASW National Ethics Committee (NEC) since 2007, serving as chair from 2011 to 2014. He was instrumental in the nationalization of the professional review process and currently chairs the Code of Ethics Review Task Force (COERTF). Boca Raton, FL.

Elizabeth DuMez, ACSW: Served as the Manager of the Office of Ethics and Professional Review during the 1996 major revision of the NASW Code of Ethics. She also developed the Wichers Ethics Education Fund. Arlington, VA.

Natalie Holzman, MSW, LCSW: Champion for the NASW professional review process for several decades serving in various roles on the NASW Illinois Chapter Ethics Committee including serving as chair from 2000 – 2007. Continues to be a leader in NASW’s professional review program. Chicago, IL.

Ruth Lipschutz, LCSW, ACSW: Served various roles in the Illinois Chapter Ethics Committee and the National Ethics Committee, which she chaired from 2009-2011. Continues to be a leader in NASW’s professional review program. Evanston, IL.

Frederic Reamer, PhD: Professor at Rhode Island College School of Social Work and noted ethics educator for NASW who develops and conducts training and seminars throughout the US and abroad. Currently chairs NASW and Association of Social Work Boards Technology Standards Task Force. Pawtucket, RI.

Kim Strom-Gottfried, PhD: Committed service to NASW’s professional review process including serving as a past chair. Conducted and published the only official research on NASW’s ethics complaints process. Recently appointed to the Code of Ethics Review Task Force (COERT). Durham, NC.


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The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 130,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.

The National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) is a charitable organization created to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through the advancement of social work practice.

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