Reflect on recent decisions you’ve made Willingness to help. Goldstein (1987) referred to this as the ‘neglected moral link’ in social work practice. The profession has an obligation to articulate its basic values, ethical principles, and ethical standards. So, for example, ‘social workers should respect the autonomy of service users’ is an ethical principle; whereas, ‘social workers should not disclose confidential information to third-party payers unless clients have authorised such disclosure’ might be regarded as an ethical standard or rule. Social workers have a responsibility to apply the professional values and principles set out above to their practice. Copyright © British Association of Social Workers, No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form without the written permission of the copyright owner, The professional association for social work and social workers, All BASW members sign our Code of Ethics, which has underpinned social work practice since 1975. The social work profession draws on theories of human development and behaviour and social systems to analyse complex situations and to facilitate individual, organisational, social and cultural changes. Ethical awareness is a necessary part of the professional practice of any social worker. They should challenge the abuse of power and the exclusion of people from decisions that affect them. Values and ethics in Social Work’ is an essential source for student social workers. Principles have a much broader scope than rules (or ‘standards’), tending to apply to all people in all circumstances (although in the case of social work, principles often refer to ‘all service users’). The practice principles are not intended to be exhaustive as some ethical challenges and problems facing social workers in practice are common and others are specific to particular countries and settings. Social work is based on respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all people as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and other related UN declarations on rights and the conventions derived from those declarations. About us. Social workers have a responsibility to promote and work to the Code of Ethics in carrying out their obligations to people who use social work services, to their employers, to one another, to colleagues in other disciplines and to society. Upholding and promoting human dignity and well-being Social workers should respect, uphold and defend each person’s physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual integrity and well-being. They should respect people’s beliefs, values, culture, goals, needs, preferences, relationships and affiliations. It sheds a spotlight on the often invisible labour undertaken by social workers to respect people’s rights, weigh up risks, be fair and compassionate, and advocate for socially just change (‘ethics work’). Social workers should recognise that people using social work services have the right to take risks and should enable them to identify and manage potential and actual risk, while seeking to ensure that their behaviour does not harm themselves or other people. The social workers Code of Ethics are at the core of the profession. Interventions also include agency administration, community organisation and engaging in social and political action to impact social policy and economic development. The Association commends and promotes the Code of Ethics to all social workers, educators and employers of social workers in the UK. First published: January 2012 Social workers should strive to carry out the stated aims of their employers or commissioners, provided they are consistent with the Code of Ethics. These ethics are of great importance to all social work students as well. The Anti-Poverty Practice Guide for Social Work, IFSW and other international social work organisations, Influencing social work policy in the Commonwealth, Practice, policy and education groups (PPEGs), Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for Independents, Umbrella service companies & tax avoidance scheme investigations, Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) 2020, Support for newly-qualified social workers, The international definition of social work (2014)*, Professional Support Service: Access support, Professional Support Service: Frequently Asked Questions, Copyright © 2021 British Association of Social Workers. Social workers should respect the principles of confidentiality that apply to their relationships and ensure that confidential information is only divulged with the consent of the person using social work services or the informant. "Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. The Code of Ethics for Social Work The Association has a duty to ensure as far as possible that its members discharge their ethical obligations and are afforded the professional rights necessary for the safeguarding and promotion of the rights of people who use social work services. The full text is available at the NASW website. BASW’s Code of Ethics first adopted in 1975, has been revised and updated on several occasions. It takes as its starting point the internationally agreed Definition of Social Work (International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), (2000) and has also incorporated the international statement, Ethics in Social Work – Statement of Principles (IFSW and IASSW, 2004) with some revisions. 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