Addendum to SW 410

Addendum to SW 410
The 400 level designation for the social work ethics class is congruent with the
course’s purpose and learning outcomes It is critical that students understand the
profession’s code for professional conduct and correctly apply ethical behaviors to
the clients and situations they will encounter in practice. To promote this
knowledge and develop these skills, students must understand the intent and limits
of the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics and the professional
ethical codes of similar professions. Students are asked to build critical thinking
skills that require them to develop a tolerance for diverse professional opinions and
to view the Code as a dynamic document that guides professional decision-making
and behavior.
These learning outcomes are accomplished by the following:
1. Students are assigned weekly readings related to current professional and
ethical problems that complicate social work practice. For each reading,
students engage in weekly discussions and critically analyze each reading.
2. Students choose an ethical dilemma that includes a related research paper
and class presentation. The assignment requires students to utilize the
professional literature and interview professionals in the field.
3. Students conduct case analyses of ethical dilemmas for each class that are
common in the social work profession. These dilemmas include the areas of
child welfare, aging, developmental disability, health, mental health, and
juvenile justice. Students apply the relevant standards of the code for each
case and the class discusses the results of the analysis.
These learning outcomes parallel other upper level general education ethics courses
(e.g. law, pharmacy, and health) and are best achieved at the junior or senior level
where students have received the academic training through foundational
coursework and professional field training through internships, practicums and
employment. The learning outcomes coincide with the profession’s accreditation
standards and requirements that students develop professional behaviors that are
consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics. If SW410 was offered at the 100 or 200
levels, students would not have the academic foundation nor the professional
maturity and practice skills to actively apply the required discourse and analysis to
resolve contemporary ethical dilemmas frequently encountered in the social work