3 Pillars of Social Work Profession

3 Pillars of Social Work Profession

Regulation - Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)

ASWB Mission: To strengthen protection of the public by providing support and services to the social work regulatory community in order to advance safe, competent, and ethical practices.

The purpose of social work regulation:

Social work affects public health, safety, and welfare.  It is therefore regulated in the same way that medicine and nursing are, to assure that the public is protected. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and all 10 Canadian provinces regulate social work practice.

Regulation is the public’s assurance that the professionals who provide care or assistance are competent to practice and will interact with clients in an ethical and safe manner. The state or provincial social work regulatory body that has responsibility for licensing social workers also provides members of the public an avenue of recourse if a social worker steps outside the bounds of ethical and safe practice.

The role of ASWB:

The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is the nonprofit association dedicated to social work regulation. The association owns and maintains the social work licensing examinations that are used to test a social worker’s competence to practice ethically and safely. The association also developed and maintains a model practice act that offers regulatory bodies a resource for developing their own laws and regulations. These model regulations define standards of minimum social work competence, methods of fairly addressing consumer concerns, and a means of removing practitioners who do not adhere to the rules of professional practice. The model practice act also facilitates greater standardization of terminology and regulation from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, which promotes increased public understanding of social work, consistency in legal decisions related to licensure and discipline, and increased mobility for qualified social workers.

ASWB’s members include all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and all 10 Canadian provinces. Learn more at www.aswb.org.

Education - Council of Social Work Education (CSWE)

Practice - National Association of Social Work (NASW)

National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Mission:  The mission of NASW is to strengthen, support, and unify the social work profession, to promote the development of social work standards and practice, and to advocate for social policies that advance social justice and diversity.


The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is a professional organization of social workers in the United States. NASW has about 132,000 members. The NASW provides guidance, research, up to date information, advocacy, and other resources for its members and for social workers in general. Members of the NASW are also able to obtain malpractice insurance, members-only publications, discounts on other products and services, and continuing education.


NASW’s has 56 chapters consist of the following: 50 state chapters and an international chapter, and five additional chapters in Guam, New York City, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.

NASW has a local chapter in Kansas (KNASW) with an executive director and office in Topeka. The role of the Kansas Chapter is to promote and support the practice of social work through professional growth and development of its members, as well as advocating for the social work profession and the advancement of sound social policy in the state of Kansas.

Learn more here: https://www.socialworkers.org

Find contact information here: https://www.socialworkers.org/about/Chapters/Find-a-Chapter/ChapterDetail?chcd=KS