Mine Versus Ours: Opinion Essay on Respect to Others

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This paper is a compare and contrast of the NASW code of ethics, I go over some key examples and compare similarities to my own values as well as contrast the differences. As a social worker you must abide by the NASW code of ethics and I feel if you don’t you really shouldn’t be practicing. The points I reviewed came primarily from the Code of ethics itself, I review conflicts of interest and how this could be hard to adhere to especially when you live and work in a rural area with limited social workers and resources. I go over how I concur with respect, especially in the work environment as well as contrast and give my views on how I cannot respect someone who does not respect me. Lastly, I summarize social and political action and contrast my views on how legislative and government corruption can impact the resources in the community. To get the information I did I researched and cited journals from the internet as well as gave my own personal view based on my own values.

“Mine vs. Ours”

The NASW code of ethics is used as a guideline for social workers throughout the United States. It was set forth to help promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients(“NASW Code of ethics,” 2018). The NASW Code of ethics is the foundation of social work and has been used throughout history to help bring in morale, advocacy, diversity, help those who are oppressed as well as experiencing homelessness and poverty. The NASW code of ethics cannot force one to make ethical choices or guarantee ethical behavior, the code does not resolve all ethical dilemmas or give a person all the right answers that would be deemed morally correct. Nevertheless, the code of ethics does set standards for values, ethical principles, and ethical standards. Those who uphold the NASW code of ethics should practice nonjudgment, be professional, be able to make the best ethical decisions as well as do what is morally appropriate. There are six standards in which an ethical social worker must exercise while practicing which are

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  • Social workers ethical responsibilities to clients
  • Social workers ethical responsibilities to colleagues
  • Social workers ethical responsibilities in practice settings
  • Social workers ethical responsibilities as professionals
  • Social workers ethical responsibilities to the social work profession
  • Social workers ethical responsibility to the broader society (“NASW Code of ethics,” 2018)

1.06 Conflicts of interests states that Social workers should not engage in dual or multiple relationships with a client or former client. (“NASW Code of ethics,” 2018) I will agree that once boundaries are crossed it can potentially hurt the client who may feel exploited and can result in a lawsuit that may harm you and your practice. Social media poses a risk for creating dual relationships with a client, becoming sexually involved with a client can also pose a risk, having friends or family as clients would also be considered as a dual relationship.Yet, in other instances where this is unavoidable I would disagree as there are a few scenarios that this may not be an easy thing to avoid especially with those who are from a rural area, for instance, you have a client who is the only electrician in the town you live in, you are forced to have him work in your home if you are having electrical issues. Another example is you are helping more than one family member out, it is extremely important to set clear boundaries that are not to be crossed.

2.01 Respect, all social workers are expected to treat their coworkers with respect. Social workers should refrain from negative criticism, bullying, making demeaning comments, or passing judgment/ discrimination. Being able to cooperate and be professional while in the workplace not only gives a calm atmosphere but brings up morale in the office as well. It is important to be able to feel confident enough to be able to take someone aside and have a mature conversation if you feel like you both don’t agree rather than creating a hostile work environment by being disrespectful. Having positive peer relationships can improve workflow and helps increase loyalty (Dickson, 2015) which consequentially allows your coworkers to be able to trust and respect you. However, nearly 1 in 5 people find that their work environment is extremely toxic and face discrimination and bullying (“cnbc.com,” 2017) which in turn creates a stressful and hostile work environment. As a woman that works in a male-dominated career, I can vouch for this and will only demand the utmost of respect. I cannot respect someone who does not respect me and will not tolerate being bullied, sexually harassed or disrespected in any way, shape or form as well as has no problem voicing my opinion on the matter.

6.04 Social and political action Social workers should be aware of the political impact of the political arena on practice and should advocate for change in policy and legislation to improve social conditions in order to meet basic human needs and promote social justice (“NASW code of ethics, “2018) a social worker’s duty to keep up with the ever-changing laws and policies that are set into effect. Our social structure and environment are always changing forcing social workers to change the way they practice as well as find the resources that fit the needs of those affected by these changes. Although, advocating is one thing being able to contact the legislation to force change is another thing. We live in a very corrupt country as well as state, It’s hard enough to find basic resources for families and help is limited. There are hundreds of displaced families in New Mexico who are homeless and the waitlist for housing is about 2 years out. Government funding such as WIC, SNAP, and TANF are highly utilized but with budget problems, most low-income families cannot provide for their basic needs on this. A vast majority of New Mexico is on Medicaid which was underfunded by $85 million (“NM voices, “2018) causing low income, the elderly and disabled to suffer the most. Corruption in the legislative house is at an all-time high and our state has three chronic problems, poverty, the economy too dependent on government jobs and oil production, The third is corruption. It strangles progress in reducing poverty and improving the ecosystem Simonich, M. (2018, July 1, 2018).

Whether we may agree or disagree with the NASW code of ethics it is always imperative to act in the most morally and ethically correct way when dealing with a client. It is a social worker’s duty to uphold the principles and standards set forth in order to practice at the best of your ability. Being able to help a client out while maintaining core values assures that you are providing the best services available.


  1. Dickson, G. (2015). The Value of peer relationships at work.
  2. NASW Code of ethics. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics
  3. New Mexico Voices for children. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.nmvoices.org/archives/7258
  4. One-fifth of Americans find workplace hostile or threatening. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/14/one-fifth-of-Americans-find-workplace-hostile-or-threatening.html
  5. Simonich, M. (2018, July 1, 2018). Corruption killing New Mexico. Retrieved from http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/corruption-killing-new-mexico-s-economy/article_ec4aa148-195c-544c-9f5c-80d144f8e2a8.html


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