Association urges President-Elect to help heal divisiveness, trauma from his campaign
See NASW CEO Dr. Angelo Maclean's message here: https://youtu.be/cRnvEP2QAU
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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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?
Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act
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.
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.
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 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. allied mental health provider groups to voice concern that such laws violate their professions’ policies and the . 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.
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(©2016 National Association of Social Workers-Mississippi Chapter. All Rights Reserved.)