Biblical Foundations of Modern Social Work Values and Practice Competencies
Modern social work values and practice competencies establish the foundation from which social work educators teach future practitioners much needed knowledge and skills for competent practice. The profession’s two major organizations provide the platform upon which this paper was crafted. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) provides the profession’s Code of Ethics, which presents the values and ethical principles guiding social work practice; the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) provides the competency-based framework for social work education. Through the ages, the Bible has presented guidelines regarding: working with the poor and other vulnerable populations in their social context, addressing issues related to the inherent worth of human beings as created in God’s image, and teaching individuals about the value of knowledge and wisdom that comes from studying the Holy Scriptures. These same values and principles inform today’s social work practitioners and educators through promoting an understanding of, and value for, human life, dignity, and the individual experience in each complex social context. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of how social work values and graduate practice competencies, even though presented in a secular context in their original sources, clearly align with timeless biblical principles.