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Code of Ethics for Human Service Workers

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Many different types of human service workers exist today. A variety of duties are included in the job as well, such as assisting people in coping or solving various issues in their lives. Regardless of the various types of human service/social workers, there is one vital part of success of human service workers, and that is the mandatory ability to follow a strict set of ethical guidelines set forth by the National Association of Social Workers, known as the Code of Ethics.

Significance And Mission

The main mission of the human services profession is to enhance human well being and to help meet the basic human needs of all people, paying particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are oppressed, living in poverty or are vulnerable, according to the National Association of Social Workers.

Core Values

The profession of human services is based on a set of core values. They are service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence. All human services workers must possess these qualities and practice these core values in their profession each and every day.


The Code of Ethics for human service workers serve different purposes. The six purposes include: 1) identifying the core values listed; 2) identifying and summarizing principles based on core values; 3) assisting human service workers to be able to make appropriate considerations when professional obligations conflict with their work; 4) provide standards for the public to hold the human services profession accountable for any issues that arise; 5) help people new to the field to know about the mission, value, principles and standards of the profession in general; 6) make clear the standards that the profession as a whole uses to decide if workers have engaged in unethical conduct.


The six types of ethical standards in the Code of Ethics for human service workers the social worker's responsibility to clients, responsibility to colleagues, responsibility in practice settings, responsibilities as professionals, responsibilities to the profession and responsibilities to society.


Following the order of the ethical standards listed, all human service workers have a responsibility first to meet the needs of their clients, including committing to and respecting client rights and maintaining confidentiality.

All workers must work well with their colleagues, treat co workers with the equal respect, and avoiding negative criticism.

Human service workers must be knowledgeable in a variety of areas and situations in order to responsibly practice their work.

All workers must conduct themselves in a professional manner and should never let their private issues affect their professionalism on the job.

Human service workers must maintain the high standards of social work practice, regardless of any circumstances that may arise.

All workers should promote the general welfare of society, and make sure that everybody has equal rights and access to helpful services and opportunities to meet their needs.


Based in Hardwick, Vt., Blake Ryan has been writing for eight years. She began as the editor in chief for her school newspaper, where she wrote reviews and how-to articles, and edited other's works. She enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and informational pieces. Blake attended Peoples Academy High School in Morrisville, Vt. and is currently a student at the Community College of Vermont.