NSCSW | Practice

Guiding social work practice

Social workers are guided by the College’s Standards of Practice & the Code of  Ethics.

The Standards of Practice, crafted in consultation with the College’s members, detail their responsibilities to clients, colleagues, employers, and society as a whole.

The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) Code of Ethics sets values and principles to guide social workers’ professional conduct. Ethical behavior must also come from a social worker’s individual commitment to engage in ethical practice. The spirit and the letter of the Code of Ethics serves to guide social workers as they act in good faith with a genuine desire to make sound judgments.



The Standards of Practice: 

  1. Establishes professional expectations as the basis of responsibility for social workers so that they may develop, control, evaluate, and improve their own practice.
  2. Promotes the protection of the public, and specifically of clients of social workers, by ensuring competent social work practice.
  3. Provides a basis for professional development and continuing education within the profession.
  4. Put into action the values, ethics, knowledge, and skills expected of social work professionals, so that other professionals, employees, clients and the general public may understand the goals and methods of social work practice in Nova Scotia.
  5. Enhances the value and credibility of the profession so that it may more effectively advocate for social change when deemed necessary.

The Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics is social work’s  foundational document in practice. It encompasses the values of our profession, articulates our central beliefs and creates the unique context for engaging in our work. It is aspirational and provides an ideal to strive for.