Social work is a profession that is balanced by principals, ethics and values that power its growth and evolution. As a social worker, you are bound to a code of conduct that allows your clients to feel safe while giving you the toolbox that you need to deliver excellent work. Below are generally accepted principals of social work that the profession adheres to:
1. Non judgmental attitude
Having a non-judgmental attitude is crucial in your career as a social worker. You have to be able to identify with the client and listen to their problems without coming across like you have a set opinion or judgment about the way clients live their lives. Successful social workers are insightful in understand that a non-judgmental approach is the way to go when building relationships with people.
Information and data about your cases should be kept confidential if the client has an expressed wish for you to do so. Social workers need clear consent from clients before disclosing information related to their cases.
3. Controlled emotional involvement
This is one of the most well-known concepts in social work. What it means is that you should be able to care about what is happening in your client’s life however the degree of your emotional involvement should always be directed towards neutrality.
4. Access to information
Social workers should endeavour to make all information available to clients that will help them make the right decisions relating to their lives. This is important in remaining objective and free from bias for people. Access to information can include letting clients know about what resources are available to them in the local area where they live. Social workers should endeavour to make all information available to as many clients as possible to make access equal.
5. Self-determination for clients
Clients have the right to make their own decisions. Social workers do not exist to make these important choices and decisions for them. This is what self determination is all about – social workers merely aid people to choose the path that they want to undertake. Social workers are expected to respect decisions that clients want to make for themselves.
6. Freedom of expression
People need to feel like they can express their feelings and opinions without feeling like they are under a microscope. Social workers should make it clear to clients that they are allowed to speak freely about how they truly feel. Freedom of expression opens up many new streams of improving people’s lives because their true feelings have been shared.
7. Individuality affirmation
Social work is all about the person who is sitting in front of you. Social workers are encouraged to work with people from their point of view and commence work from where they feel comfortable.
As these principals show, social work is based on an ethics system that aims to protect and serve people and communities. Social workers who respect these principals will flourish in this challenging and rewarding profession. Are you interested in to be a social worker? Start from here: socialworkdegree.case.edu.