Personal Values and Ethics Assessment

This assessment is to invite the exploration of your ability to practicesocial work ethically and responsibly. For each question below, you will answerthe question, explain why you answered in the way that you did, and then, fromthe NASW Code of Ethics, choose an ethical principle, standard and value tosupport your answer. It is important to remember that ethical behavior ismediated by context. Thus, the information given in the examples below may beinsufficient for a definitive answer. In those situations, think about thecontexts in which you would provide a different answer and be prepared toexplain why, using the Code as guidance. Please provide at least a paragraphanswer per bullet point and include at least one example for each question tosupport your answers.

Are you able to support clients decisions, even when you believe those decisions are morally wrong (but legal)? For example, could you support a clients decision to stop medications? To leave treatment against medical advice? To terminate a pregnancy? To lie to an employer? 

 

Are you willing to engage in evidence-based practice? Relatedly, are you willing to use rigorous evaluation principles to collect that evidence when it is not available? Take continuing education courses to keep abreast of best practices in your field? 

 

If you find yourself with a client who is of a different religious, racial, or ethnic background, are you willing to meet them on their own cultural ground? (For example, if you are working with a newly emigrated Islamic family in which the role of the female in the household may be more limited than in the United States, can you respect this interaction style? Are you willing to take the time to read, or talk to more experienced colleagues about work with clients with these differences?) 

 

Can you delineate clear and appropriate professional boundaries with clients? Can you appropriately maintain client confidentiality? If you have difficulty keeping the confidences of others in your everyday life, can you be certain that you can keep professional confidences? 

 

If you believe that the rules within your organization or the laws of your state contravene the values of this profession, such as social justice, or the accord of dignity to all, are you willing to engage in social and political action efforts to change this? 

 

Impairment of professional helpers by drugs, alcohol, or other addictions is not uncommon. If you suspect that a colleague is so impaired, will you intervene? How? Furthermore, can you be vigilant about your own behavior in this regard? How? Would failure to act be a violation of the Code? 

 

Let us say that you received an offer of employment in your dream job. The new employer is

asking that youstart by the end of the week. Is this a potential ethical dilemma? If so, whatmust be done before you can responsibly leave for that new position? 
 

One symptom of burnout may be the use of disparaging language to describe clientsepithets, crude descriptions, etc. Is this behavior a violation of the Code? If so, what will you do about it? 

 
 

Are you willing to practice in as transparent a manner as possible? For example, in cases where the client is involuntary, such as child welfare, are you willing to make the terms under which the case will be closed explicit to the family?