At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Social Work, our faculty, staff, students, and committed alumni strive for a socially just world that prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable. This is what the profession of social work is about, and it is the vision that our college strives to attain.
Our Code of Ethics guides us, as social workers, to advocate for the promotion of human dignity and respect of human rights. In the cases that involve violations of the most vulnerable in our society such as children, persons in poverty and displaced people, our professional standards of practice lead us to speak up against such abuses.
As important as it is to keep all residents of our country safe and secure by acting to protect our borders, we can never condone acts that tear apart families and undermine the development of children, under the pretext of providing security. As a college, we stand in solidarity with schools of social work at universities across the U.S. and numerous human rights organizations in condemning the practices of separating children from their parents, detaining children and locking them in warehouse-like facilities, jailing their parents, and criminalizing the act of asylum seeking.
It is heart breaking to know that children are being separated from their parents when we, in our college, teach the significant importance of the parent-child attachment. All children, but especially displaced children, need a steadfast relationship with stable caregivers. As social workers, as human beings, our college stands with these vulnerable people and asks for compassion and empathy in our country’s policies for dealing with families at our border.
Thanks to all who are daily making life better for others. We ask you to please stand with us in condemning these practices.