Professional Standards
Social workers are the only professionals trained to work with people in their environment. That means we take every aspect of our clients’ lives into account to help them reach their full potential. We look at their culture, their family, their community and more to find the best solutions and resources. We counsel individuals, families, and communities on how to get the help they need from the resources available. Whether we’re helping someone move their life forward or preventing a crisis, social workers take a holistic approach to helping.

There are more than 600,000 professional social workers in the United States who have committed their lives to making a difference. They’ve earned bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral social work degrees, and have completed a required number of hours in supervised fieldwork.

Our training is based on a nationwide system of accredited education programs. This commitment to quality is reinforced with practice standards, credentials, and state licensing regulations.

In addition to our education and experience, social workers have a strong code of ethics. We value the principles that prepare us to help people with life’s challenges, including:

Service: Social workers put service to others before our own self-interest. We help people in need and challenge social injustice. We volunteer some portion of our professional skills with no expectation of financial return.

Dignity and Worth: We value every person and treat them with respect, no matter their differences.

Importance of Relationships: We understand that relationships are an important part of everyone’s lives. We seek to strengthen relationships among people to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the wellbeing of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities.

Integrity: Social workers are continually aware of the our mission, values, ethical principles, and ethical standards and practice in a manner consistent with them.

Competence: We work within our abilities, yet are always striving to develop and gain new knowledge and skills.

Social Justice: We challenge injustice in the world, particularly on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups.