The NASW ethical standards are relevant to the professional activities of all social workers. These standards concern
- 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 and
- social workers’ ethical responsibilities to the broader society.
Some of the standards are enforceable guidelines for professional conduct and some are aspirational. The extent to which each standard is enforceable is a matter of professional judgment to be exercised by those responsible for reviewing instances where students fall short of meeting the ethical standards. Students are advised to familiarize themselves with the NASW’s Ethical Standards. A complete copy of the Ethical Standards is available at https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics.
The College of Health Professions and its MSW program expects its students to adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics and to be sensitive to the impact of their actions on clients, social work agencies, the University and the community. All MSW students must be knowledgeable of this Code and behave in a manner consistent with its values and principles.
MSW program students are expected to meet performance standards academically as defined by the program and the institution and professionally as defined in the NASW Code of Ethics (Ethical Principles and Ethical Standards) as well as the Code of Conduct standards expected of all students at Chamberlain University as outlined in the College of Health Professions Student Handbook.
The MSW program, like all Chamberlain university programs, follows the Code of Conduct for academic and professional conduct. For Code of Conduct and NASW Code of Ethics violations, the university conduct administrator works with the program to identify faculty and program staff who will serve as members of a Hearing Panel to evaluate possible violations. The role of the Hearing Panel and its processes are documented in the University Code of Conduct policy section of the College of Health Professions handbook. The MSW faculty and staff is thus the body that evaluates the alleged conduct in relation to the university policy and the NASW Code of Ethics as applicable to MSW students in accordance with policies and procedures for Hearing Panels as outlined.
When MSW faculty believe a student has not acted in accordance with Code of Conduct and NASW ethical principles and standards, faculty must notify the MSW program leadership (Dean and/or Faculty Manager) of their concerns within 24 hours or the next business day if the issues arise on a weekend. Should the MSW program leadership determine, upon review of the circumstances, that a student has failed to satisfy the program’s ethical principles and standards, the student will be coached, advised and provided with remediation support, as deemed appropriate by the MSW program leadership.
The goal of this process is to provide constructive feedback to MSW students on professional conduct concerns to give students the opportunity to remedy such before such they rise to the level of Code of Conduct violations. However, in situations where the student’s conduct may violate the University’s Student Code of Conduct, including situations where the conduct continues despite the feedback, the student may be separately charged with such through the University’s Code of Conduct procedures and subject to the procedures set forth in that Policy.
A student’s failure to demonstrate integrity, ethical conduct (including abiding by the NASW Code of Ethics) or professional behaviors and/or otherwise violating the Student Code of Conduct set forth in the Student Handbook may result in disciplinary sanctions, removal from a fieldwork site or failure of a fieldwork experience. If it is determined by the withdrawal deadline that the student is unsatisfactory in a graduate clinical, practicum, fieldwork and applied practice experience course, the student will be administratively withdrawn and awarded a grade of Withdrawal Failing (“WF”). If it is determined after the withdrawal deadline that the student is unsatisfactory in the clinical, practicum, fieldwork or applied practice experience course, the student will be administratively withdrawn and awarded a grade of Failing (“F”). If a grade below a “C” is earned in a course, the student must repeat the course. In addition, students may be immediately dismissed from the program when failure to fulfill the above expected student professional standards has been determined, by the Professional Review Committee, to rise to the level of egregious.