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
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.
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
Social workers should remember that the NASW Code of Ethics standards apply online as they do in the actual work environment.
In a perfect world, social workers would be able to provide clients with whatever services are necessary and for as long as necessary. Unfortunately, for diverse reasons ranging from lack of funding to client noncompliance, 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
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.
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?
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.