Theme 3: Practice Requirements, Standards and Ethics
Standards of practice, ethics and competencies provide a transparent set of expectations by which children, youth and families, practitioners, employers, and members of the public know what to expect from a social worker. In addition to standards of practice, current social work regulation includes a codified and uniform set of values and ethics which registered social workers must uphold.
|Key Terms / Definitions:|
Anti-racism – the practice of identifying, challenging, preventing, eliminating and changing the values, structures, policies, programs, practices, profiles and behaviours that perpetuate racism.
Entry to Practice – Requirements to register and practice as a social worker. In B.C., the British Columbia College of Social Workers requires (1) a bachelor’s degree or higher in social work from an approved program; (2) at least 700 hours social work experience; and (3) successful completion of a licensing exam.
Restricted Practice – Only those who qualify and register with the regulator can perform the activities set out in the scope of practice (e.g., diagnosing psychological conditions).
Social Work – (From the Canadian Association of Social Work) Social work is a practice-based profession and academic discipline founded on theories of social work, social science, and humanities. It is advanced through an evidence informed approach and recognizes the importance of Indigenous ways of knowing in practice, the development of knowledge, and education, clinical services, policy, and research. Social work focuses on the person within their environment and recognizes the importance of family, community, culture, legal, social, spiritual, and economic influences that impact the well-being of individuals, families, groups, and communities. Social work applies a strengths-based perspective and views individual, families, and communities as resourceful, resilient, and having capacity. Principles of respect for the inherent dignity and worth of persons, the pursuit of social justice, and culturally responsive practice that applies an anti-oppressive lens to all areas of practice and is grounded in ethics, values, and humility, are central to social work.
Standards of Practice – Require registrants or employees to uphold certain standards of conduct and ethics. These standards address issues such as (1) relationship with children, youth and families; (2) competence and integrity; (3) confidentiality; and (4) sexual misconduct.
Title Protection – Only those who meet certain criteria and register with the regulatory body (e.g., a college) can use the title “social worker.”
 The British Columbia College of Social Workers accepts degrees from social work programs accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education.