Be part of Nova Scotia’s social work
community as an NSCSW student member
Be part of our collective voice & join Nova Scotia’s social work community as an NSCSW student member.
As an NSCSW student member:
Please note: Student members are not registered to practice social work under the Social Workers Act. Your membership is also based on approval by the Executive Director/Registrar. Student members are not eligible for election to the College’s Council of the College. You also agree to adhere to the College’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
Congratulations to our 2018 student bursary recipients! The student members below are from Nova Scotia and are completing accredited social work programs at universities across Canada. They will receive $500 to help achieve their professional goals.
Below are their responses to our question “Why is professionalism in social work practice important to you?”
Professionalism in social work practice is about maintaining confidentiality and respecting the integrity of the people we work with as social workers. As professionals, we do not share someone’s story without their consent. We are respectful and honor their experiences by maintaining their privacy and dignity.
Professionalism contributes largely to a social worker doing their best work. It means that they are following all ethical and value-based guidelines of the profession. Professionalism ensures that the social work profession continues to be/ is regarded as a valuable component of the healthcare sector, and of society at large. Most importantly, it ensures that clients are at all times treated with dignity and the respect and humanity they deserve. It also leads to a stronger voice for the needs of the profession and the clients social workers serve.
Professionalism in practice is important to me because it protects both clients and social workers. Professionalism means that clients can count on social workers to serve their best interests.
They can rely on Standards of Practice (for example, that their information will normally be kept strictly confidential, except in cases where someone is in danger, generally), and rely on the fact that social workers will act with integrity toward them. Maintaining professionalism in my practice will help me serve my clients to the best of my abilities, as well as to remain beyond reproach in my behaviour toward clients.
Being a part of the NSCSW helps me connect to other social workers who have greater experience in similar roles. I benefit from their knowledge and it gives me the opportunity to advocate for the profession and its future.
When studying the profession of social work you learn about the Code of Ethics and it’s six values. These values are very important as they represent and enforce professionalism. Professionalism in social work practice is important to me because it allows the social worker to establish a good and appropriate relationship with every client.
The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice guide Nova Scotia social workers to remain professional throughout their career.
Professionalism in social work is of the utmost importance due to the very nature of social work and the vulnerable populations that we serve. Our values as social workers state that we envision a society in which there is social justice for all, however; many would argue that the agencies and manners in which we can operate function in complete contradiction. Social workers are in a constant state of juggling their privileged authority with their desire to facilitate equality. As the NSCSW’s Code of Ethics states, social workers must take care in their actions to not bring the reputation of the profession into disrepute (p. 9).
With that being said, one person’s negative experience with a social worker can have a lasting impact. Social workers work with individuals who are experiencing great hardship and marginalization. If an individual has a negative experience with a social worker, then it is not hard to imagine that they would be significantly less likely to seek out services or help. This means that already marginalized groups are at risk of further falling through the societal cracks and not accessing the supports that they deserve. I may be naive, but I do believe that people become social workers with pure intentions and a desire to help. We cannot lose sight of that.