NAPSW Position Statement on United States Immigration Policy

NAPSW Position Statement on United States Immigration Policy

The National Association of Perinatal Social Workers (NAPSW) joins our fellow organizations including the American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of Social Workers, National Perinatal Association and many others in their condemnation of the “zero tolerance” immigration policy being enforced by the current presidential administration.  It the duty and ethical responsibility to address this harmful policy and rally perinatal social workers to speak out against acts sanctioned by policy.

The NAPSW Code of Ethics (2017) deems it a social worker’s imperative to “seek to prevent and eliminate discrimination against any person or group on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital status, political belief, mental/emotional/physical disability and/or any other personal characteristic or status.” Social work’s ethical principles include: 1) service: to help people in need and address social problems, 2) social justice: to challenge social injustices, and 3) dignity and worth of the person: to respect the inherent dignity and worth of persons.  The current immigration policy of separating children from their families require social workers to acknowledge these acts as dismissing the dignity and worth of others and identifying this act as a social injustice.  NAPSW implores its members, and other social workers, to act providing service to those in need and address this current social problem.  Social workers’ ethical responsibilities require commitment to clients, promotion of their well-being and recognizing strengths in all cultures through cultural awareness and social diversity

 It is through our Code of Ethics that social workers have a responsibility to the broader society.   The ethical duty of social welfare highlights the need to promote the general welfare of society.  The responsibility of public participation suggests that social workers should facilitate public participation in shaping social and institutional policy.  The ethical standard of social and political action allows social workers to ensure equal access to resources, employment, services, and opportunities.  Social workers have an obligation to advocate for public policies and legislation that support improvements in social conditions for families while promoting the integrity of the family unit.

NAPSW implores the Trump administration to work on active efforts to reunite those children that have already been separated from their families and to find a new solution to immigration reform that does not inflict trauma on to the families seeking refuge.  Although NAPSW focuses on psychosocial issues in the perinatal period, our unit of focus has always been families and their well-being.  The mission of NAPSW is to maximize healthy outcomes for families.  Separating children from their families, solely based on immigration status, is counterproductive to the mission of NAPSW.  Therefore, NAPSW does not support recent immigration policy of separating families.  In addition, NAPSW is urging its members to engage in advocacy and service efforts to oppose policies that harm all families. 


Mandy Wannarka, MSW, LICSW

Advocacy Chair


JaNeen Cross, DSW, MBA, MSW, LCSW

NAPSW President

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