I would like to begin by discussing the core values and ethical principles of Social Work. I came across the core values, according to the National Association of Social Work (NASW), associated with the social work profession, and I discovered the basic values which were listed were also ethical and moral values that I personally would consider as among the most important to consider as a social worker. The NASW listed six core values which included service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, integrity, and competence. I would like to discuss each in further detail beginning with service.
The type of service provided by the social worker is highly important and can make a huge impact as to whether there will be a successful outcome or not. The goal in the service provided by a social worker is to do all that is possible to help the individual(s) who are in need and to concentrate on the social problems that exist. It is important to go above and beyond, putting others in front of yourself, and provide the best service. In order to help those in need, a social worker must use their expertise, veneration, and experience as well as focus on the social problems at hand.
In fact, social workers are encouraged to volunteer their knowledge and expertise at times provides services with absolutely no intention of receiving anything in return. I personally feel that although there may not be any financial compensation, just the fact that you could apply your skills and knowledge to help an individual, or individuals, is an even greater reward. Another core value is social justice, which refers to the idea of helping people realize that there are ways to improve certain types of living situations. The responsibility as a social worker is to always oppose and develop ways to change social injustice.
Examples of different forms of social injustice include situations such as poverty, unemployment, discrimination, etc. As a social worker, attempts to assist individuals, families, or groups who are particularly vulnerable such forms of social injustice, providing them with the resources and information available as to what options they may have to change their situation, while allowing them to see that, no matter what cultural or ethnic diversity, you are nonjudgmental, knowledgeable, understanding, and sensitive to their situation and will be there to help every step of the way.
These are the actions of a truly sincere social worker as they all should be. The dignity and worth of the person is another core value which is also extremely important being a social worker. It is essential as a social worker to always have respect for the innate virtues, significance and self-worth of every person, treating each and every individual equally. However, it is a social workers job to take into account and be familiar with the cultural and ethnic diversity of a particular individual(s) in order to provide the best plan of care.
As a social worker, it is important to allow the clients’ to assess their social situation and their aptitude to promote change while assisting them by devising a plan which is significant to the clients’ individual needs. Another core value expressed by the NASW is the importance of human relationships. All people rely on other individuals for acceptance and as a support system when going through difficult times, or when having to make important decisions.
As humans, we look for that support from other, therefore, social workers welcome the idea of other people being important factors to the healing, or helping, process of an individual(s). Social workers have realized the importance of developing stronger relationships between people to create a positive outcome and strengthen the well-being of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, as well as communities. The next core value, which I personally have always lived by in my own life, is integrity.
A social worker should always act in a trustworthy manner in all situations and to always be aware of and remember the mission of the profession, the values expected to uphold, and those ethical principles and standards associated with the social work profession as a whole. They should continue to practice honesty and be responsible of upholding those ethical practices within the organizations they are affiliated with. Competence is the final core value discussed.
A social worker should have the knowledge, resourcefulness, and dexterity to perform the job correctly while always continuing to improve their area of competence as well as strengthen and improve their abilities as a social worker. There is always new knowledge available which can help improve your skills as a social worker. I believe it is the responsibility of a good social worker to always be aware of any new information, theories, and research studies because there is always room for improvement and the more skillful and knowledgeable you are, the better work you can do to really help clients and society as a whole.
I would now like to take this opportunity to discuss social work on a much more personal level, as it means to me. When I first began high school, I knew without a doubt that this type of work was what I wanted to do and what I wanted to major in when I went to college. I began with psychology because I was intrigued by questions such as why we think the way we do, or what makes one person turn out this way or think a certain way while the next person can behave completely different. The human brain and how it functioned, in general, was something I was completely fascinated by.
And I still love psychology and everything about it, however, throughtout the years, I discovered my passion for wanting to help people in whatever way I could. Although my work experience included many very different types of work, I noticed one commonality between them all which was interacting with people, and helping people in some form or another, and it was something I really loved doing and was remarkably good at it as well. Helping someone who was upset or angry and seeing them walk away with a smile and a whole new attitude made my day.
In fact, I will find myself shopping in Wal-Mart and end up helping a complete stranger locate something they were looking for or even assist them in choosing which gift to purchase for a loved one. I realized that helping people just comes naturally to me. Even in my personal life, I was always the honest, trustworthy, and caring friend that my friends would come to when they needed help. My point is that my own morals, values, and beliefs which I live by and grew up with go hand in hand with those six core values every social worker should possess.
This is why I decided that returning to school to obtain my master’s in social work was a much better fit for me that simply receiving a master’s in psychology. A career in social work is exactly what I would love doing for a living. When it came time to choose a concentration, I had to make a choice between mental health and family and children services. I once again looked at my own life. I have always had an interest in all areas of mental health. I have seen family members fighting addiction.
I personally fought with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression after my son passed away from SIDS the day he made three months old as well as my battle with ADD when I was a child. When I was a teenager, I became very close to this wonderful family whose youngest daughter had been diagnosed with Down syndrome. Her name was Amy and although we were the same age, her mentality was that of about a ten year old. Amy and I became very close and spent a lot of time together for many years.
We would go to all sorts of things together but quite often we would attend events where there would be many other children and adults with a variety of mental disabilities. I was fortunate enough to meet many of these individuals and their families as well and learned a lot about the many different mental handicaps. These opportunities increased my knowledge and curiosity as well. Therefore, due to my own life experiences, I have decided to concentrate in mental health. As an undergraduate at Southeastern Louisiana University, I learned a lot as far as my academic capabilities.
Throughout high school, I never had to actually study or even really try very hard at all to maintain honor roll and stay in Beta Club so it took me awhile to adjust once I started college. I had to learn the best way for me to study and manage my time. Another hard lesson which I wish I would have picked up on much sooner was just how important those “A’s” were to my GPA. Although I figured it all out, my regret was that if I would have learned just a bit sooner my final GPA of 2. 895 would have been much, much higher!
My strength academically is my love of knowledge and learning new things. I just can never get enough of that. I am so excited about the opportunity to attend USC to obtain my master’s in social work. After speaking with a few people who told just how great of a school I would be attending made me even more confident that I made the right decision when choosing which online university to attend. I know I made the right choice for my future and am looking forward to not only beginning my classes but also knowing that this is the beginning of the career I have been wanting for some time now.
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