NASW Delegate Assembly Approves Revisions to the NASW Code of Ethics

Photo Credit: @nasw

The Delegate Assembly of the National Association of  Social Workers (NASW) on August 4, 2017 approved the most substantive revision to the NASW Code of Ethics since 1996. After careful and charged deliberation, the Delegate Assembly voted to accept proposed revisions to the Code that focused largely on the use of technology and the implications for ethical practice.

The NASW Code of Ethics continues to be the most accepted standard for social work ethical practice worldwide. With emergent technological advances over the last two decades, the profession could not ignore the necessity for more clarity around the complex implications of new forms of communication and relationship building through technology. As such, in September 2015 an NASW Code of Ethics Review Task Force was appointed by the NASW president and approved by the NASW Board of Directors.

A special thank-you to Task Force chair: Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD, National Ethics Committee (past chair)

Task Force members:

  • David Barry, PhD, National Ethics Committee (past chair)
  • Luis Machuca, MSW
  • Frederic Reamer, PhD
  • Kim Strom-Gottfried, PhD
  • Bo Walker, MSW, LCSW, National Ethics Committee
  • Dawn Hobdy, MSW, LICSW, director, Office of Ethics and Professional Review

And NASW staff contributors

  • Anne Camper, JD, NASW general counsel
  • Andrea Murray, MSW, LICSW, senior ethics associate
  • Carolyn Polowy, JD, former NASW general counsel

The Task Force was charged with examining the current Code of Ethics through the lens of specific ethical considerations when using various forms of technology. In September 2015, they embarked on a year-long process that involved studying emerging standards in other professions and examining relevant professional literature, such as the Association of Social Work Boards’ (2015) Model Regulatory Standards for Technology and Social Work Practice.

In addition, Task Force members considered the technology practice standards that were concurrently being developed by a national task force commissioned by NASW, Council on Social Work EducationClinical Social Work Association, and Association of Social Work Boards. A year later the proposed amendments were presented to the NASW membership for review, and many member comments were incorporated prior to finalization.

2017 Approved Changes to the NASW Code of Ethics 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When does the new NASW Code of Ethics go into effect? 

A: The new NASW Code of Ethics goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Q: Where can I get a copy of the revised NASW Code of Ethics?

A: Copies of the revised NASW Code of Ethics will be available by November 1, 2017. You can preorder a copy by calling NASW Press at 1-800-227-3590.

Q: Which sections of the NASW Code of Ethics were updated?

Commemorative 55th Anniversary Edition of the NASW Code of Ethics. The first edition of the Code of Ethics was released in 1960.

A: The sections of the NASW Code of Ethics that were revised include:

The Purpose of the Code 
1.03 Informed Consent 
1.04 Competence 
1.05 Cultural Competence and Social 
1.06 Conflicts of Interest 
1.07 Privacy and Confidentiality 
1.08 Access to Records 
1.09 Sexual Relationships 
1.11 Sexual Harassment 
1.15 Interruption of Services 
1.16 Referral for Services 
2.01 Respect 
2.06 Sexual Relationships 
2.07 Sexual Harassment 
2.10 Unethical Conduct of Colleagues 
3.01 Supervision and Consultation 
3.02 Education and Training 
3.04 Client Records 
5.02 Evaluation and Research 
6.04 Social and Political Action

Q: What educational resources are available to explain the latest revisions to the NASW Code 
of Ethics?

A: Several resources will be available, including an online training, an NASW chat, a blog,                        code revision consults, and a posting of the changes with the explanations on the NASW Web site.

Q: Which social workers are accountable to the NASW Code of Ethics?

A: Most social workers are held accountable to the NASW Code of Ethics, including NASW members, licensed social workers, employed social workers, and students.

Q: Do these changes affect social workers who aren’t members of NASW?

A: Yes. The NASW Code of Ethics sets forth the values, principles, and standards that guide the profession as a whole, not just NASW members.

Q: Who was responsible for revising the NASW Code of Ethics?

A: An NASW Code of Ethics Review Task Force was appointed by the NASW President and approved by the NASW Board of Directors.

Q: How am I held accountable if I do not implement these changes by the effective date?

A: If you are a member of NASW, you may be held accountable through the NASW Office of Ethics and Professional Review process, if someone files an ethics complaint against you. You may also be held accountable by a state licensing board if a licensing board complaint is filed against you. Furthermore, you may be held accountable by your employer or your university, which may take disciplinary actions for not implementing the changes. Finally, you may be held accountable through a court of law that looks to the NASW Code of Ethics to establish the standard for professional ethical social work practice.

Q: Have social work schools, employers, agencies, etc., been made aware of the changes?

A: NASW is working diligently to notify the social work profession and stakeholders using various communication channels, including print, social media, and Web-based notices.

Q: Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

A: If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Ethics and Professional Review at 800-638-8799 ext. 231 or 

The approved Code of Ethics revisions reflect a collaborative and inclusive effort that drew from a diverse cross-section of the profession. The August 4 approval by the Delegate Assembly marks significant progress in the profession’s ability to respond to our ever-changing practice environment.

The new version of the NASW Code of Ethics comes into effect January 1, 2018. In the meantime, training and technical assistance opportunities will be made available through the Office of Ethics and Professional Review and the NASW website.

Our sincere appreciation again to the task force, NASW staff, and committed members across the globe who contributed to this momentous accomplishment.

Who Will Fight for Social Justice

There is a push among social workers to return to the profession’s strong commitment to social justice. Two significant events occurred last week. On Wednesday, a group of supporters gathered to mark the first year of existence of the Congressional Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) and the presentation of our 2014 Social Justice Champion awards to two social work stalwarts. Rep. Barbara Lee, the Democratic congresswoman from the 13th District in California, and Dr. Nancy A. Humphreys, the founder and director of the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work, were on hand to receive well-deserved accolades for exemplifying the best of the profession who agitates for social justice. It was an uplifting anniversary celebration with the gregarious former Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns acting as host and emcee. CRISP executive director Dr. Angela Henderson was on hand to greet our guests and ensure everyone had a good time.

Rep. Barbara Lee

Board members Dr. Darla Coffey, president of the Council on Social Work Education, and James Craigen, Sr., an associate professor at Howard University’s School of social work were joined by NASW social work pioneers Dr. Bernice Harper and Howard University School of Social Work dean emeritus Dr. Douglas Glasgow, along with Dr. Jo Nol, psychotherapist and spouse to Nancy Humphreys, and Dr. Mary McKay, director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research and assistant director Dan Ferris. Several of my former students attended and my Clark Atlanta University classmate Alie Redd flew up from Atlanta to help celebrate.

Wednesday’s event was significant because despite the odds, CRISP has survived to begin another year. Our institute was born out of the need to complement the mission of the Congressional Social Work Caucus which I had the honor of helping to create with former Congressman Ed Towns in September 2010. The birth of the Social Work Caucus happened as a result of my personal pursuit of social justice.

I became a social worker because I wanted to do something about the many men of color who were being scarred as a result of the mass incarceration that began in the 1970s. Along the way towards earning my M.S.W. degree in clinical counseling I learned the importance of policy in creating a more just society and completed my Ph.D. in policy analysis. After a stint in academia, I landed on the Hill and found my opportunity with the Social Work Caucus which was created to provide an official platform in Congress for social workers to engage our nation’s representatives. CRISP was launched a year ago with the theme: Unleashing the Power of Social Work on the Hill.

Nancy Humphreys

On Friday, the Maryland chapter of the National Association of Social Work (NASW) held its second annual Macro Conference featuring Dr. Nancy Humphreys and Dr. Jack Rothman whose models of community organizing continues to have a significant impact on how social workers organize communities in pursuit of social justice.

The focus of the conference workshops and activities was on evaluating the current state of social justice in social work. Rothman’s report on the marginalization of macro social work on many campuses has renewed interest in rebalancing the profession’s work in direct service practice and its commitment to social change. The Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) has organized a Special Commission to Advance Macro Social Work Practice that will release its recommendations later in the year.

One of its commissioners, Dr. Linda Plitt Donaldson, an associate professor at the National Catholic School of Social Services, and Dr. Michael Reisch, the Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the University of Maryland, led discussions about the future of social work, the challenges of licensing, and strategies to advance macro social work practice.

The conference was organized by NASW Maryland chapter executive director Dr. Daphne McClellan, and Dr. Ashley McSwain, chair of its Macro Social Work Committee. Proponents of expanding macro social practice do not see this effort as a zero sum game—increasing macro social workers at the expense of direct practitioners. We see this as an opportunity to attract a different breed of social worker with an eye on changing society.

Getting Social Workers Out of the Closet

There has been much talk recently about who can legitimately call themselves social workers. What training is required? Which licenses are needed? And, there have been many discussions about the variations of social work licenses that exist in different states. License or no license, we know that many social workers are “hiding” in non-clinical environments where it doesn’t seem much social work is happening in places like Congress, the World Bank and federal agencies such as the departments of Labor, Housing, Education and Health and Human Services (HHS). In many of these settings, social workers operate under cover. They often do not identify themselves as social workers and they have little or no connection to professional social work organizations. Yet, they are trained social workers with a B.S.W, a M.S.W., or a Ph.D. from an accredited social work school, but you would never know.

The subject arose this week during my lunch with three very special social workers who are at the forefront of promoting greater emphasis on macro social work practice. Darlyne Bailey, dean of the Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Terry Mizrahi, a professor at Hunter’s School of School of Social Work, are co-chairs of the Special Commission to Advance Macro Social Work Practice formed by the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA).

With us was Jenifer Norton, a doctoral student at Bryn Mawr who provides administrative support for the commission. The commission’s mandate is to examine the state of macro social work practice and offer recommendations on how to strengthen the macro dimension of social work. To date, 46 schools and departments of social work and two organizations have donated funds to support the commission’s work. In addition to 21 commissioners, there are about 50 allies who are participating in the effort by working with one of five workgroups.

The ACOSA group was in DC for a meeting with representatives from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to discuss the current state of macro social work practice. It is encouraging these major social work organizations are finally paying more attention to macro social work practice. This new found interest in macro social work practice was triggered by a 2011 report by Jack Rothman that concluded macro social work practice was being marginalized at many schools of social work. He and Mizrahi followed that report with a published article quantifying students who are pursuing macro practice.

While discussing the working group I have joined—Promotion and Public Support of Macro Leaders and Practitioners—Terry suggested that identifying social workers in macro settings is often difficult because many of them are hiding in the closet. Whether this is intentional or just a byproduct of being in a non-social work setting, we need to know who these social workers are, where they are plying their trade and how they are providing leadership. Many are operating at high levels and have very inspirational stories that need to be told. Why? Because many are in the closet because they feel their work might be devalued by colleagues who may not appreciate the value of social work.

My favorite example is Jared Bernstein who I have written about on several occasions. Bernstein is the former chief economist for Vice President Joseph Biden and a member of President Barack Obama’s economic team. Bernstein earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University’s School of Social Work and chose to hone his economic skills and practice in that arena. He proudly self-identifies as a social worker but when he is introduced on television programs and in settings where he is discussing fiscal and monetary policies, he is introduced as an economist. Would listeners value his input if he were identified solely as a social worker? His commentary would have the same value, but I doubt that his audience would give it the same weight if they thought his ideas were those of a social worker and not an economist.

We need to identify more social workers like Bernstein. NASW has agreed to work on identifying social workers in these settings. That should help much. If you know of social workers in macro settings—working at the Supreme Court, leading corporations, working in the media and other arenas—please shoot me an email at

Be A Voice for Social Work Education: CSWE 2014 Call for Volunteers

cswenewsNow Open: CSWE 2014 Call for Volunteers

Response Deadline: 11:59 pm on Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dear Colleagues, The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) invites you to apply to be considered to serve on one of our 17 distinguished CSWE commissions or councils. Annually CSWE publishes a detailed account of the organization’s work, including the contributions of the commissions and councils, during the previous fiscal year. The latest installment, the 2012–2013 CSWE Annual Report (PDF), is now available on our website.

We hope that looking through the report will give you a deeper appreciation for the contributions member volunteers provide to CSWE operations. Members of CSWE commissions and councils are invaluable to advancing the work of the organization and the work of professional social workers. Each year CSWE seeks to identify new leadership for our commissions and councils, and we hope you will be inspired to join us!

Application Submission Application materials must be submitted using the new online CSWE 2014 Call for Volunteers system. After selecting that link, applicants select the name of the commission or council to which they wish to be appointed, enter their contact information, and upload three required documents.

  1. NEW: CSWE Application for Position on Commission and Council Form
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Brief Statement of Interest

The receipt deadline for member volunteer applications is Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Appointments are made by the chair of the CSWE Board of Directors and will be effective July 1, 2014. If you know someone who would contribute to the work of CSWE through a commission or council, please encourage them to apply. Criteria for Applications

  • Applicant must maintain current CSWE individual membership
  • Applicants from underrepresented ethnic and cultural groups are sought to embody the diversity of the social work profession. (See CSWE Affirmative Action Plan (PDF) for additional information.)
  • Include a CV and a brief statement identifying the requested appointment area and describing special areas of expertise and/or interest that will benefit that area.
  • Applicant must be able to attend meetings (in person or via conference call). Commissions meet face-to-face twice a year—once during the Annual Program Meeting (APM) and again during the spring in Alexandria, VA. Councils generally meet face-to-face once a year during the APM. Commissions and councils conduct other business throughout the year via e-mail and conference calls.

Summarized below is information about the six commissions and their corresponding councils that can be used to identify possible volunteer service areas. Please note the numbers of anticipated vacancies for the 2014–2017 appointment cycle when making your decision. CSWE is committed to the promotion and affirmation of diversity in its broadest sense. We encourage the nomination of all candidates regardless of race, gender identity and expression, disability, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and other types of cultural difference.

CSWE Commissions and Their Councils

1.    Commission on Accreditation Potential Vacancies = 4 Skill sets needed: Must have at least 3 years’ experience as a CSWE site visitor; bilingual proficiency (Spanish speaking preferred); experience with online educational programming; and willingness to read documents online and meet deadlines. Especially encouraged to apply are representatives from BSW programs, the West Coast region, and small programs. 2.    Commission for Diversity and Social and Economic Justice Potential Vacancies = 2 Skill sets needed: Knowledge of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity; diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity and expression; women’s issues; disabilities and persons with disabilities; and grant funding. Especially encouraged to apply are CSWE Minority Fellowship Program graduates. Regional representation is sought for this commission.

  • Council on Disabilities and Persons With Disabilities

Potential Vacancies = 6 Skill sets needed: Ability to develop curriculum modules and/or a model for training of direct care support staff. An interest in and willingness to lead a task group of the council is preferred. The council seeks individuals with a deep understanding of the diversity of the community of people with disabilities and its intersectionality with other aspects of diversity; individuals with expertise in psychiatric disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

  • Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural DiversityPotential Vacancies = 8

The council is seeking members with knowledge and expertise in intersectionality. The council also seeks greater representation of people of American Indian/Alaskan Native and Latino heritage.  Tenured faculty members are preferable.

  • Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education

Potential Vacancies = 11 Members with an interest in the council’s charge are needed

  • to carry major responsibility for the council’s development of curriculum      materials related to women’s issues in social work education;
  • to identify procedures within academe and social work education that impede and  promote full participation of women;
  • to recommend to the Board policy statements, or development or modification of internal policy;
  • to assist in coordinating activities related to women at all levels of social work education; and
  • to stimulate new programs and activities.
  • Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression

Potential Vacancies = 10 Members are needed who have willingness and time to serve on subgroups and contribute to the monthly conference calls. The council seeks members who represent racial and ethnic minorities and LGBTQ persons with disabilities. 3.    Commission on Educational Policy Potential Vacancies = 5 Especially sought are individuals with administrative experience (deans/directors), Commission on Accreditation experience, site visitor experience, and assessment expertise.

  • Council on Field Education

Potential Vacancies = 7 Skill sets needed: Clear understanding of the field director role and experience with field organizations at the national, state, or regional level or with consortiums. Regional representation is especially sought for this council.

  • Council on Practice Methods and Specializations

Potential Vacancies = 6 Especially encouraged to apply are individuals who can respond to context, particularly those who are engaged with the field community and stakeholders in the practice community to develop a sound social work curriculum. Experience as a CSWE site visitor is needed. 4.    Commission on Global Social Work Education Potential Vacancies = 7 The commission is seeking to increase its diversity and seeks members with experience in the Caribbean and Latin America, western and eastern Europe, and those working with indigenous populations.

  • Council on External Relations

Potential Vacancies = 10 Members with international group experience and who attend international meetings are especially encouraged to apply. The ability to lead work groups is needed. Members affiliated with the United Nations and with international and social development organizations are also encouraged to apply.

  • Council on Global Learning, Research, and Practice

Potential Vacancies = 7 A member from the West or Southwest region of the United States who can provide representation for persons who are natives of Latin America or China is especially needed. 5.    Commission on Membership and Professional Development Potential Vacancies = 4 The commission seeks members with interest/experience with membership recruitment.  The commission is also seeking to diversify its makeup by increasing the number of males, faculty members of color, and representatives from BSW programs.

  • Council on Conferences and Faculty Development

Potential Vacancies = 5 Especially needed are active APM presenters, previous APM track chairs, racial/ethnic/cultural diversity, and regional representation from the Northeast and Midwest.

  • Council on Leadership Development

Potential Vacancies = 4 Participants of Harvard Institutes of Higher Education (HIHE) or the Higher Education Resource Services(HERS) program and experienced field faculty are especially encouraged to apply. Willingness to review faculty merits according to the guidelines set by the council is needed.

  • Council on Publications

Potential Vacancies = 3 Especially needed are scholars with strong publication records and the time available to review and discuss manuscripts submitted for publication by CSWE Press. One new member also will serve on the Journal of Social Work Education Editorial Advisory Board. Members of underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. 6.    Commission on Research Potential Vacancies = 0 (please apply for future consideration) Especially needed are representatives of BSW, MSW, and PhD programs and evidence-based practice scholars. Members from RO1 and non-RO1 institutions are encouraged to apply. Representatives of diverse groups are encouraged to apply. The CSWE Board of Directors Chair looks forward to receiving your application. Sincerely,                                                                                 Barbara W. Shank CSWE Board of Directors Chair

Press Release: Social Work Helper Magazine was not involved in the creation of this content.

CSWE: 2015 EPAS Now Available for Public Comment and Feedback


Draft 2: 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS)
Opens on March 14, 2014 
Feedback Closes on May 16, 2014

On behalf of CSWE’s Commission on Educational Policy (COEP) and Commission on Accreditation (COA), the second draft of the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) is now available for public review, comment, and feedback. We would like to thank the programs, individuals and organizations that provided feedback on the first draft. For Draft 1, we received 24 surveys on the CSWE feedback website and letters/emails from 12 programs and 4 organizations. Three feedback sessions were conducted at the October 2013 APM with approximately 350 participants in attendance. Feedback on Draft 1 closed on December 31, 2013. The COA and COEP worked in January and February 2014 to review the feedback and make changes for Draft 2 of the 2015 EPAS.

The revision of educational policy and accreditation standards is set-up to be a thoughtful, lengthy, 2 year inclusive and collaborative process leading to a vote on the educational policy by the CSWE Board of Directors in October 2014 and a vote on the accreditation standards by the Commission on Accreditation in June 2015. The full timeline is available on the EPAS Revision page. Feedback on Draft 2 is very important as this will be the last public comment period for the educational policy before it is approved in October 2014. Additional comment periods on the accreditation standards will continue in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.

The intent of both commissions is to solicit feedback from as many constituents as possible in as many ways as possible. CSWE invites and encourages all individual and program members and interested organizations to provide feedback on the second draft of the 2015 EPAS. Feedback can be submitted as a group or individually in one or more of the following ways:

1.    Submit feedback online as an individual and/or program member of CSWE at:

2.    Submit feedback online representing an interested organization at:

3.    Submit a feedback letter directly to CSWE at Office of Social Work Accreditation, 1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314 or by e-mail at

4.    Attend 2015 EPAS information and feedback sessions at the 2014 BPD and NADD conferences and share feedback in person.

The 2014 BPD information and feedback session is scheduled for:

  • Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 9:30 am–10:45 am in Kentucky E

The 2014 NADD feedback session is scheduled for:

  • Friday, April 11, 2014 from 8:30 am–10:00am in Grand Ballroom C, Vanderbilt Wing, 8th Floor

CSWE suggests reading two documents in their entirety prior to beginning any feedback. The first document is a Summary of Feedback on Draft 1 and Proposed Changes for Draft 2 which offers an overview of the feedback and proposed changes for Draft 2 of the 2015 EPAS. The second document is a copy of Draft 2 of the 2015 EPAS.

CSWE through the COEP and COA is committed to a comprehensive and thorough review process that develops a 2015 EPAS that reflect the excellence of social work education programs. Updates on the process will be shared in CSWE’s Full Circle and on the CSWE website.

We look forward to hearing from you regarding Draft 2 of the 2015 EPAS. Please note that the second feedback period will close May 16, 2014. CSWE’s COEP and COA welcome collegial feedback and expertise as well as help in disseminating this information widely among all interested parties. If you have any questions about the feedback process or experience any technical problems with the online feedback system, please contact the CSWE Office of Social Work Accreditation at

Jo Ann R. Regan, PhD, MSW
Director, Office of Social Work Accreditation

Press Release: Social Work Helper Magazine was not involved in the creation of this content.

CSWE Coordinates First White House Briefing for Social Work Education

Dr. Darla Coffey, President of the CSWE
Dr. Darla Coffey, President of the CSWE

Every fiber weaving together today’s social safety net for our most vulnerable populations included social workers in the development of those historic legislative pieces.

On September 25, 2013, the White House Office of Public Engagement coordinated the first-ever White House Briefing for Social Work Education with the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) led by President Dr. Darla Coffey. The purpose of the briefing was to address the social determinants of health in a new era and the role of social work education.

As Editor-in-Chief of Social Work Helper, I had the opportunity to attend this historic event. Presentations were given by federal officials from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Before I begin my ongoing series of articles to discuss the resources provided during each presentation, I wanted to adequately document the historic value of the event. Moving Americans closer to universal healthcare with the rolling out of the Affordable Care Act to full implementation, those of us in attendance had a curbside seat to history.

Dr. Coffey and her efforts as President of CSWE will hopefully move social workers closer to reprising their role as leaders in the development of legislation and policies affecting vulnerable populations. According to the CSWE’s website,

CSWE is a nonprofit national association representing more than 2,500 individual members as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States.

Social Workers have always been instrumental in the development of landmark legislation. Social Workers’ influence in advising Presidents is documented as far back as 1933 when President Roosevelt appointed Social Worker, Frances Perkins, as the first female cabinet member who some say was the architect behind the New Deal. In 1939, Social Worker Abbott Grace has been credited with helping to draft the Social Security Act.

White House Briefing Social Work Education

During the Civil Right’s Movement, Social Worker Whitney M. Young was an advisor to President Lydon B. Johnson alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the creation of legislation that has come to be known as the War on Poverty which includes Medicaid, Medicare, and the Civil Rights Act 1964.

In 2010, Social Work Professor and leading Child Welfare Expert, Bryan Samuels, was appointed by the Obama Administration and confirmed by the Senate to serve as commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

My impressions, from the presentations and Q&A sessions that preceded each, give me hope that the current White House Administration and the social work profession will work towards bringing social workers’ influence back to the policymaking table. View below for a list of the attendees who were apart of this moment in history.

The Department of Health and Human Services have put together videos, webinars, toolkits, and state by state fact sheets to help you better understand the changes being implemented.

View all resources using this link:

Social Work and Technology: Fails in Teaching Technology to Students

Social work and technology received a failing grade as a result of a National Institute of Health (NIH) study. The study makes a strong argument in a 2011 journal article which suggests that it’s a violation of the social work code of ethics for social workers who fail to institute evidence based technologies within their practice.

The article also points out how social work professional and educational bodies have not incorporated technology based learning to prepare social workers beyond the use of email communications.

In order for social workers to be competitive in the marketplace, social work and technology must be incorporated into social work education. Nonprofits, public services, and other grassroots organizations are increasingly relying on analytics software, constituent management systems, and social media in order to be more efficient in providing services and information.

The bachelors level or graduate level social work programs do not offer any courses specific to social work and technology. Some academics would argue that social work students are resistant when professors try to include new technologies in existing social work courses. Additionally, academics who want to conduct research on social work and technology are discouraged because published studies tend to be more clinical in nature.

Do you have a passion for social work and technology, and how it can be better used to enhance social work practice? Are you interested in testing theories and experimenting with new technologies to help identify tools for enhancement learning and practice?  Then, let us start an open dialogue. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on whether social work and technology should be a higher priority within the profession.

Here is an excerpt from the NIH study exposing areas for improvement within the profession:

Despite this interest in technology, the attention that the field of social work has given to ICTs (Information and Communications Technology) in research, education, and practice does not match the efforts of other national and international organizations that view ICTs as critical to improving the lives of disadvantaged and disenfranchised persons, and necessary for all forms of civil engagement. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) calls for the integration of computer technology into social work education, but there are no explicit standards for integration or student learning (CSWE, 2008; see also Beaulaurier & Radisch, 2005). Asking other social workers, social work students, and social work educators can easily reveal that many are unaware of the NASW technology standards. A review of syllabi of social work courses will also show that ICTs, beyond e-mail communication, are generally not present in the educational environment. Consequently, social work students are not being adequately prepared in the use of ICTs, which are integral in the workforce today and will become even more important over time (Parrot & Madoc-Jones, 2008).

In this paper, we argue that ICTs are of critical importance to advancing the field of social work. Specifically, they provide efficient and effective ways for organizing people and ideas, offers greater access to knowledge and education, and increases the efficiency and collaboration of our work. This paper takes the position that many aspects of the NASW Code of Ethics (1999) can be advanced through careful and thoughtful application of ICTs. Thus, competencies with ICTs and ICT literacy should be required learning outcomes in social work education and continuing education. This includes having the knowledge and skills to understand and use ICTs to acheive a specific purpose (i.e., competencies), in addition to knowing the major concepts and language associated with ICT (i.e., literacy). Within this framework, this paper identifies specific aspects of the Code of Ethics (1999), showing how ICTs play a critical role in achieving the desired values and principles. Recommendations on how ICTs can be more strategically incorporated in the classroom, along with potential pitfalls, are discussed.

View Full Journal Article below:

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