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MALAYSIAN  ASSOCIATION  OF  SOCIAL  WORKERS       CODE  OF  ETHICS  2011       1     PURPOSE  OF  SOCIAL  WORK         The   profession   of   social   work   is   committed   to   enhancing   and   restoring   psychosocial   functioning   in   people   for   their   eventual   well-­‐being;   it   also   seeks   to   develop  and  improve  social  policies,  regulations,  systems  and  services,  and  enhance   the   capacity   of   social   work   practitioners,   educators,   supervisors   and   trainers,   to   provide   professionally   competent   social   work   services   and   social   justice   to   society   at   large.                 2         DEFINITION  OF  SOCIAL  WORK         Social   work   is   a   profession   guided   by   a   body   of   knowledge,   values   and   skills,   utilising   a   bio-­‐psycho-­‐social   approach,   to   facilitate   optimal   social   functioning   of   individuals,  families,  groups  and  communities.  Social  workers  uphold  a  code  of  ethics   and   conduct   based   on   the   values   of   human   rights   and   social   justice.   The   profession   also   contributes   towards   social   development   and   social   change   through   the   enhancement  of  social  policies,  legislation,  programmes  and  services,  appropriate  to   the  needs  of  Malaysia’s  diverse  socio-­‐cultural  population  for  a  better  quality  of  life.                 3     CORE  VALUES  AND  PRINCIPLES  OF  SOCIAL  WORK     3.1   Respect  for  Persons         Social  workers  respect  the  inherent  worth  and  dignity  of  all  persons  in       i.   their  right  to  self-­‐determination  in  decision  making;       ii.   their  right  to  participation  in  the  helping  process;       iii.  their  right  to  confidentiality  of  personal  information  (when  the  safety  of             the  individual  or  other  persons  is  not  at  risk);       iv.  their  right  to  being  considered  as  persons  having  their  own     social  and                                    cultural  environment;  and       v.   their  right  to  securing  safety,  protection  and  well-­‐being  for  themselves.       3.2       Social  Justice         Social  workers  promote  social  justice  for  all  persons  through  the  practice  of,         and  advocacy  for,  

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i.   non-­‐discrimination  in  relation  to  ability,  age,  culture,  ethnicity,  gender,             language,  marital  status,  physique,  political  inclinations,  race,  religious  or           spiritual  beliefs,  socio-­‐economic  standing  and  sexual  orientation;       ii.   fair  and  equitable  distribution  of  information,  opportunities,  resources  and           services;       iii.  changing  unjust  policies,  systems,  regulations,  conditions  and  practices             which  perpetuate  social  exclusion,  stigmatisation  and  oppression  of  those           who  are  especially  vulnerable,  disadvantaged  and  marginalised.     3.3       Professional  Integrity         The  practice  of  social  work  is  based  on  the  intrinsic  values  of  honesty,               accountability,  transparency,  impartiality,  reliability  and  responsibility.  Social         workers  demonstrate  professionalism  and  respect  for  the  profession  by             adhering  to  these  values.     3.4       Practice  Competency             Social  workers  uphold  the  client’s  rights  to  receive  competent  social  work           services  by:       i.   providing  professionally  accountable  and  ethical  assessment,  planning,             intervention  and  evaluation  of  issues  raised;       ii.   being  cognisant  of,  and  sensitive  to,  socio-­‐cultural  diversities;       iii.  practising  within  the  boundaries  of  their  competence;       iv.  improving  professional  proficiency  through  continuing  education  and             training;       v.   seeking  regular  professional  supervision  and  appropriate  consultation             where  required;  and,       vi.  developing  and  contributing  new  professional  knowledge  through                 research  and  teaching.         4         PURPOSE  OF  THE  CODE  OF  ETHICS         The   MASW   Code   of   Ethics   is   to   be   adhered   to   by   any   individual   who   is   practising  social  work,  and  any  organisation  which  is  providing  social  work  services   and   employing   social   workers.   Professional   social   workers   must   be   accountable   for   upholding  the  values,  principles  and  standards  of  the  Code  while  engaging  in  social   work  practice.             5     ETHICAL  STANDARDS     5.1       Ethical  Responsibilities  to  the  Client         i.   Social  workers’  primary  responsibility  is  the  well-­‐being  of  clients,  with  due           regard  to  the  respective  interests  of  others.         ii.   Social  workers  will  safeguard  clients’  rights  to  a  relationship  of  mutual  trust,             privacy,  confidentiality,  decision  making  and  the  responsible  use  of               information.  

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5.2                                                                             5.3                                                                               5.4                              

iii.  Social  workers  will  ensure  clients  understand  the  obligations  and             implications  of  utilising  the  service.   iv.  Social  workers  will  engage  clients  when  re-­‐negotiating  or  terminating  the       relationship,  and  respect  the  voluntary  clients’  rights  to  discontinue  the         service  or  engage  another  practitioner.   v.   Social  workers  will  be  responsible  for  keeping  professionally     impartial  and       accurate  records  of  cases,  and  ensuring  their  privacy.   vi.  Social  workers  will  not  practise  discrimination  of  any  kind  in  any  form.   Ethical  Responsibilities  to  Colleagues,  Students  and  Others   i.   Social  workers  will  respect  the  professional  expertise  and  differences  in         viewpoints  of  colleagues  in  social  work  and  other  disciplines,  and  work         in  collaboration  with  them  in  the  interests  of  clients.   ii.   Social  workers  will  ensure  clear  communication  to  avoid                   misunderstandings  in  the  event  of  accepting  another  colleague’s  client.   iii.  Social  workers  will  defend  colleagues  against  any  unjust  actions.   iv.  Social  workers  should  avoid  negative  and  discriminating  criticisms  of           colleagues  in  communications  with  clients  and  other  professionals.   v.   Social  workers  have  a  responsibility  to  address  confirmed  professional         incompetence  or  unethical  behaviour  through  appropriate  professional,       organisational  or  legal  channels,  if  direct  consultation  did  not  result  in         that  colleague  taking  remedial  action.   vi.  Social  workers  will  respect  the  rights  of  students  on  practicum  to             receive  appropriate,  effective  and  fair  supervision  and  guidance.   Ethical  Responsibilities  to  the  Agency   i.   Social  work  practitioners  shall  be  committed  to  the  policies,  objectives         regulations  and  practices  of  their  employing  organisations,  provided           these  do  not  conflict  with  the  ethics  of  social  work  practice.   ii.   Social  workers  will  ensure  that  employers  are  aware  of  the  obligations         and  implications  of  the  MASW  Code  of  Ethics.   iii.  Social  workers  will  act  to  influence  policies  and  practices  of  the               employing  agencies  in  order  to  obtain  the  best  possible  standards  of           services  for  clients.   iv.  Social  work  administrators  should  ensure  policies,  structures,  systems,         procedures  and  regulations  will  support  ethical  and  competent  practice,         appropriate  services  and  resources,  effective  teamwork,  professional           supervision  and  staff  development.   v.   Social  work  educators,  tutors  and  trainers  should  provide  instructions         only  within  their  areas  of  competence  based  on  the  most  current             information  and  knowledge,  and  ensure  fairness  towards  their               students.   Ethical  Responsibilities  to  the  Profession   i.       Social  workers  will  uphold  the  dignity,  integrity,  value  and  purpose  of           the  profession.                     ii.    Social  workers  should  work  towards  the  promotion  of  competency             standards  in  social  work  practice  and  administration,  and  in  social  work         education,  training  and  research.  

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iii.  Social  workers  who  speak  on  behalf  of  the  profession  or  professional               association  should  accurately  represent  its  official  and  authorised                 views  and  positions.         iv.  Social  workers  will  obtain  and  maintain  professional  membership  with             MASW  and  contribute  to  its  growth  and  development.         5.6       Ethical  Responsibilities  to  the  Professional  Self         i.   Social  workers  should  accept  job  responsibilities  only  on  the  basis  of               existing  competence  and  experience.         ii.   Social  workers  should  keep  abreast  with  emerging  knowledge  and  new             development  in  social  work  through  continuing  professional  education             and  training.         iii.  Social  workers  should  engage  in  frequent  reflection  of  own  practice,               have  regular  professional  supervision,  and  seek  debriefing  when                 necessary.               iv.  Social  workers  will  ensure  that  their  private  conduct  will  not  jeopardise             their  professional  responsibilities,  the  integrity  of  the  profession  and               that  of  the  Association.         v.   Social  workers  should  not  engage  in  relationships  which  harass,                   oppress,  compromise  or  exploit  clients  in  any  manner  or  form.         vi.  Social  workers  should  seek  appropriate  help  if  personal  problems  or               conflict  with  colleagues  are  adversely  affecting  their  work  performance             and  well-­‐being.               vii.Social  workers  should  take  responsibility  and  credit,  including                   authorship  credit,  only  for  work  they  have  actually  performed  and  to               which  they  have  contributed.     5.7   Ethical  Responsibilities  to  Society         i.   Social  workers  should  advocate  for  social  development  to  meet  basic               human  needs  and  social  justice  for  all  citizens.         ii.   Social  workers  should  facilitate  informed  participation  by  the  public  in             shaping  social  policies,  programmes,  services  and  institutions.         iii.  Social  workers  shall  be  committed  to  uphold  the  tenets  of  universal               declarations  on  human  rights,  the  rights  of  children,  women,  older                 persons,  persons  with  disabilities,  persons  living  with  HIV/AIDS,  and               the  rights  of  indigenous  people.                     MASW/CODE_ETHICS/9May2011  

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Code of Ethics