According to the NASW Code of Ethics, there are 6 core values that are fundamental to the mission of Social Workers. These are the values that should guide the decision making and actions of Social Workers, particularly should an ethical issue arise.
- Service – The primary goal of Social Workers is to help others in need and to elevate service to others above self-interest. Social Workers provide assistance and resources to help people and to address social problems.
- Social Justice – Social Workers should pursue positive change and should always uphold equal rights, opportunity and protection of others.
- Dignity and worth of the person – Despite differences in individuals across genders, cultures, religions and other differences, every person, while unique, deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and care.
- Importance of human relationships– Social Workers should strengthen relationships among people in a purposeful effort to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities.
- Integrity- Social Workers should always act with honesty, integrity and trustworthiness.
- Competence-Social Workers should always practice within the scope of his/her skills and abilities and should seek to enhance and further those skills.
This profession has taught me so much. These values are at the center of not only my interactions professionally, but my interactions with every person I have the good fortune to meet. When times are tough and I start to question changes that are happening and decisions that are being made, I remind myself of these core values. As a social worker, I want to help you when you need help, support you and advocate for you when you can’t, treat you with dignity and respect always, be honest with you, value our relationship and be a better practitioner. As a friend, I want to help you need help, support you and advocate for you when you can’t, treat you with dignity and respect always, be honest with you, value our relationship and be a better friend