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Expectations for Professional Behaviour

1. Basic Abilities Necessary to Acquire Professional Skills

a) Communication Skills

Written: Writes clearly, uses correct grammar and spelling, and applies appropriate writing style, including American Psychological Association (APA) referencing, appropriate source citation, and documentation. Demonstrates sufficient skills in written English to understand content presented in the program and to complete adequately all written assignments, as specified by faculty.

Oral: Communicates effectively and sensitively with other students, faculty, staff, clients, and professionals. Expresses ideas and feelings clearly and demonstrates a willingness and an ability to listen to others. Demonstrates sufficient skills in spoken English to understand content presented in the program, to complete adequately all oral assignments, and to meet the objectives of field placement experiences, as specified by faculty.

b) Interpersonal Skills
Demonstrates the interpersonal skills needed to relate effectively to other students, faculty, staff, clients, and professionals and to fulfill the ethical obligations of the profession. These include compassion, empathy, altruism, integrity, and demonstration of respect for and consideration of others. Takes appropriate responsibility for own actions and considers the impact of these actions on others.

c) Cognitive Skills
Exhibits sufficient knowledge of social work and clarity of thinking to process information and apply it to appropriate situations in classrooms and field. Demonstrates grounding in relevant social, behavioural and biological science knowledge and research – including knowledge and skills in relationship building, data gathering, assessment, intervention, and evaluation of practice. Exhibits ability to conceptualize and integrate knowledge and apply that knowledge to professional practice.

2. Emotional and Mental Abilities Necessary for Performance in the Program and Professional Practice

a) Stress Management
Demonstrates ability to deal with current life stressors through the use of appropriate coping mechanisms. Handles stress effectively by using appropriate self-care and developing supportive relationships with colleagues, peers, and others.

b) Emotional and Mental Capacities
Uses sound judgment. Seeks and effectively uses help for medical or emotional problems that interfere with scholastic and professional performance.

3. Professional Performance Skills Necessary for Work with Clients and Professional Practice

a) Professional Commitment
The Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work adheres to the C.A.S.W. Code of Ethics that outlines the professional ethical duties, obligations and responsibilities of social workers. Students are expected to exhibit a strong commitment to the goals of social work and to the ethical standards of the profession as specified in the C.A.S.W. Code of Ethics.

b) Professional Behaviour
Exhibits behaviours that are in compliance with program policies, institutional policies, professional ethical standards, and societal laws in classroom, field, and community. Shows potential for responsible and accountable behaviour by knowing and practicing within the scope of social work, respecting others, being punctual and dependable, prioritizing responsibilities, attending class regularly, observing deadlines, completing assignments on time, keeping appointments or making appropriate arrangements, and accepting supervision and criticism in a positive manner.

c) Reflective Stance
Works effectively with others, regardless of level of authority. Advocates for her/himself in an appropriate and responsible manner and uses proper channels for conflict resolution. Shows a willingness to receive and accept feedback and supervision in a positive manner, as well as use such feedback to enhance professional development.

Exhibits knowledge of how one’s values, attitudes, beliefs, emotions and past experiences affect thinking, behaviour and relationships. Accurately assesses one’s own strengths, limitations, and suitability for professional practice. Shows awareness of self and how one is perceived by others. Reflects on one’s own limitations as they relate to professional capacities. Is willing to examine and change behaviour when it interferes in working with clients and other professionals.

d) Ethical Obligations, Duties and Responsibilities
Current behaviour and classroom performance demonstrates adherence to the ethical duties, obligations and responsibilities of professional practice noted in the C.A.S.W. Code of Ethics that states the following:

  • A social worker shall maintain the best interest of the client as the primary professional obligation.
  • A social worker shall carry out her or his professional duties and obligations with integrity and objectivity.
  • A social worker shall have and maintain competence in the provision of a social work service to a client.
  • A social worker shall not exploit the relationship with a client for personal benefit, gain or gratification.
  • A social worker shall protect the confidentiality of all information acquired from the client or others regarding the client and the client’s family during the professional relationship unless:
  • the client authorizes in writing the release of specified information,
  • the information is released under the authority of a statute or an other of a court of competent
    jurisdiction, or
  • otherwise authorized by this Code.
  • A social worker who engages in another profession, occupation, affiliation or calling shall not allow these outside interests to affect the social work relationship with the client.
  • A social worker in private practice shall not conduct the business of provision of social work services for a fee in a manner that discredits the profession or diminishes the public’s trust in the profession.

5. Ethical Responsibilities

  • A social worker shall advocate for workplace conditions and policies that are consistent with the Code.
  • A social worker shall promote excellence in the social work profession.
  • A social worker shall advocate change
  • in the best interest of the client, and
  • for the overall benefit of society, the environment and the global community.

(C.A.S.W. Social Work Code of Ethics 1994:9)