Ethics 8

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The Ethics 8 Series offers 8 useful tips related to prevailing topics in social work practice. These tip sheets serve as a starting point in uncovering ethical considerations in a given topic area, and direct users to additional resources related to the topic area.

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8 Ethical Considerations For Providing Gender-Affirming Care

Engaging in ethical social work practice with gender-diverse clients and their families requires intentional consideration of the following eight tips for providing gender- affirming care.

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8 Ethical Considerations for the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Social Work

The explosive growth of artificial intelligence (AI) has ignited both intrigue and trepidation. How can the social work profession harness the benefits of AI while balancing the risks it presents to ethical practice?
Read more about key ethical considerations related to the incorporation of AI in social work.

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8 Ethical Considerations for Closing or Retiring from Private Practice

Are you a mid-career professional considering pressing pause or hitting the reset button on your professional endeavors? Read eight tips to guide you in the ethical closure of your social work practice.

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8 Ethical Considerations for Upholding Privacy and Confidentiality in Social Work Practice

Privacy and Confidentiality, 1.07, is one of the most cited areas of the NASW Code of Ethics. These eight considerations underscore key elements for honoring the sacred clinical relationship and communications between social workers and their clients.

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8 Ethical Considerations for Dual Profession Social Workers

These tips address ethical concerns and guidance for social workers who possess dual professional identities and/or seek to introduce new techniques or practices to their social work service delivery.

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8 Ethical Considerations for Responding to Social Injustice

The recent high-profile deaths of Black people at the hands of the police, in addition to reoccurring publicized examples of racism around the country within our communities and within our profession, have emboldened demands for massive social change. What action does the NASW (2017) Code of Ethics require of social workers in the face of social injustice, racism, and inequality?

8 Ethical Considerations for Social Workers During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly transforming the way we go about daily life. What should social workers do to prepare for the impact of this pandemic?

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8 Ethical Considerations for Starting a Telehealth Practice

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly transforming the way we go about daily life. What should social workers do to prepare for the impact of this pandemic?

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8 Considerations for Addressing Unethical Conduct of Colleagues

The NASW Code of Ethics provides guidance to social workers who encounter unethical conduct of colleagues. These tips outline important steps to consider when confronted with unethical behavior among colleagues.

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8 Tips for Transitioning from a Job Ethically

Social work professionals change employment for many reasons, including to pursue opportunities for professional growth, to start a private practice, due to a poor fit, or to retire.  The following eight tips support ethical decisions in planning for a change of employment.

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8 Ethics Tips for Social Workers Who Practice in School Settings

Ethical social work practice in school systems involves a myriad of complex variables that demand a sound knowledge of the NASW Code of Ethics, along with legal, statutory, and other requirements. The following tips address important considerations necessary to arrive at solid ethical outcomes in school settings.

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8 Social Media and Technology Tips for Social Workers

Social workers should remember that the NASW Code of Ethics standards apply online as they do in the actual work environment.

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8 Considerations When Terminating the Social Worker/Client Relationship

Social workers sometimes need to consider terminating services. In such circumstances, social workers should carefully adhere to the profession’s ethical standards. - Frederick Reamer, PhD, Social Work Today

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8 Ethical Considerations for Working with People Affected by HIV/AIDS

There is a persistent need for social workers to educate themselves about how to advance ethical treatment and practices when working with people and communities affected by HIV/AIDS.

These tips describe ethical considerations for social workers and provide guidance and resources to assist with promoting ethical practice when working with HIV/AIDS-affected people and communities.

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8 Tips for Avoiding Ethical Dilemmas When Working with Couples

Social workers often face ethical dilemmas when negotiating the dynamics of working with couples, including: Who is considered the client? May I see an individual member of a couple separately? What if the attorney of one member of the couple subpoenas the record? If one member of a couple opts to terminate services, may I continue to see the other?

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8 Considerations for Addressing Social Worker Impairment

Social workers should not allow their own personal problems, psychosocial distress, legal problems, substance abuse, or mental health difficulties to interfere with their professional judgment and performance or to jeopardize the best interests of people for whom they have a professional responsibility.

Related Resources

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What’s Trending: Continuing Education on Ethics

NASW offers a slate of continuing education focused on ethics.

Learn more about the ethics courses trending on NASW’s Online CE Institute

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Dealing With an Ethical Dilemma? NASW Can Help!

The NASW Office of Ethics and Professional Review (OEPR) provides programming and resources to educate NASW members and the profession on the NASW Code of Ethics. OEPR also provides free ethics consultations to members of the Association and administers NASW’s professional review process.

Learn more about this helpful benefit

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Get to Know the NASW Office of General Counsel

The NASW Office of General Counsel (OGC) provides important services supporting individual NASW members and the social work profession generally.

Read more about how OGC supports members and the profession