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BASW UK position statement on Social Work with Trans People

Having marked LGBTQi Pride Month in June, we are pleased to continue showing our support for different parts of the community in this first position statement on social work with trans people.

Read the BASW Position Statement on Social Work with Transgender People

Effective social work with trans people - and people of all ages considering change to their gender identity - is an important and emergent area of social work practice requiring more guidance and professional support. In line with members’ requests for support in this field, which includes some complex practice, ethical and evidential social work issues, this statement clarifies the elements of our Code of Ethics relating to this work, our commitment to the rights of trans people, and our commitment to supporting ongoing practice development.

BASW will continue to develop and publish further policy and practice statements and guidance in co-production with trans people, social workers and others with a key role in ensuring social work practice in this field is underpinned by human rights, social justice, good use of evidence and sound ethics.  BASW recognises and stands in active opposition to the stigma, oppression, stereotyping and abuse that many trans people experience.

Policy, Ethics and Human Rights Chair Martin Sexton said  

"BASW has just refreshed its Code of Ethics. The Code is our foundation document for our approach to social work and protecting the rights of all through our practices.  This is a good time to articulate how the Code can inform social work practice involving trans people and this is included in our statement.  All BASW's work in this area will be informed by our ongoing commitment to principles of human rights, social justice and professional integrity."

BASW UK Chair, Gerry Nosowska, added

‘Social work always start with our commitment to uphold human dignity and challenge oppression that undermines this. We know that there are debates and dilemmas in this area as there are in almost all areas of social work practice. We will strive to facilitate respectful discussion about practice, ethics and evidence to help improve practice and protect rights.  This statement is important because it demonstrates BASW’s commitment to ensure that all people who may need social work support feel they can confidently approach our profession for help and protection of rights and entitlements.’