Its mission is to enable all people to develop their full potential, enrich their lives, and prevent dysfunction. 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. 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. Social work interventions range from primarily person-focused psychosocial processes to involvement in social policy, planning and development. They should contribute to social work education, including the provision of good quality placements, and ensure students are informed of their ethical responsibilities to use the Code in their practice. 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. They should work towards promoting the best interests of individuals and groups in society and the avoidance of harm. The Code is binding on all social workers who are BASW members in all roles, sectors and settings in the UK. BASW expects employers to ensure social workers’ learning and development needs are met and seek adequate resources to do so. In social work, ‘values’ can be regarded as particular types of beliefs that people hold about what is regarded as worthy or valuable. E-mail: s.j.banks@durham.ac.uk. 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. practice. Correspondence to: Sarah Banks, Community and Youth Work Studies Unit, Durham University, 45, Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HN, UK. They should enable people to access all information recorded about themselves, subject to any limitations imposed by law. She is currently researching ethical issues in youth work and the changing nature of professionalism in local authorities. 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). The ethical practice principles apply across the UK but they are not intended to be exhaustive or to constitute detailed prescription. Cross Sector Attachments. Social work practice addresses the barriers, inequities and injustices that exist in society. They should challenge the abuse of power and the exclusion of people from decisions that affect them. 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. Professional ethics concerns matters of right and wrong conduct, good and bad qualities of character and the professional responsibilities attached to relationships in a work context. 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. 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. People who use social work services may be individuals (children, young people or adults), families or other groups or communities. The following is an outline of the etiology of its creation and major points. They should analyse and evaluate the quality and outcomes of their practice with people who use social work services. Social workers have a responsibility to promote social justice, in relation to society generally, and in relation to the people with whom they work. 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. Academic Michael Preston-Shoot points to the areas of learning that need improvement if child … 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. 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. 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. It responds to crises and emergencies as well as to everyday personal and social problems. 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. 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 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 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. 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. Implications for Social Work. social work. Social workers should identify dilemmas about confidentiality and seek support to address these issues. Human rights and social justice serve as the motivation and justification for social work action. The profession has an obligation to articulate its basic values, ethical principles, and ethical standards. They help in making sound judgments and decisions when dealing with all segments of the population regardless of the clients’ religion, race, or ethnicity. Rather, by outlining the general ethical principles, the aim is to encourage social workers across the UK to reflect on the challenges and dilemmas that face them and make ethically informed decisions about how to act in each particular case in accordance with the values of the profession. These ethics are of great importance to all social work students as well. Social work is an interrelated system of values, theory and practice. They need to keep up to date with relevant research, learning from other professionals and service users. 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. The NASW Code of Ethics continues to be the most accepted standard for social work ethical practice worldwide. 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. Social workers should contribute to the education and training of colleagues and students by sharing knowledge and practice wisdom. Since its beginnings over a century ago, social work practice has focused on meeting human needs and developing human potential. 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. BASW expects employers to have in place systems and approaches to promote a climate which supports, monitors, reviews and takes the necessary action to ensure social workers can comply with the Code of Ethics and other requirements to deliver safe and effective practice. Social workers should be prepared to challenge discriminatory, ineffective and unjust policies, procedures and practice. The Social Work Code of Ethics was last issued in 1994. 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. Ethical behaviour is at the core of every profession. 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. About us. Useful Tips. Social workers should promote and contribute to the development of positive policies, procedures and practices which are anti-oppressive and empowering. 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. Underpinne… Social workers should ensure the sharing of information is subject to ethical requirements in respect of privacy and confidentiality across agencies and professions, and within a multi-purpose agency. It is relevant to all social workers and social work students regardless of their specific functions or settings. Search for other … Values and ethics in Social Work’ is an essential source for student social workers. 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. They should engage in ethical debate with their colleagues and employers to share knowledge and take responsibility for making ethically informed decisions. Broadly speaking, ‘ethics’ is about matters of right and wrong conduct, good and bad qualities of character and responsibilities attached to relationships. Ethical awareness is a necessary part of the professional practice of any social worker. Treating each person as a whole Social workers should be concerned with the whole person, within the family, community, societal and natural environments, and should seek to recognise all aspects of a person’s life. It is relevant to all social workers and social work students regardless of their specific functions or settings. 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. The NASW Code of Ethics offers a set of values, principles and standards to guide decision-making and everyday professional conduct of social workers. 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. Social workers need to acknowledge the impact of their own informal and coercive power and that of the organisations involved. Social work utilises a variety of skills, techniques, and activities consistent with its holistic focus on persons and their environments. Copyright © British Association of Social Workers 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. Rationale: Social workers often practice within institutions or organizations that have goals, policies, or environments that are not driven by social work values. This Code of Ethics replaces the 2002 version. 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. Brendan Wood. Social workers should reflect and critically evaluate their practice and be aware of their impact on others. 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). In the context of professional practice, the use of the term ‘belief’ reflects the status that values have as stronger than mere opinions or preferences. 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 workers should assist people to understand and exercise their rights including making complaints and other remedies. This Code includes four sections: The first Section, "Preamble," summarizes the social work profession's mission and core values. What are the roles of a Social Worker? The British Association of Social Workers is the professional association for social workers in the United Kingdom (UK). Social workers should develop and maintain the attitudes, knowledge, understanding and skills to provide quality services and accountable practice. Interventions also include agency administration, community organisation and engaging in social and political action to impact social policy and economic development. 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). 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. Author: The Policy, Ethics and Human Rights Committee (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. 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’. Ethical awareness is fundamental to the professional practice of social workers. Resources for FSCs. 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. These key documents were reviewed and agreed in 2010 by IFSW and IASSW. Professional ethics are at the core of social work. They should endeavour to seek changes in policies, procedures, improvements to services or working conditions as guided by the ethics of the profession. Social workers should give people the information they need to make informed choices and decisions. Its clarity and accessibility make it an invaluable learning source. Email: policyadmin@basw.co.uk Section 3 comprises practice principles which indicate how the general ethical principles outlined in Section 2 should be put into practice in a UK context. 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; … Maintaining professional boundaries Social workers should establish appropriate boundaries in their relationships with service users and colleagues, and not abuse their position for personal benefit, financial gain or sexual exploitation. Aspects of control and dominance are inevitable in the work. Respecting the right to self determination Social workers should respect, promote and support people’s dignity and right to make their own choices and decisions, irrespective of their values and life choices, provided this does not threaten the rights, safety and legitimate interests of others. Goldstein (1987) referred to this as the ‘neglected moral link’ in social work practice. The social workers Code of Ethics are at the core of the profession. "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. 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. They should respect people’s beliefs, values, culture, goals, needs, preferences, relationships and affiliations. Reflect on recent decisions you’ve made The term ‘social work values’ refers to a range of beliefs about what is regarded as worthy or valuable in a social work context (general beliefs about the nature of the good society, general principles about how to achieve this through actions, and the desirable qualities or character traits of professional practitioners). * The definition was revised in 2014. The term ‘ethics’ may be used in a singular sense to refer to the study of right and wrong norms of behaviour, good and bad qualities of character; or in a plural sense, to refer to the actual norms and qualities. Ethical conflicts, and the moral distress which they may cause, can give rise to unease, guilt, and burnout (Raines 2000). 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. They should identify, develop, use and disseminate knowledge, theory and practice. Willingness to help. 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. Being professionally accountable Social workers should be prepared to account for and justify their judgements and actions to people who use services, to employers and the general public. They should challenge and seek to address any actions of colleagues who demonstrate negative discrimination or prejudice. Social work values are embodied in the profession’s national and international codes of ethics. 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 work is a service-based profession, your duties lie in helping others, so …

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