Ethics & Values Reflection Paper
This paper should reference the NASW Code of Ethics and should explore:
Values and ethics are something which we develop through the course of life; they can change over time and may be influenced by our family, friends, culture, and the media. Personal values develop through experience and development. They impact our personal lives as well as our professional lives. Values represent our unique, individual essence, and guide our behavior, and provide us with a personal code of conduct. My core values shape who I am as a person today.
The values that I try to live by and follow include being determined, showing compassion, a health family unit, integrity, respect, empathy, and responsibility.
From a young age, I learned the importance of a healthy family unit. My sisters and I grew up in a nurturing and caring environment, we always felt secure and loved. There is no one closer than a member of your family. There is no one who knows for sure how to help you in a difficult situation than your father or mother. I know that my family is always ready to support me no matter what the situation is.
I also highly value integrity. Integrity conveys a sense of wholeness and strength. When we’re acting with integrity we always do what’s right even when no one is watching. Having integrity generally means not intentionally harming others, not stealing, and not cheating. I value integrity because it manifests a person’s inner strength, honor, and kindness. Integrity cannot be forced by an outside source.
I am a strong believer in the golden rule, treating others the way you want to be treated. In order to receive respect from someone you must give respect to them. You cannot go into a store, treat the customer service representative with disrespect without expecting the same treatment back. If you are nice to a person, they are more likely to be nice back, and they can be extremely helpful with things you need.
These values help me to determine what is tremendously important to me and guide me in good decision making.
Family, respect, and integrity are the values that were instilled in me from a young age. My family influences my personal ethics a lot. Although my family cannot decide my personal ethics, they have instilled a strong sense of right and wrong in me since I was a child. My parents taught me the importance of these values. Some values I have chosen for myself are compassion, empathy, and responsibility. To me compassion is the most important value. To have compassion means to empathize with someone who is suffering. Compassion gives us the ability to understand someone else’s feelings and situation, and the desire to take action to help improve their lives. Empathy is the ability to put oneself in the shoes of another person. Empathy is also a particularly important value to me because having empathy helps me understand how others are feeling so I can respond appropriately to the situation at hand. In addition, responsibility is an important value because no one can succeed in life if they are not responsible. If you are responsible you are a reliable person.
I believe that my personal values are compatible with the professional core values because I am able to be empathic to my client and I am focused on being true to serving and helping society. My responsibility and respect qualities are also compatible with the core values of social work because I am able to value the dignity and worth of a person and be mindful of promoting social justice. If my values conflict with the core values when dealing with a certain client I would go to my supervisor and explain the situation to see if they could either give me advice and instruct me on how to correctly approach the client. If that doesn’t work, I would suggest possibly referring my client to another social worker who has a better understanding of what they need, and someone whose own core values would match up better.
I have inherited some values from my family and have chosen some of my own values. My values will change and as I grow, things that are important now may become much less important in the future.