Layout 1Changes are coming to the NASW Code of Ethics. This NASW blog post goes into some details. Essential dates: Nov 1, 2017, copies become available. Jan 1, 2018, the new edition of the code goes into effect.

SWTP will of course be modifying practice to reflect all changes--stay tuned for details!

More from FAQs on the NASW post:

Q: Which sections of the NASW Code of Ethics were updated?

A: The sections of the NASW Code of Ethics that were revised include:

The Purpose of the Code
1.03 Informed Consent
1.04 Competence
1.05 Cultural Competence and Social
1.06 Conflicts of Interest
1.07 Privacy and Confidentiality
1.08 Access to Records
1.09 Sexual Relationships
1.11 Sexual Harassment
1.15 Interruption of Services
1.16 Referral for Services
2.01 Respect
2.06 Sexual Relationships
2.07 Sexual Harassment
2.10 Unethical Conduct of Colleagues
3.01 Supervision and Consultation
3.02 Education and Training
3.04 Client Records
5.02 Evaluation and Research
6.04 Social and Political Action

Q: Which social workers are accountable to the NASW Code of Ethics?

A: Most social workers are held accountable to the NASW Code of Ethics, including NASW
members, licensed social workers, employed social workers, and students.

Q: Do these changes affect social workers who aren't members of NASW?

A: Yes. The NASW Code of Ethics sets forth the values, principles, and standards that guide the
profession as a whole, not just NASW members.

Q: Who was responsible for revising the NASW Code of Ethics?

A: An NASW Code of Ethics Review Task Force was appointed by the NASW President and approved by the
NASW Board of Directors.

Q: How am I held accountable if I do not implement these changes by the effective date?

A: If you are a member of NASW, you may be held accountable through the NASW Office of Ethics
and Professional Review process, if someone files an ethics complaint against you. You may also
be held accountable by a state licensing board if a licensing board complaint is filed against you.
Furthermore, you may be held accountable by your employer or your university, which may
take disciplinary actions for not implementing the changes. Finally, you may be held
accountable through a court of law that looks to the NASW Code of Ethics to establish the
standard for professional ethical social work practice.

Not asked: Will this be on the test? Answer: Count on it. Perhaps not right away--the ASWB exam-writing process can be a slow one.  We'll stay tuned and relay information as we hear it.

Don't worry! The bedrock principles of the Code are not going to change. You already know the essentials of social work ethics as they apply to the exam. It's just a question of putting them into practice.

October 4, 2017
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