Section 3: Accountability
The following policy and procedure is created to support the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work (WSSCSW) board and membership with understanding the process for holding members and board members accountable for harmful acts performed against members. Corrective actions are steps that respond to member concerns or misconduct; the actions address the root causes of the conduct to prevent re-occurrence. Corrective action may include nondisciplinary steps such as counseling, training, improvement plans, restorative justice, and certificates of completion for programs completed. Corrective action may also include discipline, such as verbal warnings, written warnings, suspension from the Listserv, and dismissal from the Society. The board, an appointed board member, or a board approved outside organization hired by the member who committed the harmful act, will be responsible for ensuring that conduct standards are met and if they are not then administration of a corrective action will occur. If the member who committed the harmful act cannot afford to hire a board approved outside organization then the board will work with the member to ensure that conduct standards are met. The board and members will be held to this policy and procedure.
The concept of “just cause” discipline, which is the basis for corrective action, is typically metered out progressively, and with increasing severity if the performance or behavior is not corrected. The fundamental objective is not to discipline a member to the point of dismissal, but rather to provide the member with direction, guidance, motivation, and support to correct the deficiencies or conduct before discipline is escalated. This is the underlying concept of Progressive Discipline.
To support compassionate and thoughtful use of the Progressive Discipline, board member consultation with NASW and/or CSWA is encouraged. To reduce a financial burden to WSSCSW, the board will utilize their memberships with NASW and CSWA to help facilitate these consultations. If a membership is no longer in existence, then the board will determine how best to move forward with receiving this support in a fiscally responsible and ethical manner. The WSSCSW is also invested in supporting the implementation of restorative justice models and training pre-disciplinary designee, board members, or outside agencies to perform investigations and make recommendations as to whether proposed discipline is reasonable and supported by evidence.
Steps of WSSCSW’s Progressive Discipline
WSSCSW is responsible for creating and maintaining an internal culture that is both healthy and grounded in its ethical values. We resolve to implement restorative processes for communities of color, LGBTQ+, and members of minority status that extend beyond the current content, format, and style of this board. We resolve to be responsive to, and respectful of, the unique cultures and traditions of a given group. WSSCSW reaffirms its rejection of racism and racist ideologies and commits to doing the ongoing work of evaluating the organization for racism and oppression and implementing updated processes and policies for addressing racism and oppression.