2017 NASW, MS Annual Conference March 29-31, 2017  Visit the Conference Page for details..
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Accepting Award Nominations for Social Worker of the Year, Social Worker Lifetime Achievement, Public Citizen of the Year
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NASW Statement on Donald J Trump Election as 45th U.S. President

Association urges President-Elect to help heal divisiveness, trauma from his campaign

                     See NASW CEO Dr. Angelo Maclean's message here:                                                                 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) congratulates Donald J. Trump on his election to become the 45th president of the United States.

The Association is deeply concerned by statements Mr. Trump has made regarding women, people of color and immigrants. At the same time, we acknowledge we must work with the new administration to address pressing issues of the day, including justice reforms, racial and gender inequality, access to health care for all, and helping more Americans achieve economic self-sufficiency and stability.

The NASW Code of Ethics makes clear the importance of social justice. We cannot support any efforts to marginalize or oppress any group of people, and will always work to assure that human rights extend to everyone. Social workers continue to strongly advocate for our country’s most vulnerable populations.

President-Elect Trump has said he is committed to restoring economic prosperity to the United States, helping more Americans afford care for their children and relatives who are older adults, and providing more services to our nation’s brave veterans and their families. We hope to build on these commonalities to move our country forward and will hold Mr. Trump accountable for his promises.

We also urge Mr. Trump and his administration to help heal the divisiveness and trauma his campaign has caused among some communities and populations.  NASW, the largest professional social work association in the world with more than 125,000 members, is ready to help ensure these actions are done in a socially responsible and unifying manner.

NASW firmly supports our nation’s efforts to move forward in a positive way that acknowledges the inherent dignity and worth of all people.  Specifically, NASW will work to ensure that President-Elect Trump appoints justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and judges to the Circuit Courts of Appeals and lower Federal District Courts who come from diverse gender and ethnic backgrounds and will protect the rights of all citizens.

Lastly, NASW congratulates Democrat nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton for her years of service. Mrs. Clinton has a long history of working for positive social change in areas of importance to social workers, including health care reform; the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; reproductive rights for women; racial justice and equal rights for people who are LGBT.

We share Mrs. Clinton’s hope for the future.  Everyone deserves the chance to pursue and achieve their dreams.  As Mrs. Clinton said in her concession speech, “let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear; making our economy work for everyone not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet and breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams.”

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 NASW Member Services 800-742-4089 M – F, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm ET


 UPDATE on Advocacy HB 1523  NASW/MS  December 2016:

As social workers, it is difficult sometimes to separate our personal values and beliefs from our professional actions, especially when deeply held for a lifetime.  Many were challenged by the language in HB 1523 in the 2016 legislative session, and struggled with the confusing language in the bill.  This bill has not gone away, and we are likely to see more legislation of this type in the coming session.  Read the bill again, this time beginning in Section 3 substituting the words "shall allow"  for  "shall not take" , and then review Section 4, especially (2).  Read the additional parts of the bill again.  The meaning is very clear, and does not agree with the Code of Ethics that social workers practice.

Our NASW Code of Ethics speaks directly to the issues we hold dear and were taught early on as social workers in our practice classes:  self-determination, or meeting the client where the client is first.  In order to do this, we must look beyond the situation presenting itself to the core issue, which is the humanity of the one in front of us.  To do this means not invoking our own values and morals upon this person.  So how do we respond?  

In the NASW Code of Ethics, Section 1, Social Worker's Ethical Responsibilities to Clients, we are reminded of the essential issues related to client services.  A very brief synopsis is provided below.  Please review the entire NASW Code of Ethics Section 1 on the national website at  The entire Code can be downloaded and printed free of charge!

1.01 Our primary responsibility is to our client, unless there is danger present to the client or others threatened with violence.  There is a legal obligation to protect.

1.02  We respect and promote the right of clients to choose and clarify their goals, unless again there is potential, forseeable, and imminent risk to themselves or others.  We support the client's choice.

1.03.  Services social workers provide are of a professional relationship based on informed consent.  We must use a language that the client can understand, stating any risks, limits of service, costs, length of services, and alternatives for your services if you are unable or do not have the expertise needed.

1.04  Services for a specific clients are provided by a social worker who is competent in this area; social workers are not allowed to practice outside their area of competency, and a referral should be made to another professional  who has the correct training and skills. 

1.05  Social workers should be educated and skilled in culture and its function in human behavior, and knowledge of their client's culture.  The ability to practice with human beings----with an understanding of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion, and mental or physical ability is paramount.  Knowing your own values and biases is critical in addressing your practice areas, and your ability to refer when you cannot address a particular issue without harming your client in the process is paramount.

1.06   Social workers must be alert to and avoid conflicts of interest in any setting, that will interfere with the exercise of professional discrption and impartial judgement.  You are obligated to inform your client and take reasonable steps to resolve the issue with the client's interests in mind.

1.07  Social workers should respect the client's right to privacy and keep all information obtained in the course of service confidential.

1.08  Social workers should provide clients with reasonable access to records with assistance in interpreting and limiting access when compelling evidence indicates harm to the client.

1.09  Social workers should in no instances engage in sexual contact or sexual activities with clients

1.10  Social workers should not engage in physical contact when possible psychological harm may be caused, and clear boundaries must be maintained.  

1.11  Social workers should not sexually harass clients. There should be no verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

1.12   Social workers should not use derogatory language in their written or verbal communication with their client.

1.13  Fees set by social workers should be fair and reasonable.

1.14  Social workers should safeguard the rights of those clients who lack decision-making capacity.

1.15  If services are interrupted, social workers should make reasonable efforts to ensure continuity of services.

1.16  Termination of services to clients should not be done by abandoning the client, without notifying the client promptly when they will be gone or leave an employment setting without referral or transfer to another worker, by leaving one setting to pursue a social, financial, or sexual relationship with the client.  Social workers should terminate services when they are no longer needed.

Remember the above is only a brief statement of each section, and you are advised to review the NASW Code of Ethics Section 1 for full information.

Now is the time to support our clients affected by breaches of the Code of Ethics more that any other time in history since the Civil Rights and Womens movement.  We need you to examine your strengths and join us in whatever way you can to address the discrimination that is being supported by many groups and individuals in our state and our society.  NASW is the only social work organization to address our legislature through a Board approved Legislative Agenda, lobbying, and grass-roots advocacy.  

BUT we cannot do it without you and your support!  If you are not a member, join us to get on our list for advocacy action throughout the 2017 Legislative Session and beyond, and prepare for bills addressing our profession and our clients!  And remember that 2018 is the Sunset Year for our social work licensing law....time to get ready now!

Join or renew by going to .............TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER!!!



NASW Position on Protecting Civil & Human Rights

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is both dismayed and disappointed by the legislative actions taken by Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee to deny equal treatment of LGBT individuals and families.  The following is a brief summary of each law:

Mississippi Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act (HB 1523)

The stated purpose of the law is to protect from discrimination claims anyone who believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, that sexual relations are reserved solely for marriage, and that the terms male and female pertain only to a person’s genetics and anatomy at birth. The law allows individuals (including those working in publicly funded courts and services), businesses, and religious organizations to use religion to discriminate against LGBT persons and their families.  Examples range from the right to refuse marriage certificates refusing to employ a person and/or rent or sell a person property.  Also, medical professionals can refuse to provide health care if a patient seeks treatment, counseling and surgery related to “sex reassignment or gender identity transitioning[1].

Tennessee LGBT Anti-Counseling Legislation (SB-1556)

The Tennessee anti-LGBT law declares that no person providing counseling or therapy services (in private practice) shall be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist. Furthermore, the bill provides immunity from liability for counselors and therapists who refuse to counsel a client when doing so is in conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist.

North Carolina Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act ( HB DRH40005-TC-1B)

The North Carolina Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which was passed by the North Carolina legislature, requires schools and public agencies to have gender-segregated bathrooms and to prevent people from using a bathroom that doesn’t correspond to their biological sex.  Further, the law states individuals cannot bring any civil action based upon the state’s employment or public accommodation nondiscrimination protections.  It states that cities and counties are prohibited from writing non-discrimination ordinances that protect LGBT people or veterans.  This trend in legal discrimination is growing, with  13 other states  considering similar legislation.

NASW Position

NASW believes that these laws, passed under the guise of “religious freedom” or to “protect children,” must be vetoed or repealed.  Taken separately or collectively, all three laws are objectionable and are an affront to the progress we have made toward protecting the civil and human rights of all Americans.

While NASW respects diversity of many types, various freedoms and rights are subject to reasonable limitations and religious expression does not automatically trump other legitimate interests.[2]   NASW has joined allied mental health provider groups to voice concern that such laws violate their professions’ policies and the NASW Code of Ethics. NASW believes that discrimination and prejudice dir­ected against any group is damaging to the so­cial, emotional, and economic well-being of the affected group and of society as a whole.

[1] CNN News  April 16, 2016.  Retrieved from:

[2] NASW  Legal Issue of the Month.  Provider Refusal and Conscious Clause Controversies.

For more information on this issue contact NASW Senior Policy Associate Evelyn Tomaszewski at

P. O. Box 5599, Pearl, MS, 39288 | 601.936.0557

(©2016 National Association of Social Workers-Mississippi Chapter. All Rights Reserved.)

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