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New NASW Code of Ethics Updates

nasw code of ethics updatesThe NASW has updated the Code of Ethics, its essential guide to social work practice and a hefty part of the social work licensing exam. Changes for 2020 and 2021 are highlighted here. Among the newer, noteworthy alterations, this paragraph regarding self care:

Professional self-care is paramount for competent and ethical social work practice. Professional demands, challenging workplace climates, and exposure to trauma warrant that social workers maintain personal and professional health, safety, and integrity. Social work organizations, agencies, and educational institutions are encouraged to promote organizational policies, practices, and materials to support social workers' self-care.

And this, under 1.05 Cultural Competence:

(c) Social workers should demonstrate awareness and cultural humility by engaging in critical self-reflection (understanding their own bias and engaging in self-correction); recognizing clients as experts of their own culture; committing to life-long learning; and holding institutions accountable for advancing cultural humility.

Other recent and recent-ish changes include this tweak to the Informed Consent section:

(c) Social workers should demonstrate awareness and cultural humility by engaging in critical self-reflection (understanding their own bias and engaging in self-correction); recognizing clients as experts of their own culture; committing to life-long learning; and holding institutions accountable for advancing cultural humility.

This, under the Competence heading:

(d) Social workers who use technology in the provision of social work services should ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to provide such services in a competent manner. This includes an understanding of the special communication challenges when using technology and the ability to implement strategies to address these challenges.

And, from 1.05 Cultural Awareness and Social Diversity:

(d) Social workers who provide electronic social work services should be aware of cultural and socioeconomic differences among clients and how they may use electronic technology. Social workers should assess cultural, environmental, economic, mental or physical ability, linguistic, and other issues that may affect the delivery or use of these services.

And on from there, including a big section amended in 1.07, Privacy and Confidentiality regarding electronic communications and record keeping. But that's a year old-you already knew it by heart, right?

This, or material nearby in the COE, will be on the exam. Anything in the Code of Ethics may show up on the ASWB exam. Even as there's variation in the amount of macro, medication, or diagnostic questions exam to exam, one guaranteed constant is ethics. Learn it, know it, live it.

For practice questions covering ethics and everything else on the social work exam, sign up with SWTP. If you're looking for ethics-only practice, we've got that too (our Ethics Booster test). Thousands of social workers have used Social Work Test Prep to prepare for and pass the exam. Hope you'll join them soon.

Happy studying and good luck on the exam!



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