6. Social Workers' Ethical Responsibilities to the Broader Society
NASW Code of Ethics: Ethical Standards
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 social justice.
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 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.