Professionalism of social work | Definitions, Characteristics |Ethics

Professionalism in social work makes a deep dedication to assisting others, safeguarding their well-being, and continuous personal and professional growth. It involves assisting even those who resist or struggle to accept aid. The quest for knowledge is constant.

In social work, you ensure safety while respecting people’s independence. Treating colleagues with dignity, no matter their position or appearance is vital. You believe in equal treatment for all, irrespective of their background or identity.

Concept: Social work is a helping profession that helps individuals, families, groups, and communities to engage with resources that will reduce human problems. social work helps clients to develop strengths and Capacities that will help their social functioning. It helps people to achieve goals and overcome challenges. It is a scientific knowledge of human relationships that helps people to achieve satisfaction and independence.

Definition of Social work

The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) defines social work as,” a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people.”

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) defines social work as “the professional activity of helping individuals, groups, or communities enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and create societal conditions favorable to this goal.

W.A. Friedlander says, “Social work is a professional service, based on scientific knowledge and skill in human relations, which assists individuals, alone or in groups, to obtain social and personal satisfaction and independence.”

Characteristics of social work

  1. It is a professional activity
  2. Scientific skills
  3. A value-oriented profession
  4. A helping profession
  5. A problem-solving activity
  6. A commitment to social betterment
  7. A goal of enhancing social functioning
  8. An action orientation
  9. An appreciation for human diversity
  10. A versatile practice perspective mission of social work

Social work as a profession

Social work is a practiced based profession that encourages positive social transformation, community development, and empowerment. It turns to understanding human growth, behavior, and the influence of social, economic, and cultural systems. Social work experts collaborating with families and organizations have contributed to significant social advancements.

3 levels of social works

Social work practice beset three levels: micro, Mediate, and macro. Each level offers individual services to specific target populations.

  1. Micro social work: It involves individualized, family, and small-group services provided by social workers. They tackle various social challenges, such as housing assistance, substance abuse counseling, and mental health therapy.
  2. Mediate social work: It revolves around working with groups of people in settings like schools, prisons, hospitals, or neighborhoods. Social workers at this level assist academically struggling students, facilitate substance abuse recovery in prisons, and coordinate long-term care for hospitalized patients.
  3. Macro social work: It involves policy-making, research, and community-based initiatives. Social workers at this level concentrate on addressing significant societal issues like homelessness, substance abuse, housing, and other broader challenges to make a positive impact on communities.

Professional Code of Ethics in Social Work

The NASW Code of Ethics serves as an extensive framework that directs the ethical practices of social workers in their professional attempts. The recently updated version in 2021 notably incorporates language to accent the significance of professional self-care, recognizing its crucial role in sustaining social workers’ well-being.

The social work profession’s mission is deeply rooted in a foundational set of core values that have been united and supported throughout its rich history. These values form the bedrock of Social work’s individual purpose and perspective, guiding planning officers to make a positive and transformative impact on the individuals and communities they serve.

  1. Service: Social workers are driven by a commitment to serve and support individuals, families, and communities, working tirelessly to enhance their well-being and quality of life.
  2. Social Justice: Advocating for fairness and equality is at the heart of social work, as professionals attempt to address systemic issues and create a more just and inclusive society.
  3. Dignity and Worth of the Person: Every individual is recognized for their natural value and treated with respect, promoting their self-worth and empowering them to lead fulfilling lives.
  4. Importance of Human Relationships: Social workers understand the significance of building meaningful connections and support relationships, as they play a central role in promoting growth and healing.
  5. Integrity: Upholding the highest ethical standards is paramount for social workers, ensuring trustworthiness and transparency in all their interactions and decision-making.
  6. Competence: Social workers are dedicated to continuous learning and professional development, with great skills to provide effective and evidence-based services to those they serve.

Six purposes of the NASW Code of Ethics

  1. Core Values Foundation: The Code is based on core values that validate social work’s mission.
  2. Ethical Guidance: It outlines broad ethical principles and specific standards to guide social work practice.
  3. Resolving Ethical Dilemmas: It helps navigate conflicts and uncertainties when professional obligations clash.
  4. Public Accountability: The Code retains the social work profession accountable to the general public through ethical standards.
  5. Professional Socialization: It familiarizes new planning workers with the profession’s mission, values, and principles, strengthening self-care and continuous education.
  6. Ethical Assessment: The Code serves as a standard to assess and address unethical conduct, with a formal process for ethics trouble and member compliance.

Aims and objectives of social work

The primary goal of social work is to empower individuals by maintaining their skills and utilizing community resources to effectively address challenges. While social work addresses personal struggles, it also takes on larger societal concerns, including poverty, unemployment, and domestic violence.

  1. To assist individuals, families, groups, and communities
  2. To enhance problem-solving, coping, and developmental capacity.
  3. To link people with resources, services and
  4. To obtain social and personal satisfaction and independence to improve the quality of life.
  5. To promote social change and develop social cohesion.

Scope of social work practice

Social work inside on understanding individuals within their broader context and acknowledges the critical roles played by family, community, culture, legal, social, spiritual, and economic factors in structuring the well-being of individuals, families, groups, and communities.

  1. Medical or hospital social Work
  2. School social work
  3. Correctional or developmental services
  4. Rehabilitative, programme for the destitute women
  5. Family planning program.
  6. Child welfare program
  7. Disability program
  8. Youth program
  9. Women program
  10. Labor program
  11. Family welfare
  12. Disaster management program
  13. Urban social service
  14. Rural social service

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