Essay Sample: Duty to Warn

2 pages
476 words
Middlebury College
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According to the Law of Torts, a duty to warn is a concept that outlines that a particular party will be held liable for any form of harm caused to another in the cases where the party had the opportunity to warn the other of injury and failed to do so (Werth & Stroup, 2013). Based on this context, the National Association of Social Workers, for instance, has a dual legal obligation to articulate its fundamental values, ethical principles, and moral standards that mainly guide the conduct of ethical workers. Nonetheless, ethical issues do not specify which values, principles and standards outweigh others hence reasonable differences can exist among social workers. Following various professional standards, these Ethical codes are principles designed to enable professionals to conduct business honestly and with integrity. They outline the values and mission of an organization with regard to how professionals approach problems are based on the organizations core values and standards.

Ethical issues are set forth for all workers to aspire service which implies that the workers primary goal is to help people in need and address their problems. Professionally, workers should elevate services to others above self-interest. They draw on their knowledge, values, and skills to help those in need (Weaver, 2015). There is also the social justice ethical issue which requires workers to challenge the social injustices. In this case, workers focus primarily on issues such as poverty, unemployment, discrimination and other forms of social injustices. They strive to ensure there is access to needed information, services and equal opportunity to all.

Similarly, the importance of human relationship is considered as a critical ethical issue for NASW. This requires that workers recognize the central importance of human relationships. They seek to strengthen relationships among people in a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities. There is also the ethical integrity issue which aims at ensuring all workers behave ethically. They are continually aware of the missions, values and ethical standards and practice in a manner consistent with them. They act honestly and responsibly, and by doing this, they promote ethical practices on the part of the organization they are affiliated (Witkin, 2016). In conclusion, the National Association for Social Workers duty to warn is centered on the competence issue which requires workers to develop and enhance their professional expertise. This, in essence, allows them to continually strive to increase their expert knowledge and skills and to apply them in practice.


Weaver, M. (2015). The Double Helix: Applying an Ethic of Care to the Duty to Warn Genetic Relatives of Genetic Information. Bioethics, 30(3), 181-187. doi:10.1111/bioe.12176

Werth Jr., J. L., & Stroup, J. (2013). Applying the Duty to Protect and Warn. Psychologists' Desk Reference, 600-604. doi:10.1093/med:psych/9780199845491.003.0114

Witkin, S. L. (2016). Revisioning Social Work Ethics. Transforming Social Work, 33-50. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-34643-8_3

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