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Running head: VALUES PAPER


Values Paper
SW 3010


Values Paper

This paper will explore my values and feelings and compare them to the ethical principles in social
work. With this comparison, I will determine how my values may help or prove to be difficult to
maintain in my social work practices. I will reflect on my decision to become a social worker, and how I
can be successful in my social work practices.
Values to Live with
When I think of values, words come to mind like: family, discipline, integrity, respect, etc. There
are many values that can prove valuable or a hindrance when making a career choice such as social
work. I will start with my discussion with one of my first learned lessons, which was to value family and
community. I grew up in a household with my mother, and two older brothers. We all had a very close
relationship and my mother was always supportive of us. We spent a lot of time together and usually
had other family or friends around as well. For example, my mother enrolled me in modeling classes at
Sears when I was young but she did not only take me, she also contacted two of my cousins’ parents to
enroll them. She made sure they made it to modeling classes every week with me. We always had
cousins around our house. My mother would comb their hair, buy clothes for them, and even Christmas
presents if she knew their parents could not afford them. She never wanted any child to feel left out or
My adult household functions much like my mother’s home. My husband and I always take on the
responsibility of less fortunate children. If a family member or neighbor cannot afford to enroll their
child in extra-curricular activities or take them on family outings, we take them with our children. There
is a little girl in our neighborhood whose grandparents adopted her, but they fail to spend quality time
with her or provide her a regular nutritious meal. Her grandmother told me it was a waste of money to
cook at home and that it was cheaper to eat fast food. I was mortified with this because I know the lack
of nutritional value restaurants like McDonalds and Little Caesar’s have. Nevertheless, the girl started

eating dinner with us at least 4 nights a week, I added her onto our YMCA membership, and we take her
to soccer and karate class with our boys. In my opinion, this type of value is congruent with the social
work values of “dignity and worth of the person” as well as “importance of human relationships.” Our
behavior supports dignity and worth of the person because this child was around our children on a daily
basis and it was clear that she wanted to be a part of what we did. She started to ask to have dinner
with us and to accompany us to the boys’ activities. Because most children her age do not understand
financial issues, if we had not included her in our activities it could have contributed to her feel
unworthy. Human relationships are very important for all individuals and are crucial during young ages.
The interaction and inclusion our neighbor felt reflected in her attitudes and behaviors. She appeared to
be happier and often bragged to others about the activities in which she was involved.
The value I find especially helpful to me in becoming a great social worker is compassion. A
person who is compassionate truly cares about others and their misfortunes and has a sincere desire to
help. As a social worker who can feel compassion in some way towards all clients I can better work to
aid them in attaining their ultimate goals.
When I was a young child, my mother was a manager of a senior high rise building named
Bicentennial Towers. Rosa Parks lived in the building and my mother introduced my brothers and me to
her. We visited her on many occasions and she talked to us about the racism she faced in the south. She
told us about her childhood as well as the day she refused to give up her seat on the bus. I remember
thinking that I knew a real life hero. The time I spent with Mrs. Rosa Parks left indelible memories. For
me those experiences reiterate the importance of the NASW ethical code 6.04 Social and Political
Action because in order for social change to occur, it is important that all people, whether oppressed or
not to form a united front and take action against those who oppress.
I pondered over the idea of populations I might find difficulty advocating for and came up with
white supremacists. More accurately, any race of people who hate blacks. I believe working with them

could be a challenge for me because they probably would reject my assistance. The only circumstance I
concede would be personally challenging for me would be aiding in getting children who were removed
from the home returned to them. It is difficult to advocate for people to continue to spread hatred to
our young impressionable children. Throughout my life and my time spent with Mrs. Rosa Parks I have
learned how powerful and infectious a mindset of hatred can be. I have witnessed many black men
racially profiled by police. Many of my Hispanic friends are unable to get a job with descent pay because
employers are aware that many Hispanics will work for pennies. One of my black friends was beat
brutally for dating a white girl.
Since I grew up in a family among Baptist, Catholic, Christians, Ahmadiyah Muslim and Moorish
Americans, I have a great tolerance for diversity and have never really declared a religion. I do not have
any beliefs with regard to religion or spirituality that would cause difficulty in servicing clients who
believe in white supremacy or hatred of blacks. In order to serve this group in a non-judgmental way I
would implement NASW ethical codes 4.02 Discrimination and 1.05 Cultural Competence and Social
Diversity. As a social worker, I cannot discriminate or condone discrimination against my client based
upon their beliefs even if their belief is one of hatred against me. I will remain tolerant of their beliefs
and recognize that this is a form of cultural differences. In order to assist them, I will attempt to
understand their belief system and how it was formed with the hopes of gaining a better understanding
of my client’s past. A great tool to discover more information on the subject would be to gather
information from hate organizations using a pseudo name via internet. Finding strengths in the client’s
belief systems could prove difficult but I would attempt to in order to point out positive aspects of their
lives and to gain their respect. My focus would be on the strengths within the white community without
focusing on the client’s hatred for blacks.
If there became a need to refer the client to someone else, I would first sincerely apologize for my
limited ability to provide them with the quality of service to which they are entitled. I would then

respectfully explain to the client that I believe it is in their best interest for me to refer them to a
colleague in order to ensure they receive the highest level of assistance. I would request their
permission to consult with a colleague regarding their case in order be sure they would be happy with
the new worker. The discussion would end with my request to give the new worker their contact
information, and offering a follow up call from myself to the client to provide them with new worker’s
contact information.
Although this part of the assignment has prompted me to take a deeper look into my values, it has
no bearing on my decision to become a social worker. I am confident that no matter what adverse
conditions I encounter in my practice I will remain professional, and carry out my duties as defined by
the National Association of Social Workers to, “enhance human wellbeing and help meet the basic
human needs of all people” (National Association of Social Workers [NASW], 2013).
My commitment to the social work core values will always supersede my personal beliefs and
attitudes. In an effort to effectively service challenging populations, I will consistently refer back to
many ethical codes specifically the following:
1.01 Commitment to Clients,
1.05 Cultural Competence and Social Diversity,
1.06 Conflicts of Interest,
1.12 Derogatory Language, and
4.01 Competence.
My major priority is always the well-being of my clients and society as a whole. I will continue to
self-evaluate to ensure fairness when servicing clients. Possible conflicts of interest will be identified,
and resolved to promote a healthy, and productive working relationship. Derogatory language will
never be used when referring to clients verbally nor in writing. This is simply a means of harboring
negative emotions towards clients.


Social work involves constant interaction with diverse cultures. An efficient social worker must be
diligent in remaining aware of her own emotions, and beliefs to avoid imposing them upon clients.
Social work entails more than just giving advice to friends and family it requires years of proper training
to become an effective tool in social and political change. My environmental exposures growing up
promoted not just tolerance but acceptance of diversity, which I believe will prove to be valuable to me
in my career. I aim to hone the survival skills I learned growing up and use my resourcefulness to aid in
making positive changes in the lives I touch.