Practicing Licensed Social Work Requires Dedication and Focus on Ethics

Becoming a licensed social worker can be a challenge and a blessing. As a profession, licensed social workers are uniquely poised to do good in every situation. They embody the idea they will not harm, not only their clients but to the public at large and their profession.  

The idea of obtaining a license issued by a governmental body to practice social work, or any other profession, has encountered significant opposition in recent years. Some practitioners opine that licensure in every state in which a social worker wishes to practice is a bar to employment and a restriction upon their mobility as a human. They also observe that licensing requirements do little to benefit the profession of social workers and the clients they serve.

Conversely, some social workers maintain that licensing in every state of practice serves the greater good and, in turn, protects the practice of social work as a profession, and the practitioner as well.

Becoming a social worker is no small feat. Studies are rigorous and take a substantial amount of time to complete. Additionally, there are licensing exams that must be taken — and passed — before practicing.

Rarely does the social worker’s career path encounter resistance and adversity from time to time. Practicing social work is demanding, and the demands of the profession will change a social worker’s career trajectory from time to time. Fortunately, the Code of Ethics for Social Workers is in place to guide social workers who might become entangled in the stresses of social work and could make a critical error.

Of course, the Code of Ethics is not a suggestion about how a social worker should act. The Code of Ethics is a legal obligation. The Code of Ethics protects the public from unscrupulous or unqualified social workers. The Code of Ethics also helps maintain a minimum standard of practice so that clients feel safe and derive the intended benefits of working with a social worker.

Social workers should feel protected in their profession. Licensing helps in this regard. Licensing ensures that only qualified individuals perform the duties of a social worker. The profession receives protection from unqualified people passing themselves off as social workers who would have no accountability to a licensing authority and the profession as a whole. Holding a social worker license lends credibility to the practitioner and helps maintain the integrity of the practice as a whole across the state.

Social workers’ licensing requirements primarily serve as a method to protect vulnerable populations from undue influence and harm. Social workers are in a position to influence the decisions of their clients and can affect their clients’ lives negatively. For example, a social worker who is overwhelmed by the demands of the job could fall into the trap of substance misuse, which could lead to attendance problems and financial difficulties.  If that occurs, then the quality of care will suffer.

If you are a social worker who has encountered personal difficulties, then you should proactively address the issues before the licensing board initiates disciplinary action. Social workers should rely on their network of co-workers and tap into the valuable resources they have at their disposal to rectify any burgeoning difficulties before the licensing board takes corrective measures to prevent further public harm while preserving the faith and trust people instill in the social worker profession.

Social Worker Licensing Defense Attorney

Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger focuses her law practice on representing professional licensees who are under investigation or are facing licensing discipline in Kansas or Missouri. Call Attorney Sanger for an appointment today at 785-979-4353 to learn how she could help you today.