Spring and Social Work Month are almost here, and those are good reasons to celebrate. Another reason is that NASW is welcoming a new CEO, Anthony Estreet, PhD, MBA, LCSW-C, who started his job in early February.
You can learn more about him via this news release. You also can read his columns in upcoming issues of the magazine. We are excited to have him here and look forward to seeing where he takes the association.
As for Social Work Month, this year’s theme — Social Work Breaks Barriers — can and will be recognized and promoted during March and beyond. NASW President Mildred Joyner writes in this issue that “NASW will move forward in 2023 with an agenda filled with deliberate actions and live up to our theme.”
In our cover story, we examine the ethical challenges many social workers across the U.S. are facing as state laws are passed that directly conflict with the profession’s Code of Ethics. Laws that limit or prohibit abortion access as well as anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation have the potential to criminalize social services and providers.
“Regrettably, social workers in a number of jurisdictions throughout the United States are facing daunting ethical challenges in light of recent court rulings, state statutes, and governors’ executive orders,” says Frederic G. Reamer, PhD, a professor in the graduate program at the Rhode Island College School of Social Work in Providence.
“Some laws — especially those related to reproductive health and gender identity and sexual orientation — have placed social workers firmly on the horns of an ethical dilemma. Social workers who are deeply committed to serving their clients’ needs now find themselves facing onerous repercussions if their actions violate the law.”
Our feature article examines Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for social workers, and how important it is for the profession to turn the DEI lens inward.
“We are called to be culturally responsive practitioners,” says Arabella Perez, DSW, LCSW, the vice president of DEI for NASW. “However, before we start talking about the systemic racism that exists in law enforcement [and other professions], we have to start looking at our own history.”
In Association News, we tell you how NASW-PACE-supported candidates fared in the November midterm elections, and we outline activities and resources to help promote and celebrate Social Work Month.
The NASW Foundation also has new leadership. Read a profile of Acting Assistant Director Brian Williams and his plans for the Foundation.
All of this and more can be found in this issue of Social Work Advocates.
Wishing all of you a great Social Work Month, and a productive and enjoyable 2023.
Until next time,