NASW joined ACLU to get temporary restraining order in Texas transgender child case

Mar 18, 2022


Texas attorney general Paxton issued a legal opinion that said gender affirming treatment/procedures constitute child abuse. Based on that legal opinion, Texas Governor Abbott instructed DCPS to conduct CPS investigations on any of these “abusive” gender affirming procedures.  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) requested a temporary restraining order (TRO) in district court to prevent Texas DCPS from conducting a child abuse investigation on a family who sought gender affirming health care for their trans child. The TRO was granted and Texas filed an appeal.

NASW signed on to the Doe v. Abbott amicus brief. The court granted the TRO on March 2.

Below is NASW’s statement of interest that was submitted:

NASW Statement of Interest

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), founded in 1955, is the largest association of professional social workers in the United States with 110,000 members in 55 chapters. Its Texas Chapter has over 5,000 members. NASW has worked to develop high standards of social work practice while unifying the social work profession. NASW promulgates professional policies, conducts research, publishes professional studies and books, provides continuing education and enforces the NASW Code of Ethics. In alignment with its mission to ensure the efficacy and quality of practicing social workers, NASW provides resources and develops policy statements on issues of importance to the social work profession. The NASW National Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning + Issues develops, reviews, and monitors programs of the Association that significantly affect LGBTQ+ individuals.

Consistent with those policy statements, NASW, including its Texas Chapter, is committed to advancing policies and practices that improve the status and well-being of all LGBTQ+ people. NASW strongly advocates for the availability of culturally appropriate, comprehensive health and mental health services for LGBTQ+ people across their life span. [1] NASW asserts that discrimination and prejudice directed against any individuals on the basis of gender identity or gender expression, whether actual or perceived, are damaging to the social, emotional, psychological, physical and economic well-being of the affected individuals, as well as society as a whole. NASW supports the open availability of comprehensive health, psychological, and social support services for transgender people and their families that are respectful and inclusive, and provided by skilled, educated professionals who have been trained to work effectively with transgender people. [2] Furthermore, NASW supports children’s rights to be treated with respect as individuals; to receive culturally responsive services; and to express their opinions about their lives and have those opinions considered. [3]

[1] Nat’l Ass’n of Social Workers, Social Work Speaks, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues 211, 215 -216 (11th ed. 2018-2020)
[2] Nat’l Ass’n of Social Workers, Social Work Speaks, Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People 323, 328 (11th ed. 2018-2020)
[3] Nat’l Ass’n of Social Workers, Social Work Speaks, Child Abuse and Neglect 35, 38 – 39 (11th ed. 2018-2020)