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According to the NASW Code of Ethics, 2017, one of social work’s core values is social justice.  The ethical principle related to social justice is “social workers challenge social injustice.”  “Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of individuals and groups who may be vulnerable and oppressed.  Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination and other forms of social injustice.  These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity.  Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.

The NASW Code of Ethics, 2017, states under 6.04, Social and Political Action, part A that “Social workers should engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have access to the resources, employment, services and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully.  Social workers should be aware of the impact of the political arena on practice and should advocate for changes in policy and legislation to improve social conditions to meet basic human needs and to promote social justice.”

To help you meet your ethical obligation of political advocacy work, visit NASW-NC’s Advocacy web page at About NASW-NC Advocacy - National Association of Social Workers NC Chapter (  This site will provide more information on how to do advocacy work and includes the policy priorities of the profession.   For additional information on your local representatives, visit and click the tab on the top right corner of the page which says, “find your legislators.”  Advocacy listservs are also available.  These listservs can be accessed by clicking on the “Staying Connected” document on the CETAC home page.