Salisbury University Master Social Work Discussion

Discussion #1 – Assignment Instructions

5 pages MAXIMUM (see instructions below) – page limit excludes references and cover page.

The NASW Code of Ethics is the guiding code for social workers. However, each state also has their own standards/codes/regulations for social workers. These state regulations are legally binding, but the NASW code is not. There can be differences between the NASW Code and the states.

There are three steps to this discussion:

Select any state EXCEPT FOR MARYLAND (that is provided as an example in the Module) to compare/contrast with the NASW Code of Ethics (COE)

Post your completed paper (Upload as a PDF) and link to the Code of Ethics/State Regulations for the selected state in Discussion #1;

Respond to at least one classmate – you must respond to the question prompts provided, but you are also free to add additional information.

For this assignment, you will do the following:

Identify the state you selected.

Locate the code of ethics/regulations for social workers for that state. Some states may refer to this as regulations or standards of practice. The state licensing board would be the best place to start for this, but it may take some searching.

In this first part of the assignment, you are to compare the NASW Code of Ethics to the Code of Ethics for the state you selected using the Table provided in the module. Look through each section of the two Codes and compare similarities and differences between them. Please note, that the sections will likely not match up perfectly. You do not need to go word for word or address each component of the section; for now, you should look at general similarities and general differences in order to identify areas social workers need to be aware of if they were practicing in the selected state.

1. Bullet points should be used – do not write paragraphs in for each comparison.

2. This section should not be longer than 2-3 single-spaced pages.

After completing the comparison table, discuss the following points (no more than 2 double spaced pages – this should be placed in the same document as your tables):

1. Based on your tables and what you have learned about the difference between the NASW COE and state regulations, identify at least one positive aspect and one negative aspect of having separate state regulations rather than one federal code that all social workers are legally bound to.

2. Do you believe that this current system should be maintained or should it be changed so that all social workers have to follow the same code, regardless of the state in which they reside? Why do you believe this?

3. Do you believe that the ethical principles in the NASW Code of Ethics are being upheld with two different systems? Why or why not? Be specific about the principles.

Save as a PDF (in Word, you select “File” and “Save As” and switch the “Save as Type” from Word document to PDF) and post this to the discussion board

Respond to at least one classmate who reviewed a state different from the one you chose. In your response address the following points:

1. What do you see as the most significant difference between the NASW Code and the state code, as described by your classmate? Be specific.

2. How do you see this impacting social workers in that state or social workers who may be practicing in that state and an adjoining state? Be specific.

Discussion #1

Table 1. Comparison of the NASW Code of Ethics to the selected State Code of Ethics


STATE: (name of state)





Ethical Principles

Standard 1: Responsibilities to Clients

Standard 2: Responsibilities to Colleagues

Standard 3: Responsibilities in Practice Settings

Standard 4: Responsibilities as Professionals

Standard 5: Responsibilities to the Social Work Profession

Standard 6: Responsibilities to the Broader Society

Table 2. Pros and Cons for the Existing System of NASW versus State Codes of Ethics







Reflections on the Tables

(see assignment outline for the points you need to discuss).

Some folks have been confused about finding states’ ethics guidelines so I’m linking some below. These are easily found via a quick google search if you want to use another state.




Nebraska: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/…

Rhode Island:

Let me know if you have questions!

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