NASW Virginia Supports Texas Social Workers Fighting Code of Ethics Changes That Enable Potential Discrimination


The NASW Virginia Chapter stands in solidarity with Texas social workers who are fighting their Governor’s removal of protections against discrimination for disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression from the Social Work Code of Conduct!

The Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (TSBSWE) accepted the language from the Governor, whose rationalization is that agency rules cannot be more expansive than those in state law. However, the board has the explicit statutory authority to propose and adopt rules regarding “the scope of practice of and standards of care and ethical practice for social work.”

This includes defining anti-discrimination protections under the Code of Conduct, which “should receive protected status,” says the chapter. “Social workers already have the ability to decline to provide services to a client based on their competencies and training, but they cannot discriminate based on selective personal values … [the new language] could send the erroneous message that [discrimination] is allowed. This might deter a client from coming in for services or cause a social worker to withhold a service they are ethically obligated to provide.”

Sign this petition to show Texas social workers you oppose any changes to their Code of Conduct!