AASW code of ethics

Students will complete a reflective journal focused on the interrelated questions below.

The purpose of this task is for students to critically reflect on their own values, (morals, and ethics) and also on stated professional values and ethics and explore both compatibility and tensions if they exist.

Students are to focus their reflection on the following interrelated questions.

  • Reflect on your own personal values, how did these form? How do they or will they impact on your role as a social worker?
  • Reflect on the AASW code of ethics as a guide for ethical professional practice – how do these ethical positions fit with your personal values?
  • Reflect on the statement ‘Unconditional positive regard for the other is a core ethical position for professional social work practice’. What challenges might this ethical position engender?


As with any assessment task, the key is to answer the question fully in the space provided.

Looking at this question you can see that there are several elements, each of which need to be addressed to fully answer the question.

Here there are three main ‘questions’ to address, however each contains a secondary question or questions.

For example, the first ‘question’ asks you to reflect your own personal values, and here I would include your own moral position and or ethical position if that is a useful way to think. You are also asked to reflect upon how these values formed and how they impact on your professional role – either now or into the future. The second and third questions follow a similar pattern.