Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Why politics, why ethics?

Soon after I wrote about Slave Wages, a patient boldly said to me, "Doc, why are you doing this? Why are you going political on us? You don't have to, you know. You can keep your blogs about mental health."

Translate: Doc, keep your politics out of your blog.
Or: Stick to mental health.

Anyway, the answer is that unlike some mental health professionals, I am a social worker. True, I'm a clinical social worker, a licensed clinical social work doc (LCSW), and am a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT).

So I spend most of my time as a mental health practitioner with a relationship specialty.

But social workers have conscience. We have a code of ethics. I'm not saying other professionals don't have their codes, they do, but I only know ours.

So I thought I'd share just a bit of what social workers, the ones I admire, are about. I put the stuff I liked in bold:

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession's focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society.

Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living. Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. "Clients" is used inclusively to refer to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Social workers are sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. These activities may be in the form of direct practice, community organizing, supervision, consultation, administration, advocacy, social and political action, policy development and implementation, education, and research and evaluation.

Social workers seek to enhance the capacity of people to address their own needs. Social workers also seek to promote the responsiveness of organizations, communities, and other social institutions to individuals' needs and social problems.

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:

service
social justice
dignity and worth of the person
importance of human relationships
integrity
competence
.

This constellation of core values reflects what is unique to the social work profession. Core values, and the principles that flow from them, must be balanced within the context and complexity of the human experience.

See, that's why I write about politics, that's why I expect ethical behavior and advocacy for ethical behavior from the government that has been elected by the people, for the people.

According to this? Those women in American Samoa are my clients.

And the blog? My way of disseminating information, educating an international populace. It would appear, according to my professional code of ethics that access to such a public venue (blogging) may make it INCUMBENT upon people like me to give back more in this way.

You can always scroll down to my sillier posts, you know, for fun.

Copyright 2006, TherapyDoc

4 comments:

Mark said...

Linda,
Very well stated! I appreciate all that you bring to your writing!

TherapyDoc said...

Just wait til you see tomorrow's blog.

J said...

Hey, it's your blog. People can take it or leave it. Or they can just read the sillier posts.

So, how do you feel about Reagan?

Just curious...my otherwise apolitical roommate from 2 years ago, a CSW in training, came home one day ranting about what they'd learned about him in class. It shocked me because, contrary to popular belief, our U doesn't generally preach politics.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Great post and tomorrow's which I saw is really amazing.