Here's a quick bit of the NASW
Code of Ethics that, short as it is, may show up on the
exam--section 1.13, Payment
for Services. Here it is, in part:
(a) When setting fees, social workers should ensure that the
fees are fair, reasonable, and commensurate with the service
performed. Consideration should be given to the client's ability to
(b) Social workers should avoid accepting goods or services from
clients...Social workers should explore and may participate in
bartering only in very limited circumstances...
(c) Social workers should not solicit a private fee or other
remuneration for providing services to clients who are entitled to
such available services through the social workers' employer or
Question writers have stuff to work with here. Be careful not to
be too rigid in your thinking when faced with a payment for service
exam item. For instance, a question may ask about setting private
practice fees--setting a trap for social justice-minded social
workers who find the idea of making a bunch of money with an MSW
repugnant. But social workers are ethically permitted to set
Other questions may test your reading of the bartering language.
Again, flexibility and client care are key--don't rule out the
"limited circumstances" okay'd by the code when choosing your
This isn't one of the you're-sure-to-see-it exam feeding parts
of the code. But worth the review nonetheless.
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