Competency 5

Competency 5:   Advance human rights and social and economic justice.


Each person, regardless of position in society, has basic human rights, such as freedom, safety, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care, and education. Social workers recognize the global interconnections of oppression and are knowledgeable about theories of justice and strategies to promote human and civil rights. Social work incorporates social justice practices in organizations, institutions, and society to ensure that these basic human rights are distributed equitably and without prejudice. Social workers


• understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination;

• advocate for human rights and social and economic justice; and

• engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

How I demonstrated my competency learning:

Interning at West Suburban Medical Center helped me become more culturally competent and appreciative. I was exposed to all sorts of people. I learned techniques from my social worker co-workers that helped me work with certain people. I respected and treated all of my patients equally and never turned my back on them because of their age, gender or color. In order to help me remember where my social work profession began I was able to visit the Jane Addams Hull House to help educate myself on the history of human rights and social and economic justice advocacy. Jane Addams was a lady of example and I truly felt privileged to be in the house of social work.

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