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Straight Talk About Professional Ethics

Third Edition

Author Kimberly Strom

Publication Date - 01 November 2022

ISBN: 9780197534533

336 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches

In Stock

Celebrated ethicist Kimberly Strom provides straightforward, understandable explanations of the core concepts that drive ethical practice


Social service professionals use a unique set of principles to guide their decisions within a broad and complex array of situations. Straight Talk about Professional Ethics provides readers with the guidelines that will help them make decisions in a manner that is clinically and ethically effective. This book explains the seven core concepts that guide ethical practice in the helping professions: self-determination, informed consent, competence, confidentiality and privacy, attention to conflicts of interest, maintenance of professional boundaries, and professionalism and integrity. Developing a commitment to the ethics of a profession and an understanding of how those ethics apply to commonly occurring workplace situations is a major element of professional preparation.

New to this Edition

  • Increased global content, concepts, and sources, including expanded Canadian content
  • Incorporation of the 2017 and 2021 updates to the NASW Code of Ethics
  • Increased attention paid to issues of racism, oppression, inequality, and colonialism
  • Discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on service user needs, dilemmas, and practitioner responses
  • Increased content on electronic service delivery, supervision, and social media


  • Employs a practical, clear, 6-Question model as a framework for ethical decision-making that makes teaching and classroom discussion easy for instructors
  • A case-based approach keeps students engaged and walks the reader through each scenario
  • The book's compact size and low price make it an ideal complement to any course where it is important that students understand the foundations of ethical practice

About the Author(s)

Kimberly Strom, Ph.D., LISW, is the Smith P. Theimann Jr. Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Professional Practice at the University of North Carolina School of Social Work and Director of the University's Office of Ethics and Policy.


"A clear text that describes how to make ethical decisions and gives readers the opportunity to understand how and why they make certain decisions. It gives clear explanation and case studies of Social Work's basic ethical standards and is easy for students to understand."--Ann Obermann, MSU Denver

Table of Contents

    New to the Third Edition
    About the Author

    Part I: The Groundwork for Ethical Practice

    Chapter 1. On Ethics and Ethical Behavior
    Chapter 2. Ethical Decision Making

    Part II: Applying Standards for Ethical Practice

    Chapter 3. Self-Determination
    Chapter 4. Informed Consent
    Chapter 5. Conflicts of Interest
    Chapter 6. Professional Boundaries
    Chapter 7. Confidentiality
    Chapter 8. Competence
    Chapter 9. Professionalism
    Chapter 10. Nondiscrimination and Cultural Competence
    Chapter 11. Sustaining Ethical Habits