What Is the Social Work Code of Ethics?
Why There Is a Social Work Code of Ethics
- To establish the core values upon which the social work profession is based.
- To create specific ethical standards that should guide social work practice and reflect the core values.
- To help social workers navigate professional considerations and obligations when ethical uncertainties arise.
- To provide ethical standards to which the social work profession can be held accountable.
- To initiate new social workers to the profession’s mission, values, and ethical principles and standards.
- To create standards by which the social work profession can assess if a social worker has engaged in unethical conduct. Social workers who pledge to abide by this code must cooperate with its implementation and disciplinary rulings based upon it.
- Social justice
- Dignity and worth of the individual
- Importance and centrality of human relationships
Major Points from the Social Work Code of Ethics
- Maintain high standards of personal conduct.
- Aim to maintain a high degree of professionalism throughout their careers.
- Hold service to be the most important element of social work.
- Maintain a high level of professional integrity.
- Engage in lifelong learning to maintain competence.
- Guide practice according to scholarly inquiry and use evidence to inform best practices.
Responsibility to Clients
- Make clients their primary responsibility.
- Foster maximum self-determination in clients.
- Respect the privacy of clients and keep information that has been shared during the course of their duties confidential.
- Charge fees for services that are fair and considerate to clients.
Responsibility to Colleagues and Employers
- Treat colleagues with respect, fairness, and courtesy.
- Adhere to professional obligations as determined by their employers.
Responsibility to the Social Work Profession
- Uphold, represent, and advance the values of the social work profession.
- Help the profession make social services available to the general public.
- Educate themselves to become culturally competent and understanding of diversity.