Effective and ethical working environments for social work: the responsibilities of employers of social workers

IFSW POLICY STATEMENT 1      Introduction This policy provides guidelines regarding the working environment required for: effective and ethical social work practice; alignment of organisational and social work practice objectives; protection of the interests of service users; and promotion of good standards of practice and quality services. It is recognised that the context for practice varies […]

Definition of Social Work

Definition The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work. […]

Global standards

The process of developing global standards for the education and training of the social work profession1 is as important as the product; the actual standards that have been developed. In undertaking such an initiative it was also vital that minority opinions were considered and reflected in the development of the document. Thus, Appendix A describes […]

Statement of Ethical Principles

1. Preface Ethical awareness is a fundamental part of the professional practice of social workers. Their ability and commitment to act ethically is an essential aspect of the quality of the service offered to those who use social work services. The purpose of the work of IASSW and IFSW on ethics is to promote ethical […]


Globalisation and the environment

Introduction Globalisation is the process by which all peoples and communities come to experience an increasingly common economic, social and cultural environment. By definition, the process affects everybody throughout the world. A more integrated world community brings both benefits and problems for all; it affects the balance of economic, political and cultural power between nations, […]

Displaced persons

Introduction The displacement or forced migration of people within their own countries is today a common international phenomenon. Such migration may be caused by internal armed conflicts, situations of general violence, ethnic fights, mass violation of human rights, violations of international humanitarian law or natural disasters. According to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights […]


Policy Issue IFSW considers it necessary to re-evaluate the contribution social workers can make in the areas of policy-making, development of programmes implementation, and evaluation of services for young people. IFSW recognises that social workers have a contribution to make, not only in directly assisting young people, but also in identifying and suggesting remedies for […]



1 Rationale 1.1 Attending to the well-being of women and girls is essential to social and economic development worldwide, as reflected in the inclusion of promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women as Goal 3 and the improvement of maternal health as Goal 5 among the eight goals of the United Nations Millennium Development […]



Policy Issue The physical needs of refugees, for food, clothing, health care and shelter, have to be met. However, policies also need to focus on the psychosocial needs and related social functioning of refugees, as those aspects of human well-being are the central concerns of the social profession. Professional social workers are committed to basic […]

Protection of personal information

Policy Issue The collection and use of information about and by individuals is at the heart of social work practice, as recognised in the IFSW International Code of Ethics. Because of its perceived attractions in the administration of social welfare services, computerisation is of growing importance. However, the new technology changes existing power relations and […]

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