Welcome to the Web Site for the Arkansas Chapter
National Association of Social Workers.
Arkansas NASW is a membership organization that promotes, develops,
and protects the practice of social work and social workers.
NASW also seeks to enhance the effective functioning and well being
of individuals, families, and communities through its work and
through its advocacy.
Arkansas Chapter NASW
NASW AR PACE Committee Announces 2014 House/Senate Endorsements
Today, NASW AR announced their endorsement of state candidates for the upcoming election. NASW advocates for access to human services and social and economic justice, and prioritizes ensuring all people have healthcare, basic education, and the opportunity to earn a fair wage. Supporting responsible candidates with a proven commitment to these values is one of the main goals of the NASW AR’s Political Action for Candidate Election committee (NASW AR PACE).
“Social workers are on the front lines of some of the most important issues facing Arkansans, helping people dealing with poverty, addiction, and mental illness,” said Holly Barron, executive director of NASW AR. “It’s crucial that we endorse candidates who show a commitment to social and economic equality and accessibility that will provide a solid foundation for creating policies that strengthen communities served by social workers. We look for candidates who will bring the voices of social workers, families, and communities to the forefront in Arkansas.”
The NASW Code of Ethics notes that “the primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.” To accomplish the mission, the state requires leaders who understand the needs of the less fortunate.
NASW AR PACE is the nonpartisan political arm of the NASW Arkansas Chapter. NASW AR PACE is separately incorporated and supported by NASW member contributions – not association dues. The candidate selection process is member driven, with social workers engaging with incumbents and candidates throughout the state. In addition to candidate endorsement, NASW AR PACE adamantly promotes political education and participation in the electoral process by social work professionals.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization in the U.S. for professional social workers, serving more than 130,000 members. NASW AR is the largest professional association of social workers in the state, with nearly 700 members, and works to enhance the professional growth and development of social workers, create and maintain social work standards, and to advance sound social policies.
NASW-AR PACE is proud to announce the following candidate endorsements:
John Adams – District 32
Damon Daniels – District 18
Grimsley Graham – District 94
Sheilla Lampkin – District 9
James McLean – District 19
Joel “Tyler” Pearson – District 35
Robert Thompson – District 20
NASW Joins Amicus Brief Asking Arkansas Supreme Court to Settle Marriage Equality Question
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the NASW Arkansas Chapter have filed an amicus brief with the Arkansas Supreme Court, voicing their support of Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's decision in M. Kendall Wright, et al. v. Nathaniel Smith, MD, MPH, et al., declaring Arkansas’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The brief, filed jointly with COLAGE and the Family Equality Council, presents the voices of children raised by same-sex parents, offers detailed accounts of how the denial of marriage protections harm their families, and urges the court to put an end to Arkansas’s ban on same-sex marriage.
"We are not treating all Arkansans equally if some can marry and others cannot," says Alishia Ferguson, PhD, LMSW, and President of NASW Arkansas Chapter. "The law should protect all people equally, and all Arkansans should have the freedom to marry," she said.
Social workers have consistently fought for social justice, equality, and constitutional protections for America’s most vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups. Along with other social justice and civil rights advocates, social workers have played an indispensable role in preserving freedom and ensuring opportunity for all. In accordance with their Code of Ethics, NASW believes that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons deserve the same protections and opportunities in their work, family, career, and health equal to other members of society.
Holly Barron, Executive Director of NASW Arkansas Chapter says, “Joining this important brief is an extension of our ongoing work to safeguard children and families. As we articulate in the brief, ‘Families led by same-sex parents are typical American families, with the same joys and challenges as families led by heterosexual parents.’ The denial of marriage protections negatively and profoundly impacts the self-esteem, sense of purpose, and well-being of children raised in same-sex parented families.”
The Arkansas Supreme Court is hearing the State's appeal of the May 2014 ruling by Circuit Judge Chris Piazza, striking down the State's ban on same-sex marriage as violating the Constitution of the United States. The Arkansas Supreme Court enforced a stay of Judge Piazza’s ruling while the decision is appealed by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
“We feel even more encouraged by the Supreme Court’s decision today to let stand appeals court rulings that clear the way for same-sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin,” says Barron.
Read the full brief here: NASW Amicus Brief.pdf
April 1-3, 2015 - Wyndam Hotel, North Little Rock