The NASW Code of Ethics is intended to serve as a guide to the everyday professional conduct of social workers. Social workers who refer clients to other professionals should disclose, with clients’ consent, all pertinent information to the new service providers. Social Work Ethics and Risk Management. If social workers engage in conduct contrary to this prohibition or claim that an exception to this prohibition is warranted because of extraordinary circumstances, it is social workers—not their clients—who assume the full burden of demonstrating that the former client has not been exploited, coerced, or manipulated, intentionally or unintentionally. * In subscribing to this Code, social workers are required to cooperate in its implementation, participate in NASW adjudication proceedings, and abide by any NASW disciplinary rulings or sanctions based on it. Social workers who are members of an interdisciplinary team should participate in and contribute to decisions that affect the well¬being of clients by drawing on the perspectives, values, and experiences of the social work profession. Social workers should make reasonable efforts to ensure continuity of services in the event that services are interrupted by factors such as unavailability, relocation, illness, disability, or death. We advocate for the field of social work and the clients served by social workers across the state of Pennsylvania. Social workers should use clear and understandable language to inform clients of the purpose of the services, risks related to the services, limits to services because of the requirements of a third¬party payer, relevant costs, reasonable alternatives, clients’ right to refuse or withdraw consent, and the time frame covered by the consent. NASW Code of Ethics (from the NASW website) The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. The NASW Code of Ethics continues to be the most accepted standard for social work ethical practice worldwide. Social workers seek to strengthen relationships among people in a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the well¬being of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers should have a knowledge base of their clients’ cultures and be able to demonstrate competence in the provision of services that are sensitive to clients’ cultures and to differences among people and cultural groups. Reasonable differences of opinion can and do exist among social workers with respect to the ways in which values, ethical principles, and ethical standards should be rank ordered when they conflict. Specific applications of the Code must take into account the context in which it is being considered and the possibility of conflicts among the Code‘s values, principles, and standards. The Preamble to the NASW Code of Ethics explains the mission of social work professionals. When social workers act on behalf of clients who lack the capacity to make informed decisions, social workers should take reasonable steps to safeguard the interests and rights of those clients. Social workers should not engage in sexual activities or sexual contact with clients’ relatives or other individuals with whom clients maintain a close personal relationship when there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the client. 1.11 Sexual Harassment Social workers should not sexually harass clients. Social workers who have direct knowledge of a social work colleague’s impairment that is due to personal problems, psychosocial distress, substance abuse, or mental health difficulties and that interferes with practice effectiveness should consult with that colleague when feasible and assist the colleague in taking remedial action. Social workers should assist in making appropriate arrangements for continuation of services when necessary. It does not provide a set of rules that prescribe how social workers should act in all situations. ET, Social Worker Political Action Committee (SWPAC). The Lu Brown Legacy Foundation is a proud member of the National Association of Social Workers. (Dual or multiple relationships occur when social workers relate to clients in more than one relationship, whether professional, social, or business. This may include providing clients with a detailed verbal explanation or arranging for a qualified interpreter or translator whenever possible. The NASW Code of Ethics comprises numerous regulations that govern the ethical values of the social work profession. Social workers should work toward the maintenance and promotion of high standards of practice. Learn how the Code of Ethics has evolved over time. We offer all of our scholarship recipients a first year's membership FREE on us after graduation. Social workers should contribute time and professional expertise to activities that promote respect for the value, integrity, and competence of the social work profession. This Code includes four sections. Ethical Principle: Social workers behave in a trustworthy manner. Social workers should not allow their own personal problems, psychosocial distress, legal problems, substance abuse, or mental health difficulties to interfere with their professional judgment and performance or to jeopardize the best interests of people for whom they have a professional responsibility. With emergent technological advances over the last two decades, the profession could not ignore the necessity for more clarity around the complex ethical issues that arise with the use of various forms of technology. MPSW 20 750 First Street, NE Suite 800
Some people have questioned whether the term âcompetenceâ presupposes that social workers can become competent in someone elsâ¦ Moreover, a code of ethics cannot resolve all ethical issues or disputes or capture the richness and complexity involved in striving to make responsible choices within a moral community. When necessary, social workers who believe that a colleague has acted unethically should take action through appropriate formal channels (such as contacting a state licensing board or regulatory body, an NASW committee on inquiry, or other professional ethics committees). Sexual activity or sexual contact with clients’ relatives or other individuals with whom clients maintain a personal relationship has the potential to be harmful to the client and may make it difficult for the social worker and client to maintain appropriate professional boundaries. Social workers should take reasonable steps to ensure that their employing organizations’ practices are consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics. Dual or multiple relationships can occur simultaneously or consecutively.). Social workers should take responsibility and credit, including authorship credit, only for work they have actually performed and to which they have contributed. (Examples include when a social worker is required by law to report that a client has abused a child or has threatened to harm self or others. Social work administrators should advocate within and outside their agencies for adequate resources to meet clients’ needs. Social workers should establish and maintain billing practices that accurately reflect the nature and extent of services provided and that identify who provided the service in the practice setting. In general, all ethical standards in this Code of Ethics are applicable to interactions, relationships, or communications, whether they occur in person or with the use of technology. They should not fabricate or falsify results and should take steps to correct any errors later found in published data using standard publication methods. Social workers engaged in the evaluation of services should discuss collected information only for professional purposes and only with people professionally concerned with this information. Further, the NASW Code of Ethics does not specify which values, principles, and standards are most important and ought to outweigh others in instances when they conflict. Social workers should not permit their private conduct to interfere with their ability to fulfill their professional responsibilities. Social workers should uphold and advance the values, ethics, knowledge, and mission of the profession. Social workers who function as educators or field instructors for students should take reasonable steps to ensure that clients are routinely informed when services are being provided by students. It is relevant to all social workers and social work students regardless of their specific functions or settings. Instances may arise when social workers’ ethical obligations conflict with agency policies or relevant laws or regulations. Sexual harassment includes sexual advances, sexual solicitation, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Social workers should provide services to clients only in the context of a professional relationship based, when appropriate, on valid informed consent. Ethical Principle: Social workersâ primary goal is to help people in need and to address social problems. Social workers should accept employment or arrange student field placements only in organizations that exercise fair personnel practices. Social workers generally should adhere to commitments made to employers and employing organizations. 1.14 Clients Who Lack Decision¬Making Capacity. In instances when clients lack the capacity to provide informed consent, social workers should protect clients’ interests by seeking permission from an appropriate third party, informing clients consistent with the clients’ level of understanding. The 2017 revision includes 19 new changes that address ethical responsibilities when using technology. The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. Social workers should inform participants of any limits of confidentiality, the measures that will be taken to ensure confidentiality, and when any records containing research data will be destroyed. A code of ethics cannot guarantee ethical behavior. Social workers should not disclose identifying information when discussing clients with consultants unless the client has consented to disclosure of confidential information or there is a compelling need for such disclosure. The second section, âPurpose of the NASW Code of Ethicsâ provides an overview of the Codeâs main functions and a brief guide for dealing with ethical issues or dilemmas in social work practice. The NASW Code of Ethics contains 19 new standards and revisions to several longstanding standards developed to address ethical considerations when using technology. Social workers should take reasonable steps to ensure that clients’ records are stored in a secure location and that clients’ records are not available to others who are not authorized to have access. Social workers should take precautions to ensure and maintain the confidentiality of information transmitted to other parties through the use of computers, electronic mail, facsimile machines, telephones and telephone answering machines, and other electronic or computer technology. Social workers should act to prevent and eliminate discrimination in the employing organization’s work assignments and in its employment policies and practices. Social work administrators and supervisors should take reasonable steps to provide or arrange for continuing education and staff development for all staff for whom they are responsible. Social workers should facilitate informed participation by the public in shaping social policies and institutions. This discussion should occur as soon as possible in the social worker¬client relationship and as needed throughout the course of the relationship. Social workers should provide appropriate professional services in public emergencies to the greatest extent possible. It is important that the theories social workers select in working with clients align, or are consistent, with the values and ethical principles identified in the NASW [â¦] Social workers should be aware of the impact of the political arena on practice and should advocate for changes in policy and legislation to improve social conditions in order to meet basic human needs and promote social justice. Social workers should seek the advice and counsel of colleagues whenever such consultation is in the best interests of clients. Social workers should terminate services to clients and professional relationships with them when such services and relationships are no longer required or no longer serve the clients’ needs or interests. The NASW Code of Ethics sets forth these values, principles, and standards to guide social workersâ conduct. 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