Leadership in Human Services
NASW Code of Ethics
Known to be the biggest in the world, t he National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is an organization of professional social workers aiming to strengthen and unify the social work profession, p romote its developmen t , and advance sound social policies. NASW has 56 chapters with 160,000 members all over the United States, Puerto Rico, and abroad. To standardize the social welfare acts of the workers, the Code of Ethics of NASW was generated to guide them in their work when giving help to others (Manning, 2003).
Ethical dilemmas occur when one must choose between two or more equally valid, relevant, moral values. The complications arise from the contradictions of the choices. During these times comes the critical need for examination of ethical implications.
An ethical dilemma that may be encountered by a military social worker is the conflict between military mission and social work. Consider a military social worker in a battle field and whose subordinate’s son is in a critical life condition. The military social worker has the power to decide if the subordinate will stay or will be sent home. But as a social worker, he has to let him go home and support his son. According to the NASW Code of Ethics, social worker’s primary responsibility is to promote high standards of practice and protect the consumer of services. (Manning, 2003) A s a general rule, clients should be considered first. The main purpose of social workers is to take in charge all the responsibility of the welfare of their costumers. They give all the help that is needed by their costumers. However, NASW Code of Ethics also notes that on limited times, social workers’ duty to the larger group supersedes the social worker’s responsibility to clients.(Manning, 2003) Since the security of a larger group is at risk in this scenario, I believe this principle can be reasonably applied. The NASW Code of Ethics addresses this dilemma and it is understandable for the social worker to return the subordinate back to his unit.
Manning, S. S. (2003). Ethical Leadership in Human Services: A Multi-Dimensional Approach.
Leadership in Human Services NASW Code of Ethics 1