Social work, equality, ethics, values, justice, rights, social justice


Since its inception, social work has professed an abiding commitment to social justice. Indeed, it is perhaps one of the few professions to have maintained such an obligation. This pledge is officially inscribed in the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). This document affirms the pursuit of social justice as a core value, not just for members of the Association, but also for social workers in general. However, what kind of social justice does the Association advocate and how just is it? While answers to these questions are critical to the Association’s members and broader social work community, they are, without doubt, of vital importance to those whom social work seeks to serve. This paper examines the nature and scope of the principles of social justice subscribed to by the NASW.

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