Whither the Social Workers? Why the Silence?
Skirtz, Alice, Social Work
"Act to expand choice and opportunity for all people, with special regard for vulnerable, disadvantaged, oppressed, and exploited people and groups" [NASW, 2000, p. 27, Sect. 6.04(b)].
The words above are particularly striking as related to two current national conversations on social and ethical issues that affect those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. One concerns the battle about children's health insurance, the other the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the congressional debate concerning passage of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) raged with an obdurate president steadfastly vowing the veto, I wondered where were the voices and actions of social workers. Nationally, we have heard the big voices of the likes of the American Medical Association, AARP, health insurance plans (the insurers' lobby), governors from both political parties, even the parties themselves openly endorsing passage of SCHIP to cover 10 million poor children. In local communities, we have heard the voices of peace and justice activists along with poignant testimony of desperate parents whose children are sick and uninsured. At the same time, we have heard the voices of those who, like the president, argue that SCHIP will bring us to the brink of socialized medicine as if that were an affront to the democracy. Throughout these conversations, what can we make of the silence of social workers? I don't mean our professional organizations and lobbyists, because they usually lobby for our professional interests, or even voices …
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Publication information: Article title: Whither the Social Workers? Why the Silence?. Contributors: Skirtz, Alice - Author. Journal title: Social Work. Volume: 53. Issue: 3 Publication date: July 2008. Page number: 286+. © 2009 National Association of Social Workers. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
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