The activities of social workers are regulated with the help of different codes and standards. The Code of Ethics worked out by the National Association of Social Workers is used to control professional actions which are connected with ethical issues. The profession of social workers is based on assisting those people in need and on promoting their well-being.
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The main clients of social workers are the persons who require the help because of their problematic life conditions, poverty, and sufferings from being oppressed or discriminated. That is why, the Code of Ethics is important to regulate the social workers’ behaviours in relation to their clients.
Moreover, the Code of Ethics provides the list of principles and standards on which social workers should base not only their interactions with clients but also professional relations with colleagues. Thus, the profession of social workers is directly connected with the issue of following ethical principles and norms in the everyday life, and the Code of Ethics is important to regulate the social workers’ behaviour with references to the ethical norms.
The social workers’ main task is to act depending on their clients’ needs and to promote social justice in order to support the oppressed people, persons living in poverty, or those people who can suffer from discrimination. Social workers are obliged to follow ethical values, principles, and standards in their everyday working activities.
Furthermore, supervising and consulting their clients, social workers should act with respect to the clients’ “race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity” (Code of Ethics, 2008). Thus, the list of the ethical values, principles, and standards according to which the social workers’ behaviour can be discussed as ethical is provided in the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics.
Social workers have to make a lot of decisions connected with the ethical issues. The decision can be discussed as appropriate when it reflects the basic principles and standards presented in the Code of Ethics. The problem is in the fact that the statement of ethical standards and principles in the Code cannot guarantee the direct usage of these principles by social workers.
Nevertheless, when social workers do not follow the general ethical principles and standards developed for their profession they ignore the norms associated with the professional competence. The basic concept of the Code is the social justice. Thus, “social workers challenge social injustice”, and their unjust actions in relation to their clients or colleagues can be discussed as the violation of the principle (Code of Ethics, 2008).
Addressing social problems and assisting clients to cope with the possible oppression and discrimination, social workers should not act discriminatively in relation to their clients. From this point, social workers have definite social responsibilities which are correlated with the question of the social workers’ professional competence.
There are many situations when social workers can be challenged by the necessity to act against the interests of their clients. However, such activities are prohibited according to the standards provided in the Code of Ethics that is why a social worker as a professional should overcome the controversial question with references to the ethical principles and professional competence and expertise.
The Code of Ethics provides regulations for the social workers’ ethical behaviour basing on the general ethical standards used within the society and responding to the particular features of the profession. Thus, the profession of social workers is directly associated with addressing the ethical and social issues.
Code of Ethics. (2008). Web.