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Lecture 1

SOCWK220R Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Respect Diversity, Scientific Method, Community Practice

Social Work (Social Development Studies)
Course Code

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SOCWK 220R - Lecture 1 - Code of Ethics & Social Work as a Developing Profession
Code of Ethics (2005)
Core Social Work Values and Principles
value 1: respect for inherent dignity and worth of persons
- when law requires to override client’s wishes = social workers use min. coercion
- principles:
- respect unique worth and inherent dignity of all people and uphold
human rights
- uphold person’s right to self-determination, consistent with people’s
capacity and rights of others
- respect diversity and right to unique beliefs consistent with rights of others
- respect client’s right to make choices based on voluntary, informed
- children as clients = determine child’s ability to consent, nature of social
worker’s rls. to the child
- uphold right of society to impose limitations when such protect inds. from
self-harm, and from harming others
- uphold right of every person to be free from violence and threat
value 2: pursuit of social justice
- social workers = provide resources, services and opportunities, and afford them
protection from harm
- principles:
- uphold right of people to have access to resources = meet basic needs
- advocate for fair and equitable access to public services and benefits
- advocate for equal treatment, protection under law, challenge injustices
- promote social development and environmental management
value 3: service to humanity
- principles:
- place needs of others above self
- strive to use the power and authority in responsible ways to serve needs
of clients and promotion of social justice
- promote ind. development, pursuit of ind. goals, development of just
- use their knowledge and skills to bring fair resolutions to conflict
value 4: integrity of professional practice
- principles:
- demonstrate honesty, reliability, impartiality, diligence
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- stay true to values, ethical principles, promote respect for profession’s
- establish appropriate boundaries in relationships with clients, that
relationships serves their needs
- value openness and transparency, avoid rls. where integrity and
impartiality are compromised
value 5: confidentiality in professional practice
- principles:
- respect client’s trust and confidence
- respect client’s right to confidentiality of info. shared
- only disclose confidential info. with consent/permission of client’s legal
- can break confidentiality w/o permission when required (by laws, courts,
the Code)
- show transparency by communication limitations to clients
value 6: competence in professional practice
- principles:
- uphold right of clients to have highest quality service possible
- strive to maintain and increase professional knowledge and skill
- show due care for client’s interests and safety by limiting pro. practice to
areas of demonstrated competence
- contribute to development of profession by participating in development of
social workers and new professional knowledge
- those who engage in research = minimize risks to participants, ensure
informed consent, confidentiality, and report results of studies
Social Work as a Developing Profession
began in late 19th century and early 20th centuries
roots planted in the Judeo-Christian heritage
social work = knowledge base developing overtime, also helps explain how
contemporary practice, esp. generalist practice, part of development from past
Social Work as a Profession
Greenwood = all professions possess: (Leighninger: sees this approach as “trait-
- systematic theory
- where process model becomes useful in, considers social work as still
developing profession, consideration of influence of past and present
- authority
- community sanction
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- (with authority) power control model useful
- registration and other types of regulation = some authority, community
sanction, and recognition of an area of expertise and its services
- ethical codes
- provided through Code of Ethics
- a culture
process model approach = focuses on movement toward professional status, esp.
development of professional orgs. and pro. education
power control approach = looks at status of a profession, authority & monopoly of
service delivery are indicators of professional status
private practice model = ex; medicine and law
public model = social work, subject to greater degree of control by public, less
autonomy, responsible to clients, agency, and those to whom agency is responsible
Development of Social Work Knowledge
five concepts of how knowledge base has developed
- assessment
- person in the situation
- relationship
- process
- intervention
early practice of social work = characterized as pretheoretical, saw needs and
used “friendly visitor” approach to help people overcome causes of their difficulties
first major statement of social work practice theory = Mary Richmond’s Social Diagnosis
- framework for assessment construct (used the term diagnosis)
assumed that cause-effect relationship existed
- cause = assumed to be either moral inadequacy/lack of appropriate use of social
process of careful, thorough, systematic investigation of evidence, then putting them
together = called scientific philanthropy (study of social situation)
- assumed problem lay primarily within ind.
settlement houses (originators of group work method): saw source of problems in
environment and lack of understanding about how to cope with one’s surroundings
beginning of professional social work = response when new immigrants were seen as
concern to larger society
- this era = saw development of social sciences rooted in belief that application of
scientific method could identify causes of poverty and defiance
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