National Association of Social Workers, political activism, social work political action


According to the NASW Code of Ethics, social workers are called to engage in political activity at the micro, mezzo and macro levels for the advancement of social justice and human rights. NASW has mechanisms in place to aggregate the voices of individual social workers through political activity. Drawing on a model of civic voluntarism, the aim of this study was to examine the impact of political activity on decisions by Texas social workers to join or re-join NASW, as well as their opinions on the political engagement of NASW/Texas. This study employs a non-experimental, exploratory, cross-sectional survey design to assess political participation of social workers and their view of how politically active NASW as an organization should be. The survey was sent to all attendees of the 2013 NASW/Texas Conference, held in Austin, Texas. The conference attendees (n = 789) included NASW members (n = 643), and non-members (n = 146). A total of 148 responded to the survey, yielding a 19% response rate. The findings of the study suggest that political activity at the organizational level positively impacts social workers’ decisions to join or maintain their NASW membership.

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