The CSWE Religion and Spirituality Work Group was organized in 2011 to promote social workers' knowledge, values, and skills for ethical and effective practice that takes into account the diverse expressions of religion and spirituality among clients and their communities.
Given the pervasiveness of religion and spirituality throughout people's lives and cultures, social workers need to understand religion and spirituality to develop a holistic view of the person in environment and to support the professional mission of promoting satisfaction of basic needs, well-being, and justice for all individuals and communities around the world.
This mission is reflected in the 2008 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards; the National Association of Social Workers' Code of Ethics and Standards for Cultural Competence; the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work's Statement of Principles; and the standards for professional practice in many fields of social work practice, such as health, mental health recovery, hospice and palliative care, and substance abuse.
Social workers are expected to work ethically and effectively with religion and spirituality as relevant to clients and their communities and to refrain from negative discrimination based on religious or nonreligious beliefs.
Congratulations to Edward R. Canda (co-editor of the Religion and Spirituality Clearinghouse and professor at the University of Kansas) for his 2013 Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education Award from CSWE!