Counselors’ Advocacy Responsibilities
The Preamble of the ACA Ethical Code mandates that all counselors, regardless of professional specialty, are advocates for social justice. This mandate supplements, not supplants, the moral imperative for counselors to work to ensure that systemic issues of hatred and bias do not impede the healthy development of our clients and our society. The focus of our advocacy is on issues faced by our clients, not on personalities of individuals who may have political power at that moment in time.
The Executive Board of the Ohio Counselors for Social Justice would like to clarify what these responsibilities entail:
- All counselors are responsible for advocating for justice in the lives of our clients, in terms of living free of discriminatory practices or actions aimed at persons of their identity. This includes, but is not limited to, access to healthy and empowering education, gainful employment, health care, housing, food, clothing, and other daily necessities.
- All counselors are responsible for advocating for justice for clients in terms of society, as represented in the judicial system, community agencies, and social services.
- All counselors are responsible for advocating for justice for clients in terms of clients’ personal interactions to end micro- and macroaggressions.
- All counselors are responsible for educating others about the impact of bias, hatred, discrimination, stereotype threat, and persistent stress experienced by persons holding oppressed identities.
- All counselors are responsible for working on their own implicit and explicit biases, assumptions, stereotypes, and actions. All counselors are responsible for engaging in lifelong “multicultural recovery”, the continuous work we must engage in order to prevent the re-emergence of old biases and the development of new biases.
The Executive Board of the Ohio Counselors for Social Justice want to support our collective journey toward social and outcomes justice for all persons of oppressed identities. Join us in this effort.
Colette Dollarhide, President
Delila Owens, President Elect
Natalie Fei, Secretary
Lindsay McCord, Treasurer