NASW Pioneers Biography Index


The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is pleased to present the NASW Social Work Pioneers®. NASW Pioneers are social workers who have explored new territories and built outposts for human services on many frontiers. Some are well known, while others are less famous outside their immediate colleagues, and the region where they live and work. But each one has made an important contribution to the social work profession, and to social policies through service, teaching, writing, research, program development, administration, or legislation.

The NASW Pioneers have paved the way for thousands of other social workers to contribute to the betterment of the human condition; and they are are role models for future generations of social workers. The NASW Foundation has made every effort to provide accurate Pioneer biographies.  Please contact us at naswfoundation@socialworkers.org to provide missing information, or to correct inaccurate information. It is very important to us to correctly tell these important stories and preserve our history.  Please note, an asterisk attached to a name reflects Pioneers who have passed away. All NASW Social Work Pioneers® Bios are Copyright © 2019 National Association of Social Workers Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

    
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Dr. Frederic Reamer Photo
Frederic "Rick" Reamer

Pioneering Contributions

Dr. Frederic "Rick" Reamer has dedicated his career to reforming the ethics, practice, and education of the social work field through his work as a researcher, an author, and a professor. His extensive experience in ethics research has helped NASW and the social work profession, as a whole, over the years. Reamer chaired the task force that wrote the current Code of Ethics implemented by NASW. Currently, he is the chair of the NASW Technology Standards Task Force and continues to serve on the Code of Ethics Revisions Task Force. Reamer is a professor in the graduate program at the Rhode Island College School of Social Work, where he has taught since 1983. Over the years, his research has focused on a variety of human service issues, ranging from mental health and criminal justice to public welfare and professional ethics.

Reamer has been a featured essayist on Natioanl Public Radio's (NPR) Morning Edition, a commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered, and a guest on a variety of radio broadcasts on stations across the country. Starting in 2007, Reamer began as the host and producer of This I Believe – Rhode Island on NPR and Rhode Island Public Radio. He was featured as a commentator in the documentaries “America’s Serial Killers: Portraits of Evil” and “Rampage: Killing without Reason.” Reamer has appeared as an expert on the PBS series This Emotional Life. He has distinguishing himself as an expert in the ethical use of technology within social work, and gave the keynote presentation “Managing Social Media and Electronic Communication in Social Work Practice: Ethical and Risk-management Issues” at the 2012 Association of Social Word Boards’ Education Conference, which introduced social work regulators to the ethical, practice and regulatory challenges posed by the quick rise of technology.  

Career Highlights

Reamer has previously worked as the Director of the National Juvenile Justice Assessment Center at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention from 1979 to 1981, as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor of Rhode Island from 1987 to 1990, and as a Commissioner of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation from 1987 to 1995.

He served on the Rhode Island Parole Board from 1992 to 2016. Reamer was the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Social Work Education from 1990 to 1994, Associate Editor of the NASW Encyclopedia of Social Work (20th Edition) and is currently an Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of Social Work Online. He has lectured around the world on professional ethics, professional malpractice, and liability, including presenting at the 2014 NASW National Conference. Reamer has participated in research projects sponsored by groups many including The Hastings Center, the Carnegie Corporation, the Haas Foundation, and the Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Healthcare at the Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania. 

Biographic Data

Reamer received his BA in Criminology from the University of Maryland in 1974, his AM in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1975, and his PhD in Social Work from the University of Chicago in 1978.

Significant Achievements and Awards

  • "Distinguished Contributions to Social Work Education" award from the Council on Social Work Education (1995);
  • Presidential Award from the National Association of Social Workers (1997);
  • Richard Lodge Prize from Adelphi University for “outstanding contributions to the development of social work theory” (2005);
  • Edith Abbott Award from the University of Chicago for “distinguished service to society and outstanding contributions at the local, national or international levels” (2005);
  • Neil J. Houston, Jr. Memorial Award for “dedicated service and citizen contribution toward the criminal justice profession and the public interest” (2009);
  • International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award from the National Association of Social Workers for significantly advancing "the public image of social work" (2012); and,
  • Excellence in Ethics Award from the National Association of Social Workers (2015).   

Significant Publications

  • The Social Work Ethics Casebook: Cases and Commentary (NASW Press);
  • Criminal Lessons: Case Studies and Commentary on Crime and Justice (Columbia University Press);
  • On the Parole Board: Reflections on Crime, Punishment, Redemption, and Justice (Columbia University Press);
  • Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in the Human Services (Columbia University Press) Risk Management in Social Work:
  • Preventing Professional Malpractice, Liability, and Disciplinary Action (Columbia University Press);
  • Social Work Values and Ethics (Columbia University Press) ;
  • Ethical Standards in Social Work: A Review of the NASW Code of Ethics (NASW Press); and,
  • AIDS and Ethics (Columbia University Press; editor and contributor).



Newly Inducted NASW Social Work Pioneer Hortense McClinton 2015

Nominate A New NASW Pioneer

Completed NASW Pioneer nominations can be submitted throughout the year and are reviewed at the June Pioneer Steering Committee Meeting. To be considered at the June meeting, submit your nomination package by May 1. To learn more, visit our Pioneer nomination guidelines.