HS 2100 Lecture 1: Code of Ethics Human Services

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22 Nov 2016
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Code of Ethics
Mission of social work: enhance human well-being and help meet the
basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs
and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living
in poverty.
Clients= used inclusively to refer to individuals, families, groups,
organizations, and communities.
Core values:
Social Justice
Dignity and worth of the person
Importance of Human Relationships
Purpose of Code of Ethics
Six purposes
1. identifies core values on which social work’s mission is based.
2. summarizes broad ethical principles that reflect the profession’s
core values and establishes a set of specific ethical standards that
should be used to guide social work practice.
3. designed to help social workers identify relevant considerations
when professional obligations conflict or ethical uncertainties
4. ethical standards to which the general public can hold the social
work profession accountable.
5. socializes practitioners new to the field to social work’s mission,
values, ethical principles, and ethical standards.
6. articulates standards that the social work profession itself can
use to assess whether social workers have engaged in unethical
conduct. NASW has formal procedures to adjudicate ethics
complaints filed against its members.
Social Workers Ethical Responsibilities to Client
1. Commitment to Clients
Client’s interests are primary, unless legal concerns or
responsibility to a larger society override loyalty to client
2. Self Determination
Respect and promote the right of clients to self-determination
and assist client’s in identifying and clarifying their goals
3. Informed Consent
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Social workers should provide services to clients only in the
context of a professional relationship based, when appropriate,
on valid informed consent.
4. Competence
Social workers should provide services and represent
themselves as competent only within the boundaries of their
education, training, license, certification, consultation received,
supervised experience, or other relevant professional
5. Cultural Competence and Social Diversity
Social workers should understand culture and its function in
human behavior and society, recognizing the strengths that exist
in all cultures. 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.
6. Conflicts of Interest
Social workers should be alert to and avoid conflicts of interest
that interfere with the exercise of professional discretion and
impartial judgment.
7. Privacy and Confidentiality
Social workers should respect clients’ right to privacy.
8. Access to Records
Social workers should provide clients with reasonable access to
records concerning the clients.
9. Sexual Relationships
Social workers should under no circumstances engage in sexual
activities or sexual contact with current clients, whether such
contact is consensual or forced.
10. Physical Contact
Social workers should not engage in physical contact with clients
when there is a possibility of psychological harm to the client as a
result of the contact (such as cradling or caressing clients).
11. Sexual Harassment
Social workers should not sexually harass clients. Sexual
harassment includes sexual advances, sexual solicitation,
requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct
of a sexual nature.
12. Derogatory Language
Social workers should not use derogatory language in their
written or verbal communications to or about clients.
13. Payment for Services
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When setting fees, social workers should ensure that the fees are
fair, reasonable, and commensurate with the services performed.
Consideration should be given to clients’ ability to pay.
14. Clients who lack decision-making capability
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.
15. Interruption of Services
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.
16. Termination of Services
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. Social workers should take
reasonable steps to avoid abandoning clients who are still in
need of services.
Ethical Responsibilities to Colleagues
1. Respect
Social workers should treat colleagues with respect and
should represent accurately and fairly the qualifications,
views, and obligations of colleagues.
2. Confidentiality
Social workers should respect confidential information shared
by colleagues in the course of their professional relationships
and transactions.
3. Interdisciplinary Collaboration
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.
4. Disputes Involving Collegues
Social workers should not take advantage of a dispute
between a colleague and an employer to obtain a position or
otherwise advance the social workers’ own interests. Social
workers should not exploit clients in disputes with colleagues
or engage clients in any inappropriate discussion of conflicts
between social workers and their colleagues.
5. Consultation
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