Essay on Personal and Professional Core Values in Social Work: A Reflection

Published: 2021/11/17
Number of words: 1270

Core values are an essential part of what defines a person in terms of the individual identity as well as their professional identity. They are a set of fundamental beliefs or ideals that a person has, that define the way the person acts in their life (Your Dictionary, 2021). They help people in identifying actions as being right and wrong, and help in guiding them to the right path that needs to be followed in order to establish an unrelenting approach towards life. Core values are present on a personal level, and are also listed for every profession. In order for a person to be a good match for a particular line of work, it is essential that these values match.

Personal Core Values

Every individual has a set of values that they have imbibed from their personal experiences throughout their life. Every experience, big or small contributes towards the formation of these values and strengthening them. Personally, numerous experiences have shaped the ideals that I believe are a part of my identity. Following are some of the values that I hold valuable – Family, Honesty, Trust, Loyalty, and Passion.

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From my childhood, a large part of the moral values that have been taught in my home is to treat everyone like family. Watching the elders of my family treat guests as well as others like they are an extended part of our family has been an inspiration. From minor things like helping people reach for the stuff on the top shelf or helping someone financially, or donating for a good cause, my family has taught me that doing good for people is a necessity of being human.


Stressing the need to be honest in all aspects of life, and explaining that lying leads to bad consequences has been a part of what my experiences have been. In the recent years, the only times I had to be dishonest have been to help people or to ensure that my studies are not affected, like saying that I was well enough to attend classes despite running a fever, resulting in me being exhausted after classes was a revelation that I had to take care of myself as well.

Trust and Loyalty

My experiences with people have been quite revealing in the sense that I have understood the need to be trustworthy myself before expecting others to be so, and to be loyal to the people who put their trust in me. Often times, it involves helping out friends who are in need of financial help and trusting them to pay me back, or asking for help when I need it myself and remembering the people who have been helping me throughout my life.


Every person in my life whom I have seen succeed in their own life have shown me that one should step forward in one’s education, career, or any aspect of one’s life with passion to work hard and succeed, and it has been an integral part of my approach to all issues that I personally face or help someone in resolving. Passion drives creativity and helps in solving problems more efficiently. However, it is necessary that the values I hold at my core needs to align with the values required for the job I take on for myself.

Professional Core Values for Social Work

Social work as a career requires certain core values in a person choosing to undertake the work in the field. They are – Service and Social Justice, Dignity of a person, Importance of relationships, Integrity, and Competence (University at Buffalo, 2021). In order for a person to work at their best in this line of work, these ideals must match with their personal core values.

  • Service and social justice are the primary focus of the job as a social worker. One should have a hard definition of equality and how they can serve people to provide them with help and the solutions to combat oppression (National Association for Social Workers, 2021)
  • Every person in the line of work, irrespective of whether it is a colleague or someone else, deserves to be treated with respect. Any action which goes against this aspect of the profession should be treated as a disrespect towards the profession itself.
  • Every person whom one encounters in the line of work forms a relationship that goes beyond just blood. Helping a person to stand up for themselves and support themselves is an important part of social work.
  • Integrity towards doing the right thing for the benefit of the people, and not compromising in any way when faced with obstacles or someone in power urges to do so, is necessary to ensure that our actions are towards the better life. All actions should show that one is competent enough to take on the obstacles and succeed
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How do personal and professional core values relate?

My experiences in life which have developed my personal core values are in line with the core values of social work as a profession. Treating everyone as family with respect and helping them out in their time of need is the same as service and relationship that the profession demands. While the words used may be different, the essence of both ideas are the same to a great extent. Integrity in the line of work is no different that trust and loyalty that are a part of my personal values. Trusting colleagues to act in line with the intentions of the group and the benefit of the people and being loyal to the idea of helping people is the same integrity that social work demands. Developing the competence required for the profession through continuous learning and understanding new ways to work towards the benefit of the society is the same passion that drives me personally to do good to others. While the terms or words used are different in expressing the points, a large part of the ideas professed towards professional core values indeed match with my personal beliefs.


Working towards understanding the personal and professional core values that exist in social work, through reflection has been a revelation that proper upbringing of people often helps in forming them into social workers with or without the tag of a professional. While it is true that excellent education and the nuances of being a professional will be different and complex than just simply helping people, the latter is no different that social work, as long as the person is driven by the inner force to help people.


Your Dictionary (2021). Examples of Core Values: 100 Powerful Principles. Your Dictionary:

University at Buffalo (2021). Social Work Core Values and Code of Ethics. University at Buffalo: School of Social Work:

National Association for Social Workers (2021). Read the Code of Ethics: Preamble. National Association for Social Workers:

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