Social work

published in the Republican November 2020

A social worker’s purpose is to help individuals live their best life in their communities while overcoming daily challenges.  They foster self-determination and social responsibility.  The social workers work with a variety of different groups of people across the country. 

Several weeks ago, Texas Governor Greg Abbott recommended a change to the code of conduct for social workers.  His recommendation was to delete language that bars social workers from rejectingclients on the basis of disability, sexual orientation orgender identity.  Abbott stated that “the code’s nondiscrimination protections went beyond protections laid out in the state law that governs how and when the state may discipline social workers.”

After the change in the rule, there was a firestorm of criticism from social workers and advocates.  The National Association of Social Workers called the change unnecessary and also criticized the decision, saying that it was made solely on the governor’s recommendation without considering public opinionas required.  Texas State Representative Sarah Davis said “Removing these protections from the code of conduct will increase stigma for vulnerable groups, which will only serve to discourage them from seeking care.”

After the backlash the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council voted to reinstate the language that was removed.  The executive director of the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, Will Francis, said, “We are so grateful for the vote to keep the anti-discrimination protections in place.  This is a recognition of the key principle that a social worker’s beliefs must never impede a person’s right to self-determination or access to services.”

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