Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Code of Ethics Changes

The new NASW Code of Ethics is up. It replaces the previous guide on January 1st, 2018. What's new in it? Mostly--almost completely--technology-related guidelines, especially with regards to informed consent and confidentiality. When is okay to Google a client? What are the ethical ways to handle electronic communication? The new Code weighs in.

Here are two good summaries of the changes penned by social work ethics notables:

Eye on Ethics: New NASW Code of Ethics Standards for the Digital Age, by Frederic G. Reamer.

Ethics Alive! The 2017 NASW Code of Ethics: What's New?, by Allan Barsky

If you find an additional or more useful round-up of Code changes, please let us know. In the meantime, let those two be your guide to the guide. Suffice it to say, there's nothing mindblowing or even surprising in the new Code text. If you're facing licensing exam questions that cover the new areas of the Code of Ethics, you're already prepped to narrow down to the correct answer using your hard-earned, common-sense, social work know-how.

Should you, a social worker, be posting publicly about your wild partying life on social media? The Code (and common sense) say no.

Should you be Googling clients to dig up collateral information about them? The Code (and common sense) say no, not without the client's consent.

And so on.

Happy social working. Thanks for all you do!

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