On a daily basis, social workers fight for human rights and fairness, speaking out for the unheard and disregarded. Through their efforts, they help enhance people’s lives, thus raising the quality of life for society. They work in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 708,100 social workers nationwide as of 2021. It is projected that this number will increase by nine percent over the next decade. All social workers, regardless of their practice setting, are bound by the Code of Ethics established by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). These ethical guidelines were first developed and approved in 1960, with subsequent revisions until 2017. The revised version was published in 2018. The NASW, the largest membership organization of social workers globally, is responsible for developing the ethical standards that govern the profession.
Ethics is a set of moral principles and values that dictate an individual’s behavior and decisions. Social work ethics are the particular guidelines that social workers must adhere to when acting in their professional capacity. Even though one does not need to be a member of the NASW to be held to the same ethical standards, members are obligated to uphold the code. Furthermore, many states have incorporated the Code of Ethics into their licensing requirements, making it mandatory for all social workers in those states to comply with the ethical guidelines set by the NASW. The core values of the profession form the basis of ethical principles and standards.
According to the NASW, the Code of Ethics is an instructional tool in the normal practice of social workers. It includes six ethical standards that all professionals in the field should aim to fulfill. Being a social worker is a continuous learning obligation. This can take many forms, such as doing private research and study, participating in webinars and conventions, obtaining extra licenses, or enrolling in an online MSW. This program from Cleveland State University ensures graduates are ready for the job and understand social work values to serve their community throughout their careers.
Now, let’s have a look at the six core values of social work.
The primary aim of social workers is to empower individuals, families, and their neighborhoods. Service is the root of all other social work values, and social workers usually put the needs of their communities ahead of their own. They draw on their education and experience to promote the well-being of others and frequently donate their time or skills beyond their professional commitments.
The concept of social justice is widely accepted as a moral value that promotes fairness and equal rights for all individuals. This concept is closely related to social equity, which is the idea of providing everyone with fair and equal access to resources and opportunities. It includes provision of fair wages, equal education, access to healthcare, and other resources necessary to live a wholesome life. Social justice is an important element of any society that wants to promote justice and equality.
Social workers strive to assist those who are disadvantaged and unheard in society. They are dedicated to tackling issues like homelessness, harassment, poverty, and other forms of unfairness. They provide information and help people access resources to help them achieve social equity. Furthermore, they strive to put together more equitable systems and point out the elements that result in inequalities in individuals’ and groups’ health and welfare.
Dignity and worth of a person
The dignity and worth of a person should be respected and appreciated. Social workers must be aware of the various ways in which people think and behave, as well as any cultural and ethnic differences. By showing each individual respect and dignity, social workers can help their clients attain the capability and opportunity to take care of their needs and improve their circumstances. It is the responsibility of social workers to serve both their individual clients and the greater society and work to find solutions that benefit both.
Social workers strive to remove any elements that could devalue the dignity of people. They should do this using techniques that respect their uniqueness and support self-determination. Rather than imposing their own beliefs, social workers use the values of their clients and the societies they serve.
Also, Check – The Best Ways To Show Employee Appreciation
Importance of human relationships
Human relationships play a major role in our lives. They can provide us with a sense of security, comfort, and emotional support. These connections with other people can help us feel fulfilled and allow us to share our experiences. Relationships are essential for our personal growth, health, and overall well-being.
Social workers are experts at connecting those who require help with the resources and people who are able to give the needed help. They are highly skilled at involving potential collaborators who have the capability to build, sustain, and boost the health of households, neighborhoods, and entire societies.
Social workers are integral to creating sustainable relationships with people and communities. They also help clients recognize relationships that are beneficial and cut off the bad ones.
To build strong, trusting relationships and allow others to benefit from their services, social workers must act in a way that reflects the missions, values, and ethical principles of their profession. Social workers need to exemplify these components to provide the most value for the people they serve and maintain the positive reputation of the organizations they are affiliated with. Therefore, by being honest and exhibiting personal integrity, social workers can successfully foster meaningful relationships.
A good number of the skills social workers need to do their job are learned from experience on the job. Following the NASW Code of Ethics, social workers must act within their area of expertise and not make claims about their skill level or experience to the people they are trying to help. Having undergraduate or graduate degrees in social work is also beneficial for professionals in the field. Social workers must always be looking to broaden their knowledge base and proficiency to be able to be of assistance to the profession and those they offer support.