About us. Social workers should develop and maintain the attitudes, knowledge, understanding and skills to provide quality services and accountable practice. They should value and respect the contribution of colleagues from other disciplines. The Association has a duty to ensure as far as possible that its members discharge their ethical obligations and are afforded the professional rights necessary for the safeguarding and promotion of the rights of people who use social work services. The Social Work Code of Ethics was last issued in 1994. They need to keep up to date with relevant research, learning from other professionals and service users. Social workers should communicate effectively and work in partnership with individuals, families, groups, communities and other agencies. With ethical implications and considerations arising at each stage of the research process, engaging with the wide range of issues and ideas can often prove a challenge. Social workers should strive to create conditions in employing agencies and in their countries where the principles of the Code are discussed, evaluated and upheld in practice. practice. Upholding and promoting human dignity and well-being Social workers should respect, uphold and defend each person’s physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual integrity and well-being. Challenge ethics and values that negatively affect practice You should constructively challenge colleagues when you believe their ethics and values are negatively affecting their methods in social work practice. Social work practice addresses the barriers, inequities and injustices that exist in society. Social workers should respect the principles of confidentiality that apply to their relationships and ensure that confidential information is only divulged with the consent of the person using social work services or the informant. In social work code of ethics, an ethical dilemma is a situation requiring action on part of the social worker wherein there is no clean success – that is, two or more ethical principles are in conflict with one another. Social workers should recognise that people using social work services have the right to take risks and should enable them to identify and manage potential and actual risk, while seeking to ensure that their behaviour does not harm themselves or other people. Professional social work is focused on problem solving and change. All social workers are beholden to the Social Work Code of Ethics —otherwise known as the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics — during their studies and vow to abide by its standards and principles throughout their careers. Social workers should maintain clear, impartial and accurate records and provision of evidence to support professional judgements. Ethics of social work don’t work in councils Help social workers serve the law, not their employers Academic Michael Preston-Shoot points to the areas of learning that need improvement if child... By Michael Preston-Shoot on June 18, 2010 in Child safeguarding, Children, Legal, Workforce. Working in solidarity Social workers, individually, collectively and with others have a duty to challenge social conditions that contribute to social exclusion, stigmatisation or subjugation, and work towards an inclusive society. Distributing resources Social workers should ensure that resources at their disposal are distributed fairly, according to need. People who use social work services may be individuals (children, young people or adults), families or other groups or communities. Social workers should use professional knowledge and experience to engage in research and to contribute to the development of ethically based policy and programmes. social work. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics is a set of guiding principles to assist social workers in making decisions in the best interests of their clients, even if they might contradict what we might do in our personal lives. Goldstein (1987) referred to this as the ‘neglected moral link’ in social work practice. The holistic focus of social work is universal, but the priorities of social work practice will vary from country to country and from time to time depending on cultural, historical, legal and socio-economic conditions. Professional practice standards – very specific guidance relating to professional practice, for example: ‘declare a bequest in a client’s will’; ‘advertising should not claim superiority’. Search for other … Principles of professional practice – general statements about how to achieve what is intended for the good of the service user, for example: ‘collaboration with colleagues’. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. The Routledge Handbook of Social Work Ethics and Values is a comprehensive exploration and assessment of current and future issues facing social work practice and education. It recognises the complexity of interactions between human beings and their environment, and the capacity of people both to be affected by and to alter the multiple influences upon them including biopsychosocial factors. Given that social workers constantly make moral judgements when they discern whether something is morally right or wrong, over the years, social work writers on ethics have argued for the importance of moral philosophy for social work (Goldstein, 1987; Gray, 1995, 1996; Siporin, 1983). Social workers should be prepared to report bad practice using all available channels including complaints procedures and if necessary use public interest disclosure legislation and whistleblowing guidelines. They should engage in ethical debate with their colleagues and employers to share knowledge and take responsibility for making ethically informed decisions. First published: January 2012 As such, social workers are change agents in society and in the lives of the individuals, families and communities they serve. The professional association for social work and social workers, The Anti-Poverty Practice Guide for Social Work, IFSW and other international social work organisations, Influencing social work policy in the Commonwealth, Practice, policy and education groups (PPEGs), Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for Independents, Umbrella service companies & tax avoidance scheme investigations, Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) 2020, Support for newly-qualified social workers, Professional Support Service: Access support, Professional Support Service: Frequently Asked Questions, Copyright © 2021 British Association of Social Workers. Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles This is the IASSW version of the Global Social Work Statement of Ethical Principles which was unanimously adopted at the General Assembly of IASSW on 5th July 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. Social work is an interrelated system of values, theory and practice. Interventions also include agency administration, community organisation and engaging in social and political action to impact social policy and economic development. Challenging unjust policies and practices Social workers have a duty to bring to the attention of their employers, policy makers, politicians and the general public situations where resources are inadequate or where distribution of resources, policies and practice are oppressive, unfair, harmful or illegal. Resources for FSCs. Email: policyadmin@basw.co.uk Academic Michael Preston-Shoot points to the areas of learning that need improvement if child … They should record only relevant matters and specify the source of information. Sections 1 and 2 of this document draw on the background, definition and statement of ethical principles of the IFSW/IASSW (2004) document, with amendments including the addition of ‘professional integrity’ as a value alongside human rights and social justice. There will be variations in interpretation and guidance in the different countries. Rationale: Social workers often practice within institutions or organizations that have goals, policies, or environments that are not driven by social work values. Standards 3 and 5, The Professional Standards (Social Work England, 2019) state the ethical conduct that is expected of social workers in record keeping and technology use (including social media). They help in making sound judgments and decisions when dealing with all segments of the population regardless of the clients’ religion, race, or ethnicity. Social workers have a responsibility to respect and uphold the values and principles of the profession and act in a reliable, honest and trustworthy manner. In an ethical dilemma, any of the possible actions or responses the social worker can make inevitably requires the breaching or compromise of a least one ethical principle. In everyday usage, ‘values’ is often used to refer to one or all of religious, moral, cultural, political or ideological beliefs, principles, attitudes, opinions or preferences. In social work, ‘values’ can be regarded as particular types of beliefs that people hold about what is regarded as worthy or valuable. Contact: Luke Geoghegan, Policy Team For good reasons, the ethics of care perspective is compatible with the social work profession's overriding concern about human well-being, relationships, and interdependency. The following is an outline of the etiology of its creation and major points. Professional ethics are at the core of social work. The profession has an obligation to articulate its basic values, ethical principles, and ethical standards. So, for example, ‘social workers should respect the autonomy of service users’ is an ethical principle; whereas, ‘social workers should not disclose confidential information to third-party payers unless clients have authorised such disclosure’ might be regarded as an ethical standard or rule. "Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Copyright © British Association of Social Workers, No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form without the written permission of the copyright owner, The professional association for social work and social workers, All BASW members sign our Code of Ethics, which has underpinned social work practice since 1975. Social workers should not collude with the erosion of human rights or allow their skills to be used for inhumane purposes such as systematic abuse, detention of child asylum seekers and threats to family life of those in vulnerable positions. (adapted from Banks, S. (2012) Ethics and Values in Social Work, 4th edition, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, BASW Macmillan Practical Social Work Series), Working definitions of ethics and professional ethics. "Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Its clarity and accessibility make it an invaluable learning source. The social workers Code of Ethics are at the core of the profession. This Code of Ethics replaces the 2002 version. Social work grew out of humanitarian and democratic ideals, and its values are based on respect for the equality, worth, and dignity of all people. Ethical behaviour is at the core of every profession. These include counselling, clinical social work, group work, social pedagogical work, and family treatment and therapy as well as efforts to help people obtain services and resources in the community. They should exercise authority appropriately to safeguard people with whom they work and to ensure people have as much control over their lives as is consistent with the rights of others. Ethical Case Studies. Social workers have a responsibility to promote and work to the Code of Ethics in carrying out their obligations to people who use social work services, to their employers, to one another, to colleagues in other disciplines and to society. Social workers need to acknowledge the impact of their own informal and coercive power and that of the organisations involved. Social work bases its methodology on a systematic body of evidence informed knowledge derived from research and practice evaluation, including local and indigenous knowledge specific to its context. The publication of the enquiry into the social work role in adoption will invite frontline professionals to engage with thinking about ethics, human rights and moral issues in the profession.. At least, that is the hope of Ruth Allen, chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), who spoke to Community Care after the enquiry’s publication on Thursday. Social workers should strive to carry out the stated aims of their employers or commissioners, provided they are consistent with the Code of Ethics. This includes the duty to ascertain and respect a child’s wishes and feelings, giving due weight to the child’s maturity and understanding, where the law invests power of consent in respect of a child in the parent or guardian. The 1996 NASW Delegate Assembly approved the social work Code of Ethics, with revisions made in 2017.Codified as a resource for social work values and professional conduct, the code consists of four sections: a summary of the core values and mission of social work; a guide to navigating ethical dilemmas and issues; a description of the ethical principles that inform social work practice; … People who use social work services may be individuals (children, young people or adults), families or other groups or communities. Social work interventions range from primarily person-focused psychosocial processes to involvement in social policy, planning and development. The Code is not designed to provide a detailed set of rules about how social workers should act in specific situations or practice guidance. However, they are … In codes of ethics principles are often divided into two kinds: Ethical principles – general statements of ethical principles underpinning the work, relating to attitudes, rights and duties about human welfare, for example: ‘respect for the autonomy of service users’; ‘promotion of human welfare’. Social workers should build and sustain professional relationships based on people’s right to control their own lives and make their own choices and decisions. In solidarity with those who are dis-advantaged, the profession strives to alleviate poverty and to work with vulnerable and oppressed people in order to promote social inclusion. Social work relationships should be based on people’s rights to respect, privacy, reliability and confidentiality. Its mission is to enable all people to develop their full potential, enrich their lives, and prevent dysfunction. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. The Code is binding on all social workers who are BASW members in all roles, sectors and settings in the UK. Social workers need to explain the nature of that confidentiality to people with whom they work and any circumstances where confidentiality must be waived should be made explicit. of ethics in social work within the Irish context. Human rights and social justice serve as the motivation and justification for social work action. Promoting the right to participation Social workers should promote the full involvement and participation of people using their services in ways that enable them to be empowered in all aspects of decisions and actions affecting their lives. This Code includes four sections: The first Section, "Preamble," summarizes the social work profession's mission and core values. On the occasion of National Social Work Week 2005, the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) adopted a new Code of Ethics and published Guidelines for Ethical Practice to serve as a companion document to the Code. Their ability and commitment to act ethically is an essential aspect of the quality of the service offered to those who engage with social workers. The Code of Ethics states the values and ethical principles on which the profession is based. Principles have a much broader scope than rules (or ‘standards’), tending to apply to all people in all circumstances (although in the case of social work, principles often refer to ‘all service users’). BASW expects employers to ensure social workers’ learning and development needs are met and seek adequate resources to do so. The Association commends and promotes the Code of Ethics to all social workers, educators and employers of social workers in the UK. It is relevant to all social workers and social work students regardless of their specific functions or settings. Brendan Wood. Social workers should recognise their own prejudices to ensure they do not discriminate against any person or group. Underpinne… Implications for Social Work. Standards can also be divided into two kinds, although often they are not clearly distinguished in codes of ethics: Ethical standards or rules – some general ‘do’s and don’ts’, sometimes framed as ‘standards’ for example: ‘do not permit knowledge to be used for discriminatory policies’; ‘protect all confidential information’. What are the roles of a Social Worker? The Code of Ethics for Social Work Social workers should support people to reach informed decisions about their lives and promote their autonomy and independence, provided this does not conflict with their safety or with the rights of others. The Anti-Poverty Practice Guide for Social Work, IFSW and other international social work organisations, Influencing social work policy in the Commonwealth, Practice, policy and education groups (PPEGs), Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for Independents, Umbrella service companies & tax avoidance scheme investigations, Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) 2020, Support for newly-qualified social workers, The international definition of social work (2014)*, Professional Support Service: Access support, Professional Support Service: Frequently Asked Questions, Copyright © 2021 British Association of Social Workers. It offers a set of values, principles and standards to guide decision-making and everyday professional conduct of social workers. Professional social workers often hold undergraduate or Master’s degree in Social Work, but a fair amount of their knowledge comes from gaining on-the-job experience. Social workers should identify dilemmas about confidentiality and seek support to address these issues. They should enable people to access all information recorded about themselves, subject to any limitations imposed by law. Social work utilises a variety of skills, techniques, and activities consistent with its holistic focus on persons and their environments. As part of the social work values outlined in the NASW Code of Ethics, each social worker must practice within his or her scope of competence and avoid misrepresenting his or her skills or experience to potential clients. Reflect on recent decisions you’ve made Social workers should recognise the limits of their practice and seek advice or refer to another professional if necessary to ensure they work in a safe and effective manner. E-mail: s.j.banks@durham.ac.uk. The NASW Code of Ethics sets forth these values, principles, and standards to guide social workers’ conduct. The social work profession draws on theories of human development and behaviour and social systems to analyse complex situations and to facilitate individual, organisational, social and cultural changes. Social workers should contribute to the education and training of colleagues and students by sharing knowledge and practice wisdom. The British Association of Social Workers is the professional association for social workers in the United Kingdom (UK). In social work one is forced to make decisions that involve ethical judgements. Social workers should be prepared to challenge discriminatory, ineffective and unjust policies, procedures and practice. It responds to crises and emergencies as well as to everyday personal and social problems. Exceptions to this may only be justified on the basis of a greater ethical requirement such as evidence of serious risk or the preservation of life. The practice principles are not intended to be exhaustive as some ethical challenges and problems facing social workers in practice are common and others are specific to particular countries and settings. Social work is based on respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all people as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and other related UN declarations on rights and the conventions derived from those declarations. Share. Social workers should only take actions which diminish peoples’ civil or legal rights if it is ethically, professionally and legally justifiable. The Association has a duty to ensure as far as possible that its members discharge their ethical obligations and are afforded the professional rights necessary for the safeguarding and promotion of the rights of people who use social work services. Ethical awareness is a necessary part of the professional practice of any social worker. BASW’s Code of Ethics first adopted in 1975, has been revised and updated on several occasions. Ethical awareness is fundamental to the professional practice of social workers. Recognising diversity Social workers should recognise and respect the diversity of the societies in which they practise, taking into account individual, family, group and community differences. Social workers should take responsibility for ensuring they have access to professional supervision and discussion which supports them to reflect and make sound professional judgements based on good practice. BASW expects all employers to provide appropriate professional supervision for social workers and promote effective team work and communication. Social workers should ascertain and respect, as far as possible, each individual’s preferences, wishes and involvement in decision making, whether or not they or other persons have powers to make decisions on the person’s behalf. Research Ethics for Counsellors, Nurses & Social Workers is designed to help you make the best start in your research career. Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam. * The definition was revised in 2014. It sheds a spotlight on the often invisible labour undertaken by social workers to respect people’s rights, weigh up risks, be fair and compassionate, and advocate for socially just change (‘ethics work’). Being trustworthy Social workers should work in a way that is honest, reliable and open, clearly explaining their roles, interventions and decisions and not seeking to deceive or manipulate people who use their services, their colleagues or employers. Working definitions of values and social work values. Identifying and developing strengths Social workers should focus on the strengths of all individuals, groups and communities and thus promote their empowerment. A workshop day aimed at those considering a move into independent social work or new to self employment. Social work in its various forms addresses the multiple, complex transactions between people and their environments. Challenging discrimination Social workers have a responsibility to challenge discrimination on the basis of characteristics such as ability, age, culture, gender or sex, marital status, socio-economic status, political opinions, skin colour, racial or other physical characteristics, sexual orientation or spiritual beliefs. These ethics are of great importance to all social work students as well. Ethics and values in social care research Ethics and values are a fundamental part of the way people work in social care, so much so that in social work they are one of the nine capabilities within the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). They should act with integrity and treat people with compassion, empathy and care. 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