The NASW-Illinois Chapter Ethics Committee (CEC) provides education, training and consultation on the ethical practice of social work. Individual confidential ethics consultation is available for social workers and members of the public, as a resource for addressing ethical dilemmas and/or questions related to the ethical practice of social work.
These consultation services are intended as a guide through the applicable standards in the NASW Code of Ethics. along with other pertinent considerations.
Consultations provide information, resources and appropriate referrals that support recipients making ethical decisions aligned with the NASW Code of Ethics. Issues for ethics consultations include, but are not limited to, confidentiality, privacy, conflicts of interest, online practice, social justice and work place concerns. Consultations can assist in assessing options for addressing concerns about social workers.
Ethics consultation requests are responded to on a first come, first served basis. Please provide your name, email and phone number and a member of the CEC will contact you within 48 hours.
NOTE: Ethics consultations will be temporarily placed on hold for 90 days.
Ethics consultations can be requested by telephone at 312-435-2100, and select option 5.
Need to file a complaint about a social worker?
File a Complaint with IDFPR
The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is the regulatory body for ALL social workers in Illinois, and ultimately has oversight over all Illinois social workers. IDFPR can take formal complaints. If you want to file a formal complaint about a social worker, click here, then look for “Professional Regulation” and click on “File a Complaint”.
Filing a complaint against a social worker with NASW is done through the NASW Professional Review Process.
The NASW promotes the quality and effectiveness of social work practice. To fulfill its mission, the NASW has the responsibility of reviewing and resolving complaints of alleged violations of the NASW Code of Ethics, which it does through a professional review process. Professional review is a collaborative process between chapters and the national office to provide a peer review of alleged unethical conduct by its members. NASW can only consider complaints against members.
The NASW professional review process is designed to correct and improve the practice of individual social workers, as needed. The actions of the process are intended to be constructive and educative rather than punitive. Only in cases of serious misconduct may penalties be imposed.
If you would like submit a Request for Professional Review against an NASW member, click here to learn the criteria for doing so, and how to complete and submit the appropriate forms. NASW professional review consultants are available to help you navigate this process.
The NASW Code of Ethics is a set of standards that guide the professional conduct of social workers. The 2021 update includes language that addresses the importance of professional self-care. Moreover, revisions to Cultural Competence standard provide more explicit guidance to social workers. All social workers should review the new text and affirm their commitment to abide by the Code of Ethics. Also available in Spanish.