Ethics Alive! The 2017 NASW Code of Ethics: What's New?

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"Awareness" step back from "Competence"

How unfortunate that after all the years of struggle our profession decides to take a step back instead of forward with regard to cultural diversity. The rationale provided here does not hold water. That "some people" question whether the term “competence” presupposes that social workers can become competent in someone else’s culture or any other aspect of their social diversity. Who exactly are these people? I submit to them that perhaps what we can't expect is "mastery" but we should not only presuppose but DEMAND "competence." A level of awareness is, frankly, a cop out. Do we not expect social workers to become competent in theories and methods of practice. Oh, no, let's just expect licensed clinical social workers to just be "aware" of these theories and methods.

DrCGP 117 days ago


Your change in language is not approved by the disability community. It is boneheaded to go against what that community has chosen for itself and shows a lack of collaboration, consultation and solidarity on your part.

Tom Wilson 138 days ago


Others could say it's also lack of empathy. Recognising a person's strengths or their system around them strengths does not need to happen in the expense of acknowledging (accepting?) an individual's disability or a disability within their social environments. Both are relevant to a social worker's role and important parts of the intervention plan pursued for the individual.

Angelo Koutoumanos 137 days ago

Compassion for all through effective communication

Please...let's try to practice thoughtful and respectful communication. Express your concerns without attacking. Assume that the authors had good intentions. This is how we heal the world and ourselves.

Jill 134 days ago

Der Jill,

First off - Effective communication - None of that happened within this revision. Thats part of the issue.
Second - Attacking?...I must have missed something - Its called a critical consciousness, Jill. A social concept. Shouldn't a social worker know this?

John Abbate 132 days ago

Unnecessarily biting

JA, I agree with Jill, that words such as "boneheaded" lack the civility that the social work profession should exemplify. Though TW's words may be true, they are unnecessarily harsh, and unbecoming of the profession. Even the tone of your response to Jill...aren't we all on the same team here? Surely we can disagree without such biting tones.

Danny Anderson 119 days ago

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