Founded in 1955,
the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest
membership association for professional social workers in the world,
with 160,000 members in the United States and overseas. In New York
alone their are more than 22,000 NASW members; the New York State
(NYS) chapter, which encompasses all New York except the five boroughs
of New York City, has over 12,000, while the New York City chapter
has the remainder. The two chapters work together to carry out the
mission and goals of the Association.
workers practice in all settings with all populations.
social workers provide services to individuals, families, groups,
communities, and organizations. NASW members make up much of the
social work labor force in New York and provide a substantial part
of social services. In just one critical area of mental health social
workers provide more than half of all care, especially in rural
counties. In addition to direct service, social work practice includes
policy development, education, management, and research.
provide service as private practitioners or as employees in private
and public agencies. You will also find committed and caring social
workers in schools, hospitals, offices, factories, and community
centers anywhere people need help, guidance, and support. Unlike
so many other professionals, NASW members look beyond the individual
to the family, the group, the organization, and society as a whole.
Our aim is to draw people together for mutual support, to help them
to recognize and to use available personal and external resources
to meet their needs, to encourage organizations to be responsible
to their members, and to influence and guide social policies.
workers advocating for fair public policies.
NASW New York
State helps shape legislation that touches on health, welfare, and
education, or in some way protects and strengthens opportunities
and social supports for individuals and families. Every year, chapter
members gather in Albany to discuss with legislators issues of concern
to social work consumers and professionals. New York State members
also participate in coalitions at the state and local level; host
legislative briefings; and communicate with elected leaders at the
state and local level in person, by phone, mail, fax, and e-mail.
NASW members provide testimony and expert advice to community leaders
and elected officials to develop legislation and policies which
maximize opportunities for all New Yorkers.
also participate in the electoral process. The New York State Political
Action for Candidate Election (NYS PACE) committee is the separate
and independent political action arm of NASW. It endorses candidates,
disburses voluntary contributions, and provides volunteers to those
candidates for public office who support legislation and policies
consistent with those of NASW.
the public with professional standards.
NASW New York
State promotes the quality and effectiveness of social work practice
through adherence to our Code of Ethics. NASW adjudicates complaints
against members and agencies to ensure ethical practice and nondiscrimination
with respect to age, race, color, religion, national origin handicapping
conditions, gender, and sexual orientation. NASW has developed practice
standards to promote sound professional practice in child protection,
case management, school social work, long-term care and health care
facilities, among other settings. NASW-developed clinical indicators
are used to systematically monitor the quality and appropriateness
of patient care.
of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) designates those NASW members
with demonstrated experience and knowledge in the field. The ACSW
credential indicates that the holder is qualified for independent,
self-regulated practice. NASW also offers credentials to recognize
members' skills in specialty areas such as the School Social Work
Specialist credential and the Diplomate in Clinical Social Work.
NASW is the significant force in advocating for enhanced regulation
of social work practice to ensure that the public is protected from
unethical or incompetent practitioners.
development through NASW.
NASW New York State hold bachelor's or advanced degrees from colleges
or universities accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
New York State encourages members to continue professional education
and development throughout their career. Consistent participation
in continuing education enables social workers to maintain and increase
their proficiency in service delivery: new knowledge is acquired,
skills are refined, and professional attitudes are reinforced. Continuing
education is a self-directed process which requires NASW members
to assume responsibility for their own professional development.
The chapter accredits continuing education providers and verifies
the accomplishment of individual NASW members. The chapter offers
regular workshops and seminars throughout New York on a variety
of practice issues.