With that in mind, our tip for this month is to review the NASW Code of Ethics. The Code can be viewed at http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/default.asp. The Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers was approved by the 1996 NASW Delegate Assembly and revised by the 2008 NASW Delegate Assembly.
The Code encompasses the values, principals and standards upon which our profession is based and is the foundation for decision making and for our professional relationships with clients and colleagues. It does not dictate or reinforce any particular theory or modality of practice. The code is a tool to help social workers to identify relevant considerations when making difficult, complex decisions in the course of our service to our clients and our communities.
Professional ethics lie at the core of the Social Work mission and the Code spells out who Social Workers should conduct themselves with regard to ethical issues and why ethical conduct is important. Briefly stated, our ethical conduct protects clients, it protects the individual social worker and ethical standards protect the profession of social work by ensuring that certain minimum standards are adhered to. Without these assurances, clients might be reluctant to trust professional social workers with access to some of their most sensitive and private information.
-Susan Radzilowski, LMSW, ACSW
Diplomate in Clinical Social Work