What are the principles and practices of social work?
Guided by values that are distinctly set and abstract, along with a strict ethical code; the principles concerning social work have been transformed into practise principals that are accepted as an ethical awareness and are the fundamentals that must be abided by for all who work in this field.
To always act ethically with total commitment is essential in order to offer a high quality of assistance to anyone using the social services.
There are different ethical challenges as well as problems that face social workers in particular countries, and reflection as well as ethical debate is ongoing in order to find the right way to deal with certain problems. Some are common problems while others are much more complicated. The IFSW and the IASSW jointly encourage anyone working in the field of social work to deliberate on the challenges and dilemmas faced as well as make informed decisions that are ethical when acting in each specific case.
Below are the guidelines to the principles of social work:
Affirming a person’s individuality by appreciating and recognizing their own unique qualities. This means to be able to ‘put oneself’ in the client’s shoes basically and be free from prejudice and an unbiased opinion. To not stereotype or label and to be able to recognize and appreciate the many differences in human behavior.
Genuine concern must be shown as well as being able to listen and acknowledge the client’s views which in turn, then, creates a mutual respect. Accepting the client is fundamental in the principles of social work and acceptance is crucial.
Being non-judgmental in order to create a relationship with the client. This does not mean that the social worker does not make any decisions, but means that they must have a ‘non-blaming’ behavior and sensibility. To be able to judge another as being neither a good person nor a bad person, or as undeserving or deserving is essential.
Allowing the client to express their feelings and stay objective is another important factor as is the acceptance that the client has a right to make their own choices in life, yet helping them find opportunities to improve upon their lives.
Keeping and upholding the client’s privacy unless the client gives consent and the strong belief in human dignity.