Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Social Work Values and the Social Work Licensing Exam

How best to prepare for the social work licensing exam? One simple way to get set is to get a clear picture of what to expect to see on the exam. The ASWB publishes content outlines, available on their website. Everything's spelled out right there.

In the clinical outline, 18% of the exam is set aside for "Professional Ethics and Values." Take note, it's not just "Professional Ethics"--it's values too. The "Value Issues" section gives an idea just what may be included in values questions on the exam: questions about how the social worker's values may influence work with clients, the effect race, culture, and ethnicity on work with clients, and so on. Perhaps most vague--and most important--is the bullet "Professional values and ethics." What are those? Well, they're spelled out in the NASW Code of Ethics, right at the beginning. Looks like this:

The following broad ethical principles are based on social work's core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. These principles set forth ideals to which all social workers should aspire.    
  1. Service
  2. Social Justice
  3. Dignity and Worth of the Person
  4. Importance of Human Relationships
  5. Integrity
  6. Competence

Click through for paragraphs about each value. If you haven't already reviewed these, do! These six values can help guide you through a lot of the social work exam. Unclear about which is the best answer on a given question? Think which more closely adheres to the values listed in the code. Same goes for decisions you make in social work practice. Service! Social Justice! Dignity and Worth of the Person!... These are the social work basics. Soak 'em up, pass the exam!

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