"Social workers should promote the general
welfare of society, from local to global levels, and the
development of people, their communities, and their environments.
Social workers should advocate for living conditions conducive to
the fulfillment of basic human needs and should promote social,
economic, political, and cultural values and institutions that are
compatible with the realization of social justice."
That's from the
NASW Code of Ethics (full section below). Maybe it can help
guide your actions as you try to make sense of the times we're
living in and have been living in.
What does the NASW mean by social justice? Take a look at the NASW
website where what social workers stand for is spelled out very
clearly. A series of
Social Justice Briefs gets into the details regarding, among
other things, police racial profiling, cash bail, and disparities
in the criminal justice system.
All this is part of being a social worker. Social work isn't
just working with clients. It's working with society as a whole.
And we've all got a lot of work to do.
Here's that section from the Code of Ethics.
6. Social Workers' Ethical Responsibilities to the Broader
6.01 Social Welfare
Social workers should promote the general welfare of society, from
local to global levels, and the development of people, their
communities, and their environments. Social workers should advocate
for living conditions conducive to the fulfillment of basic human
needs and should promote social, economic, political, and cultural
values and institutions that are compatible with the realization of
6.02 Public Participation
Social workers should facilitate informed participation by the
public in shaping social policies and institutions.
6.03 Public Emergencies
Social workers should provide appropriate professional services in
public emergencies to the greatest extent possible.
6.04 Social and Political Action
(a) Social workers should engage in social and political action
that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the
resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to
meet their basic human needs and to develop fully. Social workers
should be aware of the impact of the political arena on practice
and should advocate for changes in policy and legislation to
improve social conditions in order to meet basic human needs and
promote social justice.
(b) Social workers should act to expand choice and
opportunity for all people, with special regard for vulnerable,
disadvantaged, oppressed, and exploited people and groups.
(c) Social workers should promote conditions that encourage
respect for cultural and social diversity within the United States
and globally. Social workers should promote policies and practices
that demonstrate respect for difference, support the expansion of
cultural knowledge and resources, advocate for programs and
institutions that demonstrate cultural competence, and promote
policies that safeguard the rights of and confirm equity and social
justice for all people.
(d) Social workers should act to prevent and eliminate
domination of, exploitation of, and discrimination against any
person, group, or class on the basis of race, ethnicity, national
origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or
expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion,
immigration status, or mental or physical ability.