Social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists are often called upon to assess clients and families.  The race equity strategy here is to analyze those assessments in accordance with professional codes of ethics and against previously issued letters of apology issued by psychology, social work, and psychiatric professional organizations.  Analyze, were the assessments culturally appropriate, valid, and reliable according to the expert’s standards?  Reading these apology letters are fascinating and instructive and set forth the organization’s role in perpetuating racism and harm in their practices regarding people of color.  Where applicable, assessments and reports can be challenged during cross examination using these codes of ethics and statements of apology. 

  • Social Worker Code of Ethics 

 The NASW Code of Ethics sets forth these values, principles, and standards to guide social workers’ conduct.  One of the ethical principles is the value of Social Justice.   

Ethical Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice.

Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.

  • American Psychiatric Association APA’s Apology to Black, Indigenous and People of Color for its support of Structural Racism in Psychiatry