The NASW and Social Work
One of the most important bodies in the social work world is known as the National Association of Social Work or NASW. The National Association of Social Work provides a variety of functions and services as one of the guiding forces of social work.
NASW is professional organization of social workers whose mission is to help social workers progress professionally as individuals as well as progressing social work as a field itself. This is done by having a membership driven taskforce that creates professional standards, codes of ethics and works to advance social work policies that benefit the profession and society as a whole. With well over 140,000 members, the National Association of Social Work is the largest professional social work membership body in the world.
Perhaps the most important policy tool that has come out of the National Association of Social Work is their Code of Ethics. Universally recognized as the gold standard of social work ethical practices, this extensive document outlines the goals of social work, the duties of the social worker as a professional and individual. It encourages not only ethical behavior, community giving and other extremely high professional standards; it also encourages the individual to challenge themselves to grow both as a professional and as a human being.
The National Association of Social Work has a leadership committee and board of directors that is nominated by and elected to office by the membership itself. This board then works to create policies for the NASW to pursue in its objectives of acting as a professional membership organization dedicated to increasing the professional standards of social work and advancing the profession in society at large.
In addition to its board of directors, the National Association of Social Work has a decision making body that is representative in nature. This body is made up of 277 delegates who are elected by the membership. Their mandate is to set the overall policy objectives for the organization, help to prioritize these objectives and to help shape the public face of NASW as well as to create a framework for dealing with professional issues that have arisen within the social work field.
The National Association of Social Work is a key organization for social workers and adds a tremendous amount to the social work field. The NASW is an organization that every social worker should be familiar with and in particular their code of ethics.