CODE OF ETHICS OF SOCIAL WORKERS
WHAT IS A CODE OF CONDUCT / ETHICS?
The Code of conduct for social workers is a list of statements that describes the standards of professional conduct required of social workers when carrying out their daily activities.
|The code of ethics applies to social workers, student social workers and social auxiliary workers |
It guides all social workers when -
• conducting research;
• providing direct service;
• educating learners, performing administrative, supervisory, editorial, or consultative functions; • being engaged in peer review or social policy;
• being an expert witness or
• performing any other role as a social work practitioner.
SA COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL SERVICE PROFESSIONS:
• Recognises its responsibility to promote and ensure ethical behavior and attitudes on the part of all persons registered with it. • Attempts to ensure ethical behavior and attitudes include –
|Noting down these principle/values and standards of conduct in the Code of Ethics; | |Promoting them through education, peer modelling and consultation; | |Developing and implementing methods to help social workers monitor the ethics of their behavior and attitudes; | |Adjudicating complaints of unethical behavior and taking corrective action when warranted. |
PURPOSE OF THE CODE OF ETHICS:
1. It identifies core values on which social workers’ missions are based. 2. It summarises broad ethical principles that reflect the professions’ core values and establishes a set of specific ethical standards that are used to guide social workers. 3. It is designed to help social workers identify relevant considerations when their obligations conflict or ethical uncertainties arise. 4. It provides ethical standards according to which the general public can hold social workers accountable. 5. It orientates practitioners new to the field to social work’s mission, values, ethical principles, and ethical standards. 6. It articulates standards that social workers themselves can use to assess whether their conduct is ethical.
GUIDING ETHICAL VALUES AND PRINCIPLES:
|Social Justice |Competence |Respect for people’s worth, human rights, and dignity | |Integrity |Professional responsibility |Show care and concern for others’ well-being |Service delivery |
GENERAL ETHICAL STANDARDS:
|1. |SOCIAL WORKER’S ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES TOWARDS THE PROFESSION |
Social workers have an obligation to –
1. Uphold the integrity of the profession
2. Prevent negligence in the carrying out of their duties
3. Not associating with dishonesty when doing their duties 4. Promote / facilitate research and evaluation
5. Provide education, training and development only in their areas of knowledge and competence 6. Maintain competency in the areas of service provision
7. Help incompetent colleagues
8. Comply with legislation, policies and procedures
9. Display registration certificate
|2. |SOCIAL WORKERS’ ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS CLIENT SYSTEMS |
In their interactions with client systems, Social Workers have a responsibility to ensure the following: 1. Confidentiality – must be understood in terms of the right to privacy. This has 2 dimensions ie the right against intrusion (the right to keep certain information to yourself) and right to confidentiality (the right to maintain control over information provided to the social worker) 2. Professional...
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