My core values are faith, family, integrity, and compassion. All of these values have been instilled in me by the Bible, my family, and my education. Faith is probably the most important core value as it is the cornerstone of life. God is number one in all things. His way is our guide. Family comes second because that is your support system and your roots. When I say family, that can include people that are not blood relations because we have many people in our lives that are like family. Third on my list is integrity because it is knowing when to step up and take responsibility for your words and actions. Integrity is where are morals and ethics lie and show your honesty and trustworthiness. Compassion is fourth on my list because we need to care about others and the environment. We are called by our faith to love one another and to be good stewards of the earth.
How Do They Relate to the Profession’s Values?
I think they relate well to the profession’s values, which are service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. My core values are rooted in biblical basics. We are to put God first in our lives and by doing this, he shows us how to love and interact with his people. My integrity and compassion all me to treat others with the dignity and worth that they deserve, regardless of the circumstances that they might find themselves in. The core value of integrity is important in all aspects of life. Titus 2:7 says, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity…” (English Standard Version).
Have There Been Times of “Losing Myself” and My Core Values?
I cannot think of a time when I lost myself or my core values. I was raised to understand the importance of character. I was taught to always do what is right no matter the circumstances. I have always heard “do the right thing, even when no one is looking or if you are not going to get credit for it.” That is true integrity to not just do what is expected when others are around to give you kudos. Do it just because that is what you are supposed to do.
How Do My Values Relate to Self-Care?
My values relate perfectly to self-care. We are to walk with faith in everything we do, so we need to make sure we are using our faith in our plan of self-care. Family is important in the aspect as well because they can be there for us so that we can get away from the craziness and venture out to have some fun and relaxation. Integrity relates to self-care in that we are doing the right thing and making sure that we are taking care of ourselves so we can effectively take care of others. Compassion for ourselves is just as important as compassion for others. My values will fit nicely into my self-care plan.
How is Self-Care an Ethical Obligation?
NASW (2008) implores social workers to practice self-care as an ethical obligation because taking care of ourselves is a way of taking care of our clients” (Grise-Owens et al., 2016, p. 124). An obligation is something that you must do. Your obligations should be ethical, which is making sure you are doing the right thing for the right reasons. Therefore, self-care is the right thing to do because we must take care of ourselves. If we do not practice self-care, then we will be unable to effectively take care of our clients.
What Does This Consideration Mean for my Practice?
As I look at my core values and self-care, it is easy to see how they related to each other in making sure that my practice as a social worker will be well-rounded. I will never compromise my values and will always keep them at the forefront of what I am doing. Self-care will fall into play as it goes hand in hand with values in that I need to make sure to take the time for myself so that I will be effective in my practice, as well as in my time with God and family. This will allow me to decompress so that I will be able to maintain my integrity and continue to be compassionate for the plight of others.
Grise-Owens et al. (2016). The A-to-Z Self Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals. Harrisburg, PA: The New Social Worker Press.