Self-Care Among Updates to Latest Edition of Ethical Standards in Social Work


By Paul R. Pace

Ethical Standards in Social Work

The NASW Press has just released the “Ethical Standards in Social Work: A Review of the NASW Code of Ethics (Revised 3rd ed.)” by Frederic G. Reamer, professor emeritus in the School of Social Work at Rhode Island College. NASW Press is also releasing the revised 2nd edition of Reamer’s book, “The Social Work Ethics Casebook: Cases and Commentary” this year.

Reamer answers questions about the latest edition of “Ethical Standards in Social Work”:

What is new in this edition? This updated edition includes new content on ethical principles and standards related to cultural competence and practitioner self-care. These issues are highlighted in the most recent revision of the NASW Code of Ethics. This edition also includes up-to-date references to pertinent literature and new case examples that help social workers apply the code to a wide range of challenging circumstances.

What are the book’s key takeaways? In my view, the NASW Code of Ethics is so much more than a discrete set of rules designed to guide practitioners’ conduct. Rather, the code is the repository of our evolving and enduring understanding of what it means to be a social worker, embrace the profession’s mission and core values, and abide by its ethics-related mandates and aspirations.

To fully appreciate the code’s implications, I think social workers need to wrestle with the complex ethical dilemmas to which it applies, distinguish between easier and harder ethical questions in the profession, and cultivate the cognitive and analytical skills required to engage in rich, nuanced ethical reasoning.

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cover of winter 2024 issue

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