Standard 18

Professional Ethics

Candidates demonstrate the ability to practice according to ethical standards including the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics and the NASW Standards for School Social Work Services.  Candidates demonstrate the ability to analyze and resolve ethical dilemmas that emerge in the practice of school social work.

Introduction

PPS candidates demonstrate knowledge of professional ethics as outlined in the NASW Code of Ethics and the NASW Standards for School Social Work Services. They also demonstrate application and integration of professional ethics in all aspects of social work practice. Matrix 18-1 illustrates the social work classes which offer specific content on professional ethics. It should be noted that content on ethics, like systems theory and cultural awareness/competency, is infused throughout the entire MSW/PPS program.

Knowledge of professional ethics

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics is introduced to students in the first semester in S Wrk 220, Foundations for Social Work Practice I. See week one, NASW Code of Ethics . In this class, students identify the core values and ethical principles of the social work profession and examine their influence on social work practice. This foundation is built upon throughout the foundation year and the advanced multi-systems practice concentration. Each advanced practice class focuses on social work service at a particular systems level using the Code of Ethics and the cardinal values of social work as its common theme. In S Wrk 274, Advanced Social Work Practice in Schools I, students are introduced to the NASW Standards for School Social Work Services as an adjunct to the Code of Ethics. These standards provide additional guidelines for social work practice specific to the school setting. See week two of the course calendar and the assigned reading of the NASW Standards for School Social WorkServices . All candidates are required to read the NASW Standards for School Social Work Services and discuss them in S Wrk 274. Important concepts such as professional preparation, accountability, supervision, continuing education and recommended school social worker-student population ratios are discussed.

PPS candidates are also oriented to the roles of other human service providers in the school system in order to enhance the effectiveness of the educational team. This orientation includes exploration of differences in professional ethics and practice perspectives among and within professional groups. This content is provided throughout the practice sequence as well as in the specific school social work courses (S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275) and the field practicum in the schools (S Wrk 282/283).

Ability to practice according to ethical standards

PPS candidates demonstrate the ability to practice according to ethical standard during both years of the field practicum (S Wrk 280/281 and S Wrk 282/283). Students complete specific assignments as part of their learning agreements that directly address ethics and ethical practice. For example, first year students are required to Conduct an ethics audit of the field placement agency based on Reamer’s model. Second year students Identify ongoing ethical dilemmas in your agency practice and apply an ethical decision- making model to develop a plan for resolution. The following learning objectives on ethical practice from the field practicum syllabi outline the expected outcomes for students:

Foundation Year (S Wrk 280/281):

  1. To apply core social work values, ethics and practice principles as outlined in the NASW Code of Ethics in working with various client systems and colleagues.
  2. To differentiate the value orientation, roles and activities of social work from other professions, particularly in relation to populations-at-risk, diversity, disparities, empowerment and social justice.

Advanced Year (S Wrk 282/283)

  1. To apply and integrate core social work values and ethics, including the central practice principles of diversity awareness, social justice and empowerment, in working with various client systems and colleagues.
  2. To develop and demonstrate the ability to professionally process ethical dilemmas.
  3. To demonstrate identification with the value orientation, roles and activities of social workers as different from other professionals.
  4. To demonstrate the ability to professionally process complex ethical dilemmas.

Application of professional ethics in the school setting occurs in the second year field placement (S Wrk 282/283). At this time, students expand on the foundation from the first year and learn the specialized aspects of social work practice in schools. Through a variety of field assignments, students demonstrate knowledge and skill in applying ethics to the school setting as well as learning to resolve conflict that arises due to ethical differences. PPS candidates are formally evaluated on their performance in the field practicum at the end of each semester. Evaluation includes assessment of the candidate’s ability to apply professional ethics into practice.

Ability to analyze and resolve ethical dilemmas

As described above, students in the MSW and PPS program develop a knowledge base of social work professional ethics and have opportunities during both years of the field internship to analyze and resolve ethical dilemmas. In S Wrk 274, Advanced Social Work Practice in Schools I, candidates complete assigned readings on ethical dilemmas in school social work. They also participate in small group exercises which require the identification of an ethical dilemma such as confidentiality and a plan for resolving the conflict. See week 4 of the course outline on Social Work Practice in Schools: EthicalIssues. These assignments facilitate the integration of knowledge with practice and help to prepare candidates to effectively handle the inevitable ethical issues that will arise through practice in the schools. S Wrk 275, Advanced Social Work Practice in Schools II, provides additional advanced practice content on youth and specific target groups of pupils in schools. Candidates continue to apply and integrate professional ethics into these advanced practice areas through assignments, class discussions, and concurrent field practicum experiences.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION
PPS CREDENTIAL PROGRAM

MATRIX 18 -1

STANDARD #18

 

Policy

HBSE

Practice

Field

Research

School Social Work

CWA

Ability to practice according to ethical standards; ability to analyze and resolve ethical dilemmas

200, 203

212, 213

220, 221 224, 225 227,246, 247

280/281 282/283

260, 261 292 298/299

274 275

274 275

Factors to consider:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowledge of professional ethics

 

 

220, 221 224, 225 227, 246 247

280/281 282/283

 

274

 

Application of ethics in School Social Work practice

 

 

 

282/283

 

274 275

 

Ability to analyze and resolve ethical dilemmas

 

 

220, 221 224, 225 227, 246 247

282/283

 

274 275

 

Top of Page