Code of Ethics

Below is the preamble to the Social Work Code of Ethics (2008).  For a complete English version of the Code, please Click Here. A French version of the Code was translated by the Office of Acadian Affaires with the authorisation of the Department of Community Services. For a complete French version please Click Here .


The Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers believes that the social work profession is founded on humanitarian and egalitarian ideals. We envision and work towards a society that promotes social, economic, political, and cultural equality for all people.

NSASW recognizes that we practice social work in many different settings, and that each workplace presents challenges in resolving differences in expectations, values and resource allocation. Struggles with ethical issues are inherent to the practice of social work and one of the biggest challenges that we personally face as we do our jobs. We are often called upon to redefine or reassess how we practice as ethical social workers within or in relation to an institutional or community environment.

As social workers, we are aware of individual as well as collective needs. We acknowledge that, often, larger changes may need to happen at the local, community, provincial, national or world level, in order for the injustices that we see daily to be addressed or remedied.

The profession has a particular interest in the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed and/or living in poverty. Social workers are committed to human rights as enshrined in Canadian law, as well as in international conventions on human rights created or supported by the United Nations.