Social workers work to support underprivileged people, groups, and even families. They raise their voice in favor of equality. As per the data revealed by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of social workers working throughout the length and breadth of the country is over 700,000. That’s quite a massive number, and according to experts, it is likely to grow by 13% before 2029 arrives. Now, every social worker must abide by the professional code of ethics laid down by the National Association of Social Workers. There is no doubt that the sphere of social work benefits several communities. However, it is imperative to give importance to the core values. If you want to understand that in detail, go through the following points.
Social Work Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics laid down by the National Association of Social Workers is a kind of a guide that informs a social worker what their conduct should be. The Delegate Assembly of the NASW put forth the first version back in 1960. Though it has gone through a revision several times, a major part of it remains as it is. Social work core values like service, integrity, competence, dignity, and value of the client, social justice, and the importance of relationships decide the moral framework of the Code of Ethics.
What’s the Importance of the Code of Ethics?
The code of ethics is important as it clearly outlines laws, policies, and regulations for the social workers to follow. They will be answerable if they break any rule. The code of ethics has a host of purposes that it serves. It lays down the core values around which the entire occupation of social work revolves. It offers ethical standards that give a direction to the social work practices and act as a representation of core values. The social work profession will have to abide by the ethical standards put forth by the code of ethics. It helps establish the mission of social work, the values of the profession, and the ethical standards that new social workers have to abide by.
The code of ethics mentions the standards by which an assessment can be made whether a social worker has been involved in unethical practices or not. Social workers who have taken a pledge to follow the code are bound by it and have to work according to the provisions and the disciplinary rulings. Every social worker must consider these objectives promoted by the NASW and practice them religiously. Aside from that, a social worker must carry out proper research work.
Social work is all about professional ethics. The code has a few core values like service, integrity, competence, dignity, value of the client, social justice, and the importance of relationships. The main purpose of social work is to serve people in need and find a solution to their social issues. They must attach more importance to public service than personal gain. They need to set an example. Social work is a voluntary service that requires individuals to work for society without expecting compensation. Social workers need people to trust them.
Otherwise, they won’t be able to make the lives of others better and foster successful relationships. Every social worker should follow the core values as the profession’s ethical principles. They must put up exemplary work in front of the clients. Supporting the organizations they work for is one of their primary responsibilities. Having an undergraduate or master’s degree in social work is preferable. However, a major share of the knowledge comes from practical experience. Social workers must respect everyone and treat them with dignity. They serve society, and they must help people reach their full potential.
Organizations for Social Workers
Social workers can learn a lot from social work organizations. They can get hold of certain benefits like internships, networking, and education outside the classroom. Some major organizations for social workers are the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care, School Social Work Association of America, Council on Social Work Education, Association of Oncology Social Work, American Council for School Social Work, and many more.
It’s a known fact by now that the profession of social work can bring a positive impact on society. However, the first and foremost responsibility of a social worker is to boost the well-being of the people they are serving.