CSWE Events and Meetings
Safety and Inclusiveness Policy and Procedures
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for all event and meeting participants. CSWE’s Safety and Inclusiveness policy and procedures outlines the expectations for all event and meeting participants, including all members, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers, guests, and CSWE staff. CSWE event and meeting organizers will actively implement this policy at all meetings and events.
The CSWE Annual Program Meeting (APM) is a national meeting intended for education, networking, and collaboration among the social work education community. In addition, there are multiple CSWE events and meetings including Spring Governance, Board of Directors, National Nominating Committee, Board of Accreditation, and Commission and Council meetings, in which we value the participation of each member of the social work education community and want all participants to have an enjoyable, safe, and fulfilling experience. Thus, CSWE is dedicated to providing a harassment-free meetings and events experience for everyone. Discrimination, intimidation, or harassment including but not limited to (listed alphabetically) age, citizenship status, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity/gender expression, national origin, race, and sexual orientation will not be tolerated.
All participants are expected to show respect and courtesy to all participants. These expectations align with the professional code (NASW Code of Ethics) that applies to the social work profession and is appropriate for a social work education event or meeting. CSWE expects event and meeting participants to communicate professionally and constructively, whether in person or virtually. Participants are expected to handle dissent or disagreement with courtesy, dignity, and an open mind; being respectful when providing feedback; and being open to alternate points of view.
Intimidation, discrimination, or harassment of meeting participants in any form will not be tolerated. Intimidation, discrimination, or harassment can include offensive verbal or written comments and negative behavior, either in real or virtual spaces. Unacceptable behavior also includes slurs, jokes, derogatory statements, foul or obscene language, bullying, display of sexual images in public spaces, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, and unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention.
Sexualized language and imagery, defined as language or images that represent sexual harassment, are not appropriate for any CSWE-event venue, including education sessions, workshops, exhibit halls, social gatherings, and within social media channels or online platforms. Sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers may not use sexualized language, images, activities, or other material, or otherwise create a sexualized environment. Note that sexualized language does not include conference presentations and/or books on publishers’ displays based on qualitative interviews or other lived experiences that contain first-hand descriptions of oppression due to sexual harassment.
Event and meeting participants asked to stop unacceptable behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in behavior that violates this policy, the meeting organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender, or expulsion from the meeting with no refund. CSWE also reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future meeting.
Reporting Inappropriate Behavior
We value the safety of all individuals; therefore, violations of this policy are taken seriously. If you are being intimidated, harassed, or discriminated against or notice that someone else is being treated in this manner, please notify a CSWE staff member or contact [email protected].
The primary CSWE contacts (Vice President of Communications and Membership and Vice President of Finance and Operations) are prepared and will effectively help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise help meeting participants to feel safe for the duration of the event or meeting until the Executive Leadership Team begins an investigation.
By registering for and attending the APM or any other CSWE event or meeting, each participant acknowledges reviewing this disclaimer, and expressly releases CSWE and its board or council members, commissioners, employees, or agents from all liability in connection with such event or meeting as provided herein.
Thank you for helping to make the CSWE Annual Program Meeting and all other events and meetings a welcoming and productive experience for all!
I. Development and Administration of Procedures
A. The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) at CSWE is responsible for the development and administration of these Procedures and is designated to administer these Procedures on behalf of CSWE’s CEO and President and CSWE’s Board of Directors (BOD).
B. The ELT is specifically responsible for ensuring that these Procedures are implemented and followed. The Vice President of Communications and Membership and Vice President of Finance and Operations will serve as the primary point of contact for incidents of this nature.
A. Complaints may be transmitted to CSWE in any manner but must be in writing for any formal proceeding to begin. In addition, inquiries, or submissions other than complaints may be handled by CSWE at its discretion. All such complaints, inquiries or submissions relating to expected conduct are directed to the ELT by written communication to [email protected].
B. Upon receipt and preliminary review of any such submission, the ELT may conclude, in sole discretion, that the submission: (1) contains factually unreliable or insufficient information, or (2) is patently frivolous or trivial. In such cases, the ELT may determine that the submission does not constitute a potentially actionable complaint. If so, such submission shall be disposed of by the ELT and notice to its submitter shall be provided by the ELT if the submitter is identified.
C. If a submission is deemed by the ELT on a preliminary basis to be a potentially actionable complaint, the ELT shall see that written notice is provided to the member whose conduct has been called into question, advising the member that an investigation is being initiated. The ELT shall provide notice to the individual submitting the complaint that the complaint is being reviewed by the ELT.
III. Review of Complaint
A. For each submission involving an alleged violation of the professional code and expected conduct that the ELT believes is a potentially actionable complaint, the ELT shall authorize an investigation into its specific facts or circumstances to whatever extent is necessary to clarify, expand or corroborate the information provided by the submitter. The ELT shall conduct the investigation, decide as to whether charges against the individual should be brought, and formulate formal charges if warranted.
B. Both the individual submitting the complaint and the person who is the subject of the charge also may be contacted by the ELT for additional information with respect to the complaint. The time for providing such additional information shall be established by the ELT, and the individuals shall be given not less than thirty (30) days to respond. The ELT may, at its discretion, contact such other individuals who may have knowledge of the facts and circumstances surrounding the complaint. The ELT shall initially determine whether it is appropriate to review the complaint under these Procedures or whether the matter should be referred to another entity engaged in the administration of law.
C. All investigations and deliberations of the ELT are to be conducted in confidence to the extent practical, except that ELT shall be permitted to disclose any relevant information when compelled by a validly issued subpoena, when otherwise required by law, or to parties essential to the review and investigation of the alleged aggrieved conduct. All written communications relating to the investigations and deliberations of the ELT should be sealed and marked “Personal and Confidential” and stored in a private location. All investigations and deliberations of the ELT shall be conducted objectively, without prejudgment of any kind. An investigation may be directed toward any aspect of a complaint which is relevant or potentially relevant.
IV. Determination of Violation
A. Upon completion of its investigation, the ELT shall determine, upon a preponderance of the evidence, whether there has been a violation of the professional code and expected conduct. When the ELT finds that there has been a violation, it shall also recommend imposition of an appropriate sanction. If the ELT so recommends, a written determination with a proposed sanction shall be prepared under the supervision of CSWE legal counsel, and shall be presented, along with the record of the investigation. Written notice of the determination, the proposed sanction(s), and the fact that the matter will be reviewed by the Executive Committee of the BOD shall be provided to the charged member, within fifteen (15) days of the ELT determination.
B. If a violation is found and sanctions are recommended by the ELT, the Executive Committee of the BOD shall review the recommendations of the ELT based upon the records presented. The person charged may submit a written statement to the Executive Committee of the BOD prior to its decision but may not otherwise appear before or participate in the committee’s deliberations. The Executive Committee of the BOD may accept, reject, or modify the ELT’s determinations either with respect to the determination of a violation or the recommended sanction to be imposed. If the Executive Committee of the BOD agrees that a violation has occurred, then the determination and imposition of a sanction, as determined by the Executive Committee of the BOD will be promulgated by written notice to the member, as well as to the individual or entity who submitted the complaint, if the submitter agrees in advance and in writing to maintain in confidence whatever portion of the information is not made public by the Board.
C. In certain circumstances, the Executive Committee of the BOD may consider a recommendation from the Executive Leadership Team that the member in violation of the Code should have their membership at CSWE permanently revoked.
The safety policy and procedures were developed by the Council on Conferences and Faculty Development in 2017 under the leadership of Tiffany Baffour. It was updated by CCFD and approved by the Commission on Membership and Professional Development, led by Anthony Natale, in March 2023. The CMPD recommended that there are delineated procedures added to the policy. Several procedures were examined including NCORE, SSWR, NASW, and others. The document was reviewed and approved by an attorney. ELT reviewed the policies and procedures which is herein submitted to the Board of Directors for their approval.
Adopted by the CSWE Executive Leadership Team on July 27, 2023.
Participant procedures for reporting Unacceptable Behavior (experienced or witnessed)
- Procedure 1- If the situation appears to be an emergency (requiring medical assistance or an overt threat of violence), please call 911. If not, move to procedure 2.
- Procedure 2 - In the event of unacceptable behavior, you may call or text (703) 475-0025 to connect to a CSWE staff member who can provide information about the process for handling complaints or needs. There may be cases where a person informed of harassment must file a complaint (Title IX issues in the United States and venue or employer-specific policies).
- Procedure 3 - Any investigation or further action requires a written communication submitted to CSWE using the form: Reporting Violations of the CSWE Events and Meetings Safety and Inclusiveness Policy. Prompt reporting is critical to stopping the misconduct. All written reports will be followed up promptly with further investigation to confirm or resolve disputed facts. In conducting its investigations, CSWE ELT will strive to keep the individual's identity confidential.
CSWE prohibits any threats or acts of retaliation against individuals who report unacceptable behavior or provide information in connection with a report by another individual. CSWE condemns threats or acts of retaliation and will handle reports of such in the same manner as the original report.
CSWE staff procedures upon receiving a verbal report of Unacceptable Behavior
- Procedure 1. CSWE staff will lend a sympathetic ear.
- Procedure 2. CSWE staff will explain procedures for reporting unacceptable behavior if a person wants further action. At this phase, CSWE staff will not attempt to mediate or resolve complaints informally.
- Procedure 3. If this is an immediate emergency that extends to more than one individual, CSWE may need to take more decisive actions, such as addressing the event participants, barring further event attendance and participation by specific participants, or imposing requirements/sanctions on a participant’s further involvement.
Such decisions will be kept as minimally intrusive as possible with the awareness that an allegation is not a determination of guilt. Any post-event investigations, sanctions, or other actions are handled using the form: Reporting Violations of the CSWE Events and Meetings Safety and Inclusiveness Policy.
The Chair of the BOD and/or other members of the Executive Committee of the BOD will be notified of any allegation and the actions taken by the ELT.
CSWE staff procedures upon receiving a written complaint of Unacceptable Behavior
When receiving a written report of unacceptable behavior, ELT will review and direct appropriate follow-up.
- Procedure 1. The ELT will investigate the complaint.
- Procedure 2. The ELT will review all materials and determine whether the complaint violates CSWE Events and Meetings Safety and Inclusiveness Policy and make a recommendation to the Executive Committee of the BOD. The Executive Committee of the BOD may accept, reject, or modify the ELT’s determinations either with respect to the determination of a violation or the recommended sanction to be imposed.
- Procedure 3. The ELT will follow up with the complainant on the status of the case.
- Procedure 4. On behalf of CSWE, the ELT will inform the complainant and subject of the decision(s). There may be cases where a person informed of harassment must file a complaint (Title IX issues in the United States and venue or employer-specific policies).
Possible actions resulting from a confirmed report of Unacceptable Behavior
The ELT may take actions including, but not limited to:
- Exclusion from CSWE leadership positions.
- Removal from any CSWE event or meeting without warning or refund.
- Prohibit from participating in future CSWE activities, including publishing in CSWE publications.
Sanctions, including all of the above, may be taken toward any individual who knowingly makes a false allegation of unacceptable behavior.
CSWE endeavors to keep proceedings under this policy confidential. Participants including the complainant, subject, and witnesses involved in resolving a complaint are expected to adhere to this confidentiality policy. However, at their own expense, participants may consult legal counsel provided they have first agreed to keep the matter confidential.
If an individual feels they have been falsely or unfairly accused of violating the CSWE Events and Meetings Safety and Inclusiveness Policy, they may appeal within thirty (30) days after notification of the decision. The individual's appeal must be submitted to the President and CEO of CSWE, who will endeavor to resolve appeals within sixty (60) days after the appeal is submitted. Decision on the appeal will be based on consideration of applicable information in the possession of the President and CEO of CSWE, whose decision is final.
Participant procedures for appealing sanctions for Unacceptable Behavior
- Procedure 1. Submit an appeal to [email protected] with a concise grievance(s) description
- Procedure 2. The President and CEO of CSWE will thoroughly investigate the appeal.
- Procedure 3. The President and CEO of CSWE will review all materials and determine whether the complaint violates CSWE Events and Meetings Safety and Inclusiveness Policy or uphold the appeal. On behalf of CSWE, the President and CEO will inform the complainant and subject of the appeal decision(s).
Thank you for helping CSWE provide welcoming and safe events and meetings!