My personal and professional values are congruent to social work

My personal and professional values are congruent to social work and the NASW Code of
Ethics. One of the values is my self-determination to promote social justice and social change on
behalf of the clients. I would like to emphasize how significant this value is to me because this
was one of the reasons that motivated me to pursue this career, which is not related to my B.A. in
Art/Major in Graphic Design. Prior to starting the MSW program I was working as a tutor and
did a bit of volunteering at the American Breast Cancer Society, which further developed my
interest for social justice. On my second day of volunteering at the WIC office in Palmdale for
the American Cancer Society, I encountered an epiphany as I was waiting in one of the
presentation rooms. I realized that social work was my vocation. I was able to foresee myself
doing something related to this population, which would challenge my skills. I saw a need of
sincere and passionate people like myself in this type of setting in where these women are being
oppressed. Oppression has always bother me because I find it unfair that individuals are not
treated with dignity and respect as they should instead many people take advantage of them for
lucrative purposes. Now as social work intern at my internship and a MSW student I am able to
challenge social injustice. An example of partaking in social justice advocacy was attending a
phone bank on No on proposition 85 at the Planned Parenthood office in Los Angeles the day
before elections. I have always wanted to do this type of political activism but lacked the courage
to attend on my own. It was very historic for me to attend this phone banking because I finally
went through with it. The experience was very rewarding; it was fulfilling to know that I
contributed to a social cause that was successful. In my internship I have yet participate on a
macro level of social justice, however occasionally I do minor social justice by empowering my
patients with motivation and providing them with free resources. Another example of my selfdetermination is as a tutor I always offered my services free of charge; if the student needed
extensive tutoring or sessions where longer than the assigned hour because the student needed
further help with his/her homework. I saw this as a minor contribution to a social change towards
education within the low-income community. I found it fulfilling to contributing to a child’s
Another important personal value that is related to social work and the NASW Code of
Ethics is integrity. On a personal level integrity is one of the qualities that I seek in friendships.
From my experience friendships based on good integrity are being trustworthy; I have the
security that my friend is going to respect my confidentiality and will not divulge to a random
stranger or gossip. Integrity relates to social work because as a social worker this value will
make me more capable to establish a good rapport with my client. The client will trust me and be
more likely to divulge information that can be helpful towards their assessment. Also it will
facilitate the process of properly following and implementing privacy and confidentiality in the
NSAW Code of Ethics.
Competence is another important personal value that is congruent as it relates to social work
and the NASW Code of Ethics. At my internship on a daily bases I strive to be competent by
absorbing and sharing important information. Prior to meeting a client I obtain their chart, find
about their insurance coverage and health problems. Currently, I am working on asking doctors
about the patient’s health conditions and medication because I know that my human relationship
with the doctors will help me become a better competent social worker within a medical setting.
Sharing information with everyone at my internship I am able to have a better understanding of it
and acquire other available resources for the client. I aspire to obtain substantial knowledge of
the social work profession in the next two years that will make me an ideal candidate for this
profession through my competence. Competence allows me to provide appropriate services by
exercising careful judgment and making responsible measures to ensure my competence of work
and protect clients from harm.
Establishing human relationships is a personal value that is congruent as it is related to social
work and the NASW Code of Ethics it aids in enforcing or promoting change. As a graphic
design intern the valuable lesson I learned was the importance of networking. Networking allows
many in the entertainment industry to mobilize it facilitate their process of obtaining job
resources for clients and companies. This is similar in the social work profession and the NASW
Code of Ethics in that human relationships build networks for social workers to mobilize within
a community that benefits the client. Also, it allows social workers to engage people as partners
in the helping process in the effort to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, social
groups, organizations, and communities. Building relationships will allow me mobilize myself
within the groups of people just mentioned, giving me a better understanding of the relationship
between people. As a social worker it is crucial for me to acknowledge the importance of
building relationships since it will facilitate my researching process of resources for clients. For
instance at my internship I was looking for counseling services for a patient however I had very
few resources from my field instructor, I searched online but I was unsuccessful. Then I decided
to ask the Healthy Families/Medi-cal department (also known as the Promotoras) at my
internship; they provided me with useful information, which I exchanged with my colleagues. In
this particular case I was able to provide the client with resources, I strengthen my relationship
with the staff at my internship in a purposeful effort that promoted and enhance the well-being of
the client/patient, the organization, and the surrounding communities.
The way I deal with personal values that might conflict with social work values is by well
contemplating the following social work values: self-determination, integrity, competence, and
human relationships. I will take into consideration these values as well as refer to the NASW
Code of Ethics and evaluate my feelings. In essence I would like to use these values as
guidelines that I need to abide to avoid my personal values to interfere with difficult social work
cases that can hinder my career and patients. However, I foresee encountering conflictive
situations implementing and abiding to my values and the NASW Code of Ethics when I am
dealing with a client who has psychically harmed someone. In this particular situation I will
handover the case to another social worker. Another option that I would consider when dealing
with conflict in social work is to have profound introspection of myself by further analyzing my
personal values, balance both the pro and con but always keeping in mind my duty to empower
the client.
One particular life situation that has helped me shape my values and support my belief in the
social work values that have been described in the texts and in the NASW Code of Ethics is
when I volunteered at the WIC office in Palmdale for the American Breast Cancer Society. In the
beginning portion of this paper I mentioned how this volunteering experience allowed me to
foresee myself doing social work in the near future. This volunteering experience also exposed
me to an unfamiliar population; young mothers and their children receiving aid. I observed how
indifferent certain staff members were towards the young mothers and how very few of the staff
projected interest towards this population. As a volunteer I felt intimidated by the receptionists
which made me wonder how unwelcome the other women must feel coming to this facility. Due
to these circumstances it probably is difficult for them to trust the entire staff is working towards
their best interest. My thoughts were on how improper some of the staff was treating the mothers
without any dignity and respect. Personally if someone who is treated as another number and not
seen as an individual then he/she is not been treated with dignity and respect. I like to
acknowledge the presence of my clients and see them as individuals to make them feel
understood. Due to this reason I told myself that I was going to treat my clients with respect and
dignity, which I do at my internship. I do not think some of the staff can be justified for their
behavior. Although some of the women attending the agency can be a bit hostile because they
are required to attend this does not justify the staff’s inadequate behavior. Aside from this issue
the agency does not recognize the importance of human relationships. When I identified myself
as a volunteer they were still indifferent nor acknowledge my presence and just ordered me to sit
and wait. I did as I was told and I told myself that I was going to do everything in my power to
avoid being like this staff. The fact that they did not even notice my effort showed how they do
not value the importance of human relationships, which their agency is benefiting from because
not many working people are willing to volunteer for free on weekdays. This experience
stimulated me to reinforce my values of integrity, self-determination, competence, and human
relationships. As a social worker my integrity will be shown in an honest and friendly manner. I
will treat each client/patient with respect and dignity. This will also allow me to build a good
rapport with the client; he/she will be able to trust me. Trusting me will allow the patient to see
my level of competence, which will also be observed my colleagues and co-workers. Such
competence will be seen through my work performance, willingness to learn and share
information, team worker, listening skills, and other essential social work skills that I will learn
as time progresses.