Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 713,200 social workers in the USA with hundreds being employed in Idaho. Many of you may have people in your lives who are social workers. Although you may know a social worker, you might wonder, “what does a social worker even do?”
According to the National Association of Social Workers, it is the professional activity of helping individuals, groups, or communities enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and creating societal conditions to achieve this goal.
Social workers follow a Code of Ethics which includes these ethical principles: service, dignity and worth of the person, integrity, competence, and lastly, social justice. Social workers highly value the principle of social justice and it’s imperative that the public know what social justice truly means.
Social justice is a condition in which all members of society have the same basic rights, protections, opportunities, obligations and social benefits. For social workers, social justice entails confronting discrimination, oppression and institutional inequities. Examples include providing services to our military members, financial assistance to the elderly, food to children born into poverty, and housing to the disabled.
What social justice is not; it is not indoctrination of children and young adults through public education, taking away the rights of one group to give more rights to another group, and it does not impede on your rights declared in the Constitution.
Lastly, celebrate the social workers in your life!
MEGAN DARDIS-KUNZ Coeur d’Alene