The historical roots of social work are embedded in the principles of Humanitarianism, Egalitarianism and social justice. At its core social work is embedded in relational ethics that challenge professionals to develop their critical thinking skills by examining their beliefs, values, ethics as well as those of the clients, professions, work places and the dominant ideology in our society. This tool was developed as means to help professionals critically reflect on ethical dilemmas they may face as professionals.

This tool includes interactive options to guide Nova Scotia Registered Social Workers through the CASW Code of Ethics and the NSCSW Standards of Practice (2015).

One’s own experiences and values will have influence over ethical decision-making; therefore, it is important for social workers to seriously consider the perspectives and environments of those in which they are working with. We encourage engagement in reflection on one’s own value system, emotions, and positionality, as these grow and change.

In a neoliberalist society that celebrates the demonstration of perfection and perceived progression, not often do we reflect on the immeasurable value of our mistakes. We consider these to be learning opportunities that the field of social work cannot afford to discount.

Please notewhile this tool is based on the CASW Code of Ethics and the NSCSW Standards of Practice it is not prescriptive; therefore, practitioners must use care when making ethically-motivated decisions.