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Social Work Exam Practice and the Updated NASW Code of Ethics

bookshelfWere you paying attention a couple of posts ago about recent changes made to the NASW Code of Ethics? Let's find out. here's a quick quiz-style question:

Which of the following is a crucial new component of the Cultural Competence section of the Code of Ethics?

A. Combating Stereotypes

B. Cultural Humility

C. Multicultural Competence

D. Social Justice

What do you think? If you know the Code of Ethics well, you'll recognize three of these as being anything but new.

Let's answer the question with a question, this time more in the style of the ASWB exam.

A social worker is confronted by a client for cultural insensitivity. The social worker, seeing that the client is right, apologizes and seems to repair the rift with the client. What action should the social worker take NEXT to remedy the situation?

A. Revisit the rupture with the client and examine any unspoken resentments.

B. In the next session, ask the client to help her better understand and remedy her biases.

C. Seek guidance from others who share the same culture as the client.

D. Engage in learning, self-reflection, and self-correction regarding the misstep.

Okay, this one kind of answer itself, even if you haven't recently read the update to the Code's Cultural Competency section. One just sounds more like the text of the Code of Ethics. Sometimes on the social work exam you get lucky that way.

Why else is this the right answer? Social workers-and people in general-should take care not to give others (particularly those who are disenfranchised in any way) the extra job of educating and hand-holding and putting-at-ease. That's work-usually unwelcome work. Three of these answers fall into that trap. One-D-does not. If an offered answer suggested seeking guidance from a supervisor regarding the misstep, that might have been the one to choose. It's supervisors' job to help social workers navigate difficult areas, often including their own conscious and unconscious biases. One way to think of it: if you're going to ask someone to do work, try to make sure they're being paid for it.

Cultural humility, by the way-that's the quiz answer. The phrase is new to the Code of Ethics, and describes something that wasn't quite there before. Keeping cultural humility in mind can only make you a better social worker-and all-the-more ready to pass the licensing exam.

Good luck!

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