Monday, March 4
Sun-Times Unfortunate Comments Disparaging The Social Work Profession
Letter sent to the Chicago Sun-Times on March 4, 2013:
March 4, 2013
At the start of Social Work Month (March), it was unfortunate to read Marc Brown’s recent columns about events in Chicago’s 46th Ward. Mr. Brown regrettably has taken on a tone of disparagement of the social work profession, a licensed profession in the state of Illinois, regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The key policy issues raised in the articles impact the lives of citizens of the 46th Ward, Mr. Brown should have kept that focus rather than cast doubt on Alderman Cappleman’s licensed profession and in turn casting doubt on over ten thousand licensed social workers in the State of Illinois.
While the Illinois Chapter of NASW was not a participant to the situation and therefore cannot speak on the specifics of what transpired, the basic concept of improving services and working toward a more evidence based practice and delivery is at the core of our profession.
The NASW Code of Ethics notes that the mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective. They include the following:
- Social Justice
- Dignity and Worth of the Person
- Importance of Human Relationships
- Integrity, and
Moreover, our Code obligates us as professionals to advocate for adequate resources to meet clients’ needs, resource allocation procedures that are open and fair and when not all clients’ needs are meet, advocate for allocation procedure that is nondiscriminatory and based on appropriate and consistently applied principles. These are the main issues facing service providers in the 46th Ward, as well as throughout the state of Illinois. At a time when resources are limited, all providers need to seek ways to work together to provide measurable, transformational, and meaningful service to the under-served in our state.
Joel L. Rubin, MSW, CAE
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Illinois Chapter