Legislative & Advocacy Committee 2023-2024

Topic: NASW-KY Legislative and Advocacy Discussion Group!

                                                          SOCIAL WORK IS POLITICAL!  

Please join us bi-weekly for our 12pm-1pm/EST discussion on current 2023 and future bills for 2024.  We will be posting our Fall 2023 Legislative and Advocacy Schedule in September.  We meet on Zoom and you can contact Brenda at:  brosen.naswky@socialworkers.org for the Zoom link if you are not a NASW-KY member.

We have opened up our NASW-KY Legislative and Advocacy Committee to include both members and future members to inspire conversations with social workers and students who live and work across Kentucky.  We also welcome students who attend Kentucky online social work programs and live out of state attend and enjoy the opportunity to learn from each other.  NASW-KY believes that every individual has the right to their own bodily autonomy and gender rights, reproductive rights and healthcare choices, and adamantly support all racial justice issues and rights.  Given the plethora of bills filed each legislative session, we do our utmost to make sure we are familiar and focused on policies that empower our citizens, not degrade or deny us our rights.  Everything we do in our legislative work is framed through the lens of our Code of Ethics:

Ethical Standard of the Month: 6.04 Social and Political Action

One of the primary factors distinguishing social work from
psychology, psychiatry, and the other mental health professions is its
commitment to social justice. — Allan Edward Barsky

c) Social workers should promote conditions that encourage respect for
cultural and social diversity within the United States and globally.
Social workers should promote policies and practices that demonstrate
respect for difference, support the expansion of cultural knowledge and
resources, advocate for programs and institutions that demonstrate
cultural competence, and promote policies that safeguard the rights and
confirm equity and social justice for all people.

d) Social workers should act to prevent and eliminate domination of,
exploitation of, and discrimination against any person, group, or class
on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual
orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status,
political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical

The charge set forth in the sixth section of the NASW Code of Ethics,
"Social Workers’ Ethical Responsibilities to the Broader Society," is
not limited to certain social workers practicing in certain contexts,
such as advocacy, policy, government, or community organization. This
charge applies to all social workers in all practice settings.

Standard 6.04 (c–d) requires social workers to respect cultural and
social diversity, and to work toward preventing and eliminating
exploitation based on discrimination, whether in their locality or on
the other side of the globe.

Today, with the proliferation of available information, countless
opportunities present on a daily basis to exercise these ethical
obligations. So where to start?

There is no right or wrong way to engage in social and political
action. The Code does not prescribe which causes or activities social
workers should undertake. Barsky (2010) laid out several considerations
that can assist with deciding on the best way to contribute. Social
workers should select a way to take action by considering their areas
of expertise, interests, and/or based on issues that they are
impassioned by. The main thing is to do something.