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. 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. They should identify, develop, use and disseminate knowledge, theory and practice. They should engage in ethical debate with their colleagues and employers to share knowledge and take responsibility for making ethically informed decisions. The British Association of Social Workers is the professional association for social workers in the United Kingdom (UK). They should analyse and evaluate the quality and outcomes of their practice with people who use social work services. They help in making sound judgments and decisions when dealing with all segments of the population regardless of the clients’ religion, race, or ethnicity. 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 awareness is fundamental to the professional practice of social workers. The Code comprises statements of values and ethical principles relating to human rights, social justice and professional integrity, followed by practice principles that indicate how the ethical principles should be applied in practice. "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. This is a method of qualitative research which varies markedly in its theoretical framework, structure, process and orientation from those employed in quantitative methodology (Sarantakos 1997). The Code of Ethics for Social Work Social workers should identify dilemmas about confidentiality and seek support to address these issues. 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). People who use social work services may be individuals (children, young people or adults), families or other groups or communities. 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. The NASW Code of Ethics is intended to serve as a guide to the everyday professional conduct of social workers. Social work interventions range from primarily person-focused psychosocial processes to involvement in social policy, planning and development. 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. Reflect on recent decisions you’ve made 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). The profession has an obligation to articulate its basic values, ethical principles, and ethical standards. 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’. Social workers should reflect and critically evaluate their practice and be aware of their impact on others. However, they are … What are the roles of a Social Worker? 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 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. Useful Tips. 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’). Social workers should assist people to understand and exercise their rights including making complaints and other remedies. Human rights and social justice serve as the motivation and justification for social work action. 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. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. They should value and respect the contribution of colleagues from other disciplines. There will be variations in interpretation and guidance in the different countries. The Code is binding on all social workers who are BASW members in all roles, sectors and settings in the UK. 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. 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. The full text is available at the NASW website. 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. 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. Social workers need to acknowledge the impact of their own informal and coercive power and that of the organisations involved. Its mission is to enable all people to develop their full potential, enrich their lives, and prevent dysfunction. The Code of Ethics for Social Work Values and ethical principles wwwww British Association of Social Workers 9 2.2 Social justice Value Social workers have a responsibility to promote social justice, in relation to society generally, and in relation to the people with whom they work. 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. Correspondence to: Sarah Banks, Community and Youth Work Studies Unit, Durham University, 45, Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HN, UK. 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). 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. 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. Social workers should communicate effectively and work in partnership with individuals, families, groups, communities and other agencies. Rationale: Social workers often practice within institutions or organizations that have goals, policies, or environments that are not driven by social work values. The Association commends and promotes the Code of Ethics to all social workers, educators and employers of social workers in the UK. 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. 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. 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. Respect for human rights and a commitment to promoting social justice are at the core of social work practice throughout the world. The Code is not designed to provide a detailed set of rules about how social workers should act in specific situations or practice guidance. Contact: Luke Geoghegan, Policy Team Social workers should develop and maintain the attitudes, knowledge, understanding and skills to provide quality services and accountable practice. 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 should contribute to the education and training of colleagues and students by sharing knowledge and practice wisdom. As such, social workers are change agents in society and in the lives of the individuals, families and communities they serve. Social workers should be prepared to challenge discriminatory, ineffective and unjust policies, procedures and practice. 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. 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. Email: policyadmin@basw.co.uk The Social Work Code of Ethics was last issued in 1994. Interventions also include agency administration, community organisation and engaging in social and political action to impact social policy and economic development. Upholding the values and reputation of the profession Social workers should act at all times in accordance with the values and principles of the profession and ensure that their behaviour does not bring the profession into disrepute. 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. 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. Principles are essential norms in a system of thought or belief, which form the basis of reasoning in that system. 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. Social workers should maintain clear, impartial and accurate records and provision of evidence to support professional judgements. Social workers should take into account appropriate codes of practice, legislation, governance frameworks, professional practice and training standards in each UK country, provided they are consistent with the Code of Ethics. Social workers have a responsibility to apply the professional values and principles set out above to their practice. These decisions are not always easy – especially when two guiding principles come into conflict. Professional ethics are at the core of social work. Professional social work is focused on problem solving and change. 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. Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam. Making considered professional judgements Social workers should make judgements based on balanced and considered reasoning, maintaining awareness of the impact of their own values, prejudices and conflicts of interest on their practice and on other people. This Code includes four sections: The first Section, "Preamble," summarizes the social work profession's mission and core values. The secondary research method I used was semi-structured interviews with social work professionals. Distributing resources Social workers should ensure that resources at their disposal are distributed fairly, according to need. Home. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Social workers should use professional knowledge and experience to engage in research and to contribute to the development of ethically based policy and programmes. 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. 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. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.". The following is an outline of the etiology of its creation and major points. 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. 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. There will be difficult choices to make that will have important conse- quences for individual lives. Resources for FSCs. Its clarity and accessibility make it an invaluable learning source. Social workers should only take actions which diminish peoples’ civil or legal rights if it is ethically, professionally and legally justifiable. 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. These key documents were reviewed and agreed in 2010 by IFSW and IASSW. It responds to crises and emergencies as well as to everyday personal and social problems. 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. 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. 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. Social workers should give people the information they need to make informed choices and decisions. 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’. Social workers should strive to carry out the stated aims of their employers or commissioners, provided they are consistent with the Code of Ethics. Ethical awareness is a necessary part of the professional practice of any social worker. Since its beginnings over a century ago, social work practice has focused on meeting human needs and developing human potential. 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. 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 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. In social work, ‘values’ can be regarded as particular types of beliefs that people hold about what is regarded as worthy or valuable. 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. 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. About us. Search for other … They should act with integrity and treat people with compassion, empathy and care. Although social work is a profession laden with contradictions, the primary task within the social work profession is to ensure that the directives and principles enshrined in social work ethics, call on social workers to establish human rights and willingly be able to challenge unjust principles (Allan et al 2009). The NASW Code of Ethics sets forth these values, principles, and standards to guide social workers’ conduct. This is common for practitioners of value-based professions, and has been widely reported. social work. Identifying and developing strengths Social workers should focus on the strengths of all individuals, groups and communities and thus promote their empowerment. Social work practice addresses the barriers, inequities and injustices that exist in society. It takes as its starting point the internationally agreed Definition of Social Work (International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), (2000) and has also incorporated the international statement, Ethics in Social Work – Statement of Principles (IFSW and IASSW, 2004) with some revisions. Social work values are embodied in the profession’s national and international codes of ethics. People who use social work services may be individuals (children, young people or adults), families or other groups or communities. They should challenge and seek to address any actions of colleagues who demonstrate negative discrimination or prejudice. First published: January 2012 BASW expects all employers to provide appropriate professional supervision for social workers and promote effective team work and communication. 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. practice. These ethics are of great importance to all social work students as well. The Code of Ethics states the values and ethical principles on which the profession is based. 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 record only relevant matters and specify the source of information. 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. 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. Underpinne… 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. They should endeavour to seek changes in policies, procedures, improvements to services or working conditions as guided by the ethics of the profession. Social work is a service-based profession, your duties lie in helping others, so … Social workers should recognise their own prejudices to ensure they do not discriminate against any person or group. Social work relationships should be based on people’s rights to respect, privacy, reliability and confidentiality. 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’. 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. 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. It is understood that social work in the 21st century is dynamic and evolving, and therefore no definition should be regarded as exhaustive. They should respect people’s beliefs, values, culture, goals, needs, preferences, relationships and affiliations. Her book, Ethics and Values in Social Work was published by Macmillan in 1995. This is to make sure that ethics and values are upheld by all social workers. 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. 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. Although the subject matter of ethics is often said to be human welfare, the bigger picture also includes the flourishing of animals and the whole ecosystem. They should ensure that services are offered and delivered in a culturally appropriate manner. 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. His or her ability to act ethically is an essential aspect of the quality of the service offered to clients. The individual help seeker is in a position of weakness that is some- times very evident. Ethical conflicts, and the moral distress which they may cause, can give rise to unease, guilt, and burnout (Raines 2000). They need to keep up to date with relevant research, learning from other professionals and service users. (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. They should enable people to access all information recorded about themselves, subject to any limitations imposed by law. Share. A workshop day aimed at those considering a move into independent social work or new to self employment. 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. 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 work is an interrelated system of values, theory and practice. The Code of Ethics states the values and ethical principles on which the profession is based. Working definitions of values and social work values. 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. This is an accessible and well-structured read. 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. Implications for Social Work. The Code of Ethics states the values and ethical principles on which the profession is based. 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. Working definitions of ethics and values are given in the Appendix. Academic Michael Preston-Shoot points to the areas of learning that need improvement if child … 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. The NASW Code of Ethics continues to be the most accepted standard for social work ethical practice worldwide. Copyright © British Association 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. The National Social Work Competency Framework . 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. Social workers should promote and contribute to the development of positive policies, procedures and practices which are anti-oppressive and empowering. The ethical practice principles apply across the UK but they are not intended to be exhaustive or to constitute detailed prescription. It is relevant to all social workers and social work students regardless of their specific functions or settings. Cross Sector Attachments. Updated: October 2014. Social workers have a responsibility to promote social justice, in relation to society generally, and in relation to the people with whom they work. 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. 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. E-mail: s.j.banks@durham.ac.uk. The British Association of Social Workers is the professional association for social workers in the United Kingdom (UK). 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. Willingness to help. 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