College publishes code of ethics for its social workers in England

The College of Social Work's code will sit alongside the basic standards set out by the regulator in England.

The College of Social Work (TCSW) has published a code of ethics setting out the professional values and standards is expects its members to uphold.

The code includes a requirement on members to “protect the rights of, promote the interests of and empower people who use social work services and those who care for and about them” and to “behave in a respectful and collaborative way with other professionals”.

All registered social workers in England are already signed up to the Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) standards of conduct, performance and ethics, which sets out the basic standards expected of all 16 professions it regulates.

TCSW’s code differs in that it is specifically aimed at social workers; the British Association of Social Workers has a similar code of ethics for its members.

“Our code encompasses protecting the rights, interests and independence of people who use social work services, promoting social justice, and taking a compassionate approach to social issues,” said TCSW chair Jo Cleary.

“The HCPC code is a sound basic standard for health and social care workers, but it is crucial that social workers have their own dedicated code of ethics and so this is what we have created in consultation with social workers from a wide range of practice backgrounds.”

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