Celebrating 55 years of the NASW Code of Ethics

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On October 13, 2015, NASW celebrated the 55th birthday of the NASW Code of Ethics, and launched a year-long celebration of all things ethics.

NASW’s Delegate Assembly approved the first edition of the NASW Code of Ethics on October 13, 1960. Since then, the Code has emerged as the standard bearer for defining the values and principles that guide social workers’ conduct in all practice areas.

With the last revision occurring in 2008, today’s Code is used as a model for social work practice across the United States and worldwide. It has been adopted by many organizations and incorporated into a number of state social work licensing laws.

During the next year, look out for special ethics events, programming, and products as NASW recognizes the Code's 55th year as a frontrunner in defining and advancing professional social work values.

Coming Soon Watch NASW’s 60th Anniversary Celebration and Earn an Ethics CE

On October 23rd we kicked off the year-long celebration of the Code during the NASW 60th anniversary event with a live-streamed ethics panel discussion that focused on a cross-systems examination of the evolution of the Code:

The NASW Code of Ethics: Past, Present, and Future

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An interactive discussion examining the influence of social and professional developments on the evolution of the Code over the last 55 years. Our celebrated panelists engaged in a multidimensional assessment of the Code’s evolution through the lens of practice, social work education, licensure, and the law. Participants were prompted to consider emerging issues such as new technologies and globalization and their implications for social work ethics.

  • Allan Barsky, JD, PhD, MSW
    Professor of Social Work
    Florida Atlantic University
    Boca Raton, FL
  • Frederic G. Reamer, PhD
    School of Social Work
    Rhode Island College
  • Mary Jo Monahan, MSW, LCSW
    Chief Executive Officer
    Association of Social Work Boards
    Culpeper, VA
  • Jo Ann Regan PhD, MSW
    Vice President of Education
    Council on Social Work Education
    Alexandria, VA
2015 Excellence In Ethics Honorees

During the 60th Anniversary Summit, NASW hosted the Excellence in Ethics awards luncheon. Six social workers were honored for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of ethics for NASW and the social work profession. The honorees were:

  • Allan Barsky JD, MSW, PhD
  • Elizabeth DuMez, MSW, ACSW
  • Natalie Holzman, MSW, LCSW
  • Ruth Lipschutz, LCSW, ACSW
  • Frederick Reamer, PhD
  • Kim Strom-Gottfried, PhD

Learn More about the Honorees

Special Commemorative Edition of the NASW Code of Ethics

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Join us in celebrating 55 years of the NASW Code of Ethics with this time-limited commemorative edition. The NASW Code of Ethics continues to be the most widely accepted standard for defining and advancing professional social work values and principles.

This elegantly designed keepsake edition of the Code is great for display in your office or as a gift for the special social worker in your life. Purchase the commemorative Code today!  A percentage of every purchase will be contributed to the Wichers Ethics Education Fund which supports the advancement of social work ethics.

Visit our 55th anniversary of the Code of Ethics store and lift up this moment in social work history by purchasing ethics anniversary memorabilia.

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