Ethical Principles in the NASW Code of Ethics
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) code of ethics refers to a set of standards which inform the professional code of conduct to be followed by all social workers. It provides a set of principles, standards, and values to guide the everyday conduct and decision-making of social workers. The ethical principles in the NASW code of ethics are based on the values of integrity, competence, social justice, the significance of human relationships, and service. Since 1996, the NASW Delegate Assembly approved the first and most substantive revision on 4th August 2017. The 2021 update entails language which addresses how important self-care is. Additionally, amendments to the standard of cultural competence give more direction to people in the social work profession. The purpose of this essay is to discuss two ethical principles in the NASW code of ethics including social justice and the dignity and worth of the individual.
Social Workers Should Challenge Social Injustice.
First, it is the responsibility of social workers to pursue social change in a given society. Social workers are mostly tasked with protecting oppressed individuals, vulnerable groups, and other groups of people. Social injustice has to do with taking action in situations that infringe on the rights of a given group of people. Social change impacted by social workers focuses mostly on issues of discrimination, unemployment, poverty, among other forms of injustice(Byers & Shapiro, 2019). The activities carried out by social workers help to promote knowledge and sensitivity about cultural diversity, ethnic diversity, and oppression. Additionally, social workers work to ensure there is access to the services, information, and resources that are required by people. Furthermore, they ensure there is meaningful participation and equality of opportunity when it comes to matters of making decisions for all people. Social work is cognizant of the fact that society is faced with many social injustices hence the need for professional social workers to know about these injustices to enable them to work towards change.
Social Workers Should Show Respect for the Worth and Dignity of an Individual
Another principle in the NASW code of ethics is that social workers must recognize the worth and dignity of other people. Social workers are required to treat every person they come across in a respectful and caring fashion (Willis & Molina, (2019). Additionally, social workers are required to be mindful of the individual differences and ethnic and cultural diversity of other individuals. Notably, they should strive to promote clients who are socially responsible and determined. Social workers also enhance the capacity of clients to resolve their problems hence bringing social change. Moreover, social workers should recognize that their play a dual role not only to their clients but also towards the broader society. It is the duty of social workers to resolve any disputes occurring between the interest of their clients and the broader society. Social workers should resolve disputes in a manner socially responsible and consistent with ethical principles, ethical standards, and values of the profession. Supporting this principle is imperative because respect is a value that is crucial in navigating all aspects of the practices of social science.
The NASW Code of Ethics provides a set of principles, standards, and values to guide the everyday conduct and decision-making of social workers. Social justice and observing the worth and dignity of other individuals are some of the codes of ethics laid out by NASW. Social workers are responsible with protecting oppressed individuals, vulnerable groups, and other groups of people. Social workers are required to treat every person they come across in a respectful and caring fashion and to be mindful of the individual differences and ethnic and cultural diversity of other individuals.
Byers, D. S., & Shapiro, J. R. (2019). Renewing the ethics of care for social work under the Trump administration. Social work, 64(2), 175-180.
Willis, N. G., & Molina, V. (2019). Self-care and the social worker: Taking our place in the code. Social work, 64(1), 83-86.
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