South African Council for Social Service Professions

The South African Council for Social Service Professions is the guiding body which has the primary focus of developing as well as protecting the integrity of the social service professions as well as the interest of the public at large. The SACSSP is established in terms of section 2 of the Social Service Professions Act No. 110 of 1978 (as amended). One of its objects as outlined in section 3 of the Act is to determine the standards of professional conduct of social service professions (social workers, student social workers, social auxiliary workers and persons practicing other professions in respect of which professional boards have been established). 

Ethical Values

The guiding ethical values and principles relate to the general approach as is reflected in the rules relating to the course of conduct to be followed by Social workers in the practicing of their profession. 

Social workers, student social workers and social auxiliary workers respect the dignity and worth of individuals, families, groups and communities and strive towards providing quality services. In pursuit of quality services, social workers aspire and subscribe to the following ethical values or principles:

Social justice: Social workers challenge social injustice. They pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals, families, groups and communities.

Respect for people’s worth, human rights and dignitySocial workers accord appropriate respect to the fundamental human rights, dignity and worth of all human beings. They respect the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, self- determination and autonomy and are mindful that legal and other obligations may lead to inconsistency and conflict with the exercise of these rights.

Competence: Social workers strive to maintain high standards of competence in their work. They recognise the boundaries of their particular competencies and the limitation of their expertise.

Integrity: Social workers behave in an honest manner. They seek to promote integrity in the science, teaching and practice of the profession. In these activities social workers are honest, fair and respectful of others.

Professional responsibility: Social workers uphold professional standards of conduct, clarify their social work roles and obligations, accept appropriate responsibility for their behaviour and adapt their methods to the needs of different client systems.

Show care and concern for others’ well-being: Social workers recognise the importance of human relationships. They do not exploit or mislead other human beings during or after termination of a social work relationship.

Service delivery: Social workers’ primary goal is to assist individuals, families, groups, and communities and address social needs and problems. Social workers elevate service to others above elf-interest.


All social work students register with the SACSSP before entering 2nd year practicum.


For more information about the SACSSP, please visit their website:


Click here to view the SACSSP Code of Ethics