Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ethics: NASW Explores Codes of Ethics in Social Work Practice

Understanding the Code of Ethics in Social Work Practice

Karen Zgoda (Nov. 19, 2015). Social Work Helper. Retrieved from:

Social workers are required to consider the code of ethics when working with clients in a therapeutic or direct practice relationship. However, we want to examine and discuss the implications of utilizing the code of ethics while working along the full continuum of social work practice from micro to macro. 

Most have heard about ethical issues relating confidentiality, dual relationships, and sexual relationships, but what do ethical dilemmas look like when working in communities, advocacy, or public policy? What ethical obligations do social workers when working in social justice versus working in one on one relationships with clients?

We will explore how practitioners and students view ethical obligations around macro practice and social justice issues. Our guest expert is Heather McCabeAssistant Professor of Social Work at Indiana University. She served as a medical social worker at a pediatric tertiary care hospital for several years before returning to school for her law degree.

She also served as the Director of the Public Health Law Program  and then Executive Director for the Hall Center for Law and Health at the IU School of Law – Indianapolis before coming to her current position.  Professor McCabe’s research is primarily in the areas of public health, health policy, health disparities, health reform, and disability related policy.  She is particularly interested in exploring the effects of multidisciplinary education and collaboration in her work.

Questions to be explored:
  1. Do you think about the NASW Code of Ethics applying to community organizing, policy practice, advocacy? If so, how?
  2. If you see multiple clients with the same systemic issue, do you have any ethical obligation to address the issue?
  3. What types of bills do you see as impacting your clients? What responsibility to you have to advocate for/educate about them?
  4. Do you advocate for policy in your day to day work? Give an example.
  5. How do we continue encouraging social workers to see practice as a continuum, which includes macro practice?
See #MacroSW Twitter chat here:

  • Reisch, M. & Lowe, J.I. (2000). “Of means and ends” revisited: Teaching ethical community organizing in an unethical society. Journal of Community Practice, 7(1), 19-38.
  • Hardina, D. (2000). Guidelines for ethical practice in community organization. Social Work, 49(4), 595-604.
  • Harrington, D., & Dolgoff, R. (2008). Hierarchies of Ethical Principles for Ethical Decision Making in Social Work. Ethics and Social Welfare, 2(2), 183–196. doi:10.1080/17496530802117680
  • National Association of Social Workers. (2008).  Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Washington, DC: NASW Press.
  • Rome, S.H.,Hoechstetter, S., and Wolf-Branigin, M. (2010). Pushing the envelope: Empowering clients through political action. Journal of Policy Practice, 9(3-4), 201-219.
  • Rome, S.H. (2009). Value inventory for policy advocacy. In E.P Congress, P.N. Black, and K. Strom-Gottfried (Eds.) Teaching Social Work Values and Ethics. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

Jay Memmott: The NASW Code of Ethics. (6 Sep 2013). Youtube. Retrieved from: 

Activism: CASW Calls for A New Social Care Act for Canada

For immediate release

A New Social Care Act for Canada

OTTAWA, November 25, 2015 – The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) today issued A New Social Care Act for Canada that provides an in-depth history of Canada’s social policy trajectory and paints a picture of the Canada that might have been before it was derailed by a climate of austerity and budget-balancing-at-any-cost mentality.

Like the Canada Health Act, CASW proposes that a Social Care Act for Canada be grounded in ten principles that would not impose restrictions or regulations on the provinces and territories, but rather serve as a catalyst for renewed federal leadership to support the delivery of equitable services to all populations across Canada.

Ten Principles of New Social Care Act for Canada

1. Public administration 6. Comprehensiveness
2. Universality 7. Portability
3. Accessibility 8. Fairness
4. Effectiveness 9. Accountability and Transparency
5. Rights and Responsibility 10. Comparability

With the commitment to a new Health Accord and renewed promise of national leadership, CASW urges the new Liberal government to boldly adopt a new Social Care Act for Canada to help guide the Canada Social Transfer and all new investments in social infrastructure.

“The Canadian health care system stands to save significantly by adopting a bold vision to address the social determinants of health, as the best research available clearly demonstrates that health, social and economic outcomes are inextricably linked” states CASW President, Morel Caissie.
For further information:
Fred Phelps, MSW, RSW
CASW Executive Director
Tel: 613-729-6668

Pour publication immédiate

Une nouvelle Loi sur l'action sociale pour le Canada

OTTAWA, le 25 novembre 2015 – L'Association canadienne des travailleuses et travailleurs sociaux (ACTS) publie aujourd'hui Une nouvelle Loi sur l'action sociale pour le Canada. On y présente un historique en profondeur de l'évolution des politiques sociales au Canada, peignant un portrait du Canada, tel qu'il aurait pu être, s'il n'avait déraillé en raison d'un climat d'austérité et d'une mentalité axée sur la réduction du déficit à tout prix.

À l'instar de la Loi canadienne sur la santé, l'ACTS propose qu'une Loi sur l'action sociale au Canada s'appuie sur dix principes qui n'imposeraient pas de restrictions ou de règles aux provinces et territoires, mais qui serviraient plutôt de catalyseurs d'un leadership fédéral renouvelé visant à soutenir la prestation de services équitables à l'ensemble de la population canadienne.
Dix principes d'une nouvelle Loi sur l'action sociale pour le Canada

1. Gestion publique 6. Intégralité
2. Universalité 7. Transférabilité
3. Accessibilité 8. Équité
4. Efficacité 9. Reddition de comptes et transparence
5. Droits et responsabilités 10. Comparabilité

En regard de son engagement de parvenir à un nouvel Accord en santé et d'assurer un leadership fédéral, l'ACTS prie instamment le nouveau gouvernement libéral d'adopter hardiment une nouvelle Loi sur l'action sociale pour le Canada, qui aiderait à orienter le Transfert canadien en matière de programmes sociaux et tous les nouveaux investissements en infrastructure.

« Le système canadien des soins de santé pourrait réaliser des économies importantes en adoptant une vision audacieuse pour s'attaquer aux déterminants sociaux de la santé – les meilleures recherches démontrant clairement que la santé et les résultats sociaux et économiques sont inextricablement liés », affirme le président de l'ACTS, Morel Caissie.
Pour plus de renseignements:
Fred Phelps, M.Serv.Soc., TSI
Directeur général, ACTS
Tél. : 613-729-6668
​Courriel :

Activism: Edmonton social workers aims to sponsor Syrian family

Group of Edmonton social workers aims to sponsor Syrian family

Paige Parsons (November 24, 2015). Edmonton Journal. Retrieved from:

A group of Edmonton social workers is calling on colleagues across the province to help raise funds needed to sponsor a Syrian refugee family.

The group comprises faculty members from the University of Calgary Department of Social Work’s Edmonton campus. It needs to raise $30,000 to cover the expenses of a family of five’s first year in Canada, which will pay for housing, food, clothing and transportation.

“We just felt that as social workers we could be doing more to make a difference,” said Julie Drolet, one of the professors spearheading the sponsorship.

Drolet said during a department meeting last month there was a discussion about how she and her colleagues could get involved. Drolet proposed they start a refugee sponsorship.

“There was great support amongst our colleagues in Edmonton, and also with our colleagues in other parts of Alberta,” Drolet said.

Drolet said they’re hoping to tap into that support to meet the $30,000 target.

“We’re also inviting social workers to join with us as volunteers, if people have donations of expertise that they’d like to lend, in helping to facilitate the settlement and integration. We think that social workers can play an important role in this,” she said.

The social workers are also hopeful the general public will be willing to make donations and are interested in partnering with any groups interested in holding fundraising events to help meet the goal.

Drolet said once a certain amount of money has been raised, they’ll be able to choose a family, who will arrive in Canada about four to six months after that.

Drolet said she and her colleagues are hopeful they will be able to assist the family getting settled.
For more information or to make a donation to this campaign, visit the Mennonite Central Committee’s website.

How can I help Syrian refugees coming to Edmonton?

Many Edmontonians moved by the plight of Syrian refugees want to help, but aren’t sure how. Below are a number of ways to get involved by volunteering, donating money or items to assist with the resettlement of Syrian families in Edmonton, as well as information about how to offer housing or help with sponsoring a Syrian family.

Donate money
  • The Edmonton Mennonite Centre has set up the Syrian Emergency Relief Fund to collect money that will be used to help with settlement needs for Syrians arriving in Edmonton. All funds will be used to support Syrian refugee families and any donations collected before Dec. 31 will be matched by the federal government’s Syrian Emergency Relief matching fund.
  • Edmonton Catholic Social Services is also collecting donations. To specifically give money to support Syrian refugees, call 780-432-1137.
Donate items
  • Islamic Family Social Services Association is collecting clothing donations that will be used to help not only Syrian Refugees, whose need for clothes vary, but any individuals in Edmonton who are in need. For more information, call 780-430-9220 or email
  • St. Vincent De Paul is working with Catholic Social Services to support incoming Syrians and is accepting seasonal clothing — winter boots, coats, mitts, scarves, etc. — as well as housewares. As with IFSSA, donated items may be distributed to any local people in need.
  • Catholic Social Services is gathering information from people interested in volunteering with Syrian refugees. People can indicate the amount and type of volunteering they’d like to do here or by calling the Syrian refugee volunteer line at 780-391-3338.
  • The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers is also recruiting volunteers and is currently looking for homework tutors to support newcomer and refugee children in schools. For more information call 780-424-7709 or visit the EMCN website.
Offer a residence to rent
  • Edmonton Catholic Social Services is co-ordinating landlords in Edmonton and Red Deer who are willing to rent out a residence to incoming refugees. Property owners can apply to rent out their unit by filling out this form.
Sponsor a family
  • The Mennonite Central Committee Alberta is accepting donations to supplement the efforts of groups that have been unable to raise enough money to qualify to sponsor a Syrian family. For more information about sponsorship, email

Monday, November 23, 2015

Employment: Complex Care Social Worker - Vancouver

City Centre Care Society
Social Worker, Vancouver

City Centre Care Society operates two facilities, Central City Lodge which houses the Complex Care and Addiction Recovery Programs and Cooper Place, the Assisted Living Program. Under the direction of the Executive Director, the Social Worker assists with admission and discharge planning and provides comprehensive case management services to residents, counselling to residents and families, and facilitates access to community services.

The ideal candidate will:
  • Hold a Bachelor Degree in Social Work from an accredited university - Masters level preferred.
  • Have four years recent related experience in an acute care or residential setting working with older adults with cognitive impairment, brain injury, and mental health and/or addiction challenges; or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Maintenance of registration with the BC College of Social Workers is required.

Please email your resume to Wendy Harvey, Director Operations and Leadership to or telephone 604.639.8230. Deadline for application is December 7, 2015.

More information:

Advocacy: NASW 60th Anniversary - Forums on Ethics, Family Well-Being, and Equity

NASW Celebrates 60th Anniversary with Forum on Ethics, Family Well-Being, and Equity

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) celebrated its 60th year with a special anniversary forum on Oct. 23, 2015 bringing together leaders of the profession to discuss how social workers can lead national efforts that improve family well-being, ensure liberty and equity for all, and develop ethical responses to new technologies and globalization.

The event also commemorated the 55th anniversary of the NASW Code of Ethics, which guides the ethical conduct of the profession, and the 40th anniversaries of the NASW National Committee on Women’s Issues (NCOWI) and National Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (NCORED). These committees continue to support initiatives that advocate for women’s rights and ensure that racial and ethnic diversity are included in NASW policies and programs.

In conjunction with the forum NCORED released an updated “Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice,” originally published in 2001, and “Indicators for the Achievement of the NASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice,” published in 2007.  These standards will help social workers better serve the increasingly diverse U.S. population.

As part of the celebration, 19 eminent social workers were inducted into the NASW Social Work Pioneers®, an NASW Foundation program that recognizes social workers who have elevated the profession. NASW will also honor six individuals who have made significant contributions to the Code of Ethics and to the advancement of social work ethics (See lists below).

“NASW and the social work profession have much to celebrate and much to be proud about,” NASW CEO Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW said. “This leadership forum will be an opportunity to reflect on how NASW has helped pave the way for positive change in our society since 1955. It challenges leaders in the field to discuss how social workers can have the greatest impact on serving our nation’s families, helping achieve critical social justice goals, and understanding the ethical implications of seismic changes in technology and globalization over the last decade. ”

“This forum is also an excellent way to publicly honor our new NASW Social Work Pioneers and individuals who have helped make the NASW Code of Ethics the guiding light for the profession,” McClain said. “NCORED and NCOWI have also helped guarantee that NASW continues to be one of largest professional organizations in the world advocating for equal rights and social justice for all.”

Three panels were shared via live stream which included “Family Well-Being Across the Lifespan,” “Equity and Liberty in the 21st Century” and “Code of Ethics: Evolution and Emerging Issues.” Social workers and other human service professionals can register for the live stream to listen to the panels and take part in a virtual Q&A. NASW President Darrell Wheeler, PhD, MPH, ACSW, will help moderate the program.

Family Well-Being Across Lifespan

Panel was moderated by Howard University Professor Tricia Bent-Goodley, current editor of the Journal of Social Work. Panelists are Richard Barth, dean of the University of Maryland School of Social Work; Alexandria, VA school social worker and NASW 2014 Social Worker of the Year Ana Bonilla-Galdamez; and Laura Taylor, national director of social work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Equity and Liberty in the 21st Century

Panel was moderated by past NASW President Gary Bailey, professor of practice at Simmons College School of Social Work. Panelists are Ellen Kahn, director of the Children, Youth and Families Program at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation; Carol Bonner, associate dean at Salem State University School of Social Work and chair of NASW’s National Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity; and Joyce James of Joyce James Consulting, a trainer with the People’s Institute Undoing Racism Campaign.

Code of Ethics: Evolution and Emerging Issues

Panel was moderated by Allan Barsky, professor of social work at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Panelists are Frederic Reamer, professor at the Rhode Island College School of Social Work and author of “The Social Work Ethics Case Book”; Mary Jo Monahan, CEO of the Association of Social Work Boards; and Jo Ann Regan, vice president of education at the Council on Social Work Education.

To see the list of inductees:

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Advocacy: CASW Statement on the Refugee Crisis

For immediate release
November 20, 2015​
CASW Statement on the Refugee Crisis

The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) affirms the Liberal Government’s commitment to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada before year’s end. Especially in the wake of recent high-profile terrorist attacks that have shaken the global community, CASW redoubles its supports of our federal government’s international humanitarian obligations.

“At this very difficult time, following the horrifying attacks on Paris and Beirut, our country is understandably distressed. Of course, balancing security and humanitarian initiatives need to be Canada’s top priorities,” stated CASW President Morel Caissie.

“However, in light of recent acts aimed at Muslim Canadian communities that are highly disturbing and fundamentally un-Canadian, it is crucial to remember that refugees are fleeing the very same violence that Canadians abhor,” added Mr. Caissie.

To this end, CASW has been an outspoken advocate for refugees’ rights in Canada for many years, denouncing the previous administration’s drastic cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) that limited essential health care for refugee claimants.

Additionally, CASW was deeply disappointed in the previous government’s callous decision to allow the provinces and territories to impose a minimum residency requirement on refugees to access social assistance. “We hope that the Liberal Government takes this opportunity to act on their promises, and reverse these changes as we prepare to welcome the first waves of refugees,” noted Mr. Caissie.

Social Workers, with an ethical obligation to uphold the dignity and worth of all people and working in diverse sectors across the country, are uniquely positioned to help welcome and settle asylum seekers. “I know that Social Workers, whether working in public or private positions, will be ready to help support the federal government’s commitment and show these refugees, and the rest of the world, why Canada is known for its values of acceptance, pluralism, and compassion,” concluded Mr. Caissie.  

Video: Social workers as super-heroes

Social workers as super-heroes | Anna Scheyett | TEDxColumbiaSC   
TEDx Talks. Youtube. Retrieved from:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Employment: Manager, Member Support Services, Squamish Nation - North Vancouver, BC

Squamish Nation
Manager, Member Support Services

North Vancouver, BC

Squamish Nation is seeking a Manager, Member Support Services, responsible for ensuring the efficient and effective day-to-day operations of member support, event and funeral support services including temporary financial hardship, family crisis intervention, member advocacy, referral services, and counselling.

Qualifications and skills include:

  •     BSW
  •      Registration with the British Columbia College of Social Workers or willing to obtain within a set time-frame;
  •     Minimum seven years of experience including social work, management and supervisory responsibilities, working with at-risk and multi-barriered members/clients, counselling, policy, budget management;
  •     The ability to work evenings and weekends, travel, flexible work schedule as required; 
  •     A valid BC Driver’s License and a reliable vehicle;
  •     Broad-based knowledge of First Nation social issues and generational impacts;
  •     Previous experience working in a First Nations Community (particularly Squamish).
  •     A Master's degree in Social Work with a minimum of 5 years of experience may substitute for the above experience. A combination of relevant education and work experience may also be considered. The above requirements are subject to change based on the need of Squamish Nation.

For more information and to apply online, go to

Global: Adult care social workers in the UK

Social workers: Do-gooders or doing good?

Application for PhD in Social Work - University of Toronto

PhD in Social Work
University of Toronto
The doctoral program at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work is committed to preparing strong researchers and educators for the field of social work.

To learn more about the program visit:
Applications for Fall 2016 are currently being accepted:

Online Applications are due February 1, 2016.

For more information:

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Global: Social Workers on the Frontlines of The Refugee Crisis


The Refugee Crisis: Social Workers at the Forefront of Finding Solutions

IFSW Secretary-General, Rory Truell visited Vienna and Munich last week to see first hand the social work response to the refugee crisis. This is his report:

IFSW (26 October 2015). Retrieved from:

These are a few of the pictures in the temporary kindergarten set up in Vienna’s main railway station run by volunteers and social workers responding to the thousands of refugees as they make their journey to find safety and security.

Corridors in the railway station are lined with tables offering donated food, clothing, hygiene products and advice. Advice on which boarders are open or closed. Advice on how to register family members that have become lost on the journey. Where to find a place to wash, and if there is no room left to sleep at the railway station, advice on where else to go that is safe.

When the packed trains roll-in there is only standing room which swells into the streets. Social workers and volunteers find themselves standing amongst the crowds responding to one request, then another and another. Giving guidance on the possibilities ahead, pointing to the possible places where families can rest and eat.

The situation is chaotic and painful for the refugees who have travelled with such uncertainty; and not knowing the challenges that lie ahead tomorrow. The volunteers come out in their hundreds each day, organising donations and distributing them.

It is a vista of the best and worst of humanity. The worst, as the refugees are escaping wars that could have been prevented if politicians had the will to engage with one another, and also if the international agencies had of been able to provide and protect refugees closer to their home countries.

The best of humanity because of the outpouring of volunteers of all ages, many who were previously refugees themselves, who recognise their obligations and responsibilities that all people should be treated with dignity.

The Austrian government’s response to the crisis has been extremely limited and it is clear that the politicians have been caught off-guard, which has an enormous human cost, including to the 1300 unaccompanied children held in a temporary camp close to Vienna. It was clear that when the World Food Programme cut their funding to refugees in the camps in Turkey and North Africa people would have no option but to take their families on a perilous journey to find places to survive.

It is also clear that the millions of remaining refugees in Turkey and elsewhere will also take the journey northwards as the war in Syria is intensifying and situations in Afghanistan and Yemen show no signs of improvement or hope.

But while politicians have so far failed to create a positive humanistic response to this crisis, many of the citizens of Austria and other European countries have taken action. The outpouring of volunteers in Austria and Germany who have welcomed the refugees sets an example for the politicians to follow. Sometimes the answers come from the governments, but often and in this situation the governments will have to react to the actions of civil society.

Many social workers moved directly into action. Work plans that were once focused on normal daily social work activities changed to supporting families without food or shelter. Assisting young women that have had to use their bodies to pay the price of journeying from extreme poverty and conflict to somewhere safe. As soon as the crisis began the social workers came together to support and advocate solutions in this crisis.

At the heart of social work are the principles of respecting human dignity, actively supporting the right of people to have a say in their own development / recovery, and building people’s capacity. At a meeting organised by the Austrian Association of Social Workers for government services and NGO’s responding to the crisis, social workers commented that: ‘We need to now break down the traditional silos that have divided us. We need to think outside the box, share resources and work together in new ways to maximise our abilities’.

The Austrian social workers have reached out to social workers in all the countries that people are fleeing from and arriving in, through an electronic blog on the IFSW website. “We need to be able to connect people who are lost from their families and we need to know when another big group of refugees will arrive. We cannot get reliable information from the media or the government.”, an Austrian social worker explained.

Last week a representative from the Austrian Association joined a meeting with the German Association of Social Workers to increase coordination and share learning. Both Associations hope to be able to hold further meetings with social workers from all the affected countries to support better plans for the refugees’ journeys, transition and integration into new environments.

Social workers are also running community education campaigns in the host towns and cities. ‘Most people are very supportive to the refugees and of course some people feel threatened’ a German social worker told me. “For example there was one farmer in a small town who said: ‘Over my dead-body would I allow refugees into my town’, but we took refugees to meet him and after hearing their stories, he wants to do all he can to help”, she said.

Social coordination, organising volunteer-led German language classes, information sessions on how to be orientated to German/Austrian laws, customs and culture, where to find support are all part of the new social work role in each of these countries.

IFSW is also advocating, through its UN accreditation, for global governance to bring an end to the conflicts that drive the crisis and for better coordination to support for the refugees’ access to host countries. Social workers throughout the affected countries will meet next year and continue strengthening their capacity to support the next groups of refugees, their integration and realisation for better lives.

The pictures at the top of this report painted by the children at the temporary kindergarten at the Vienna railway station tell the reality from the child’s perspective. They portray a mix of trauma, trying to create understanding, their journey, restating their identity, and a desire to express love for the care that the volunteers and social workers have shown them.

One volunteer told me, “It’s beautiful to have these children in our Kindergarten, it is a little bit of fun and normality. Every time a child laughs it returns the sun to our hearts.”


Link to IFSW Statement on Refugee Crisis

Link to the IFSW blog on the refugee crisis

Link to the Austrian Association of Social Workers for messages of support and advise / information.

Link to the German Association of Social Workers for messages of support and advise / information