Singapore University of Social Sciences

Legal and Ethical Issues in Helping Professions

Legal and Ethical Issues in Helping Professions (SWK201)

Applications Open: 01 October 2021

Applications Close: 30 November 2021

Next Available Intake: January 2022

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Social Services

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: S R Nathan School of Human Development


Understanding the legal provisions in the social service settings in Singapore is crucial to social workers. This course helps students to understand a wide range This course explores the legal provisions in the social service settings in Singapore and helps students to understand a wide range of issues concerning these legislations. It also looks at the social worker as a person and as a professional and how he/she should apply ethical standards in practice with reference to the Code of Professional Ethics of the Singapore Association for Social Workers (SASW).

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • Introduction to ethics
  • SASW Code of professional ethics
  • Fundamentals of ethical decision making
  • Ethical decision making process
  • Legislations concerning vulnerable groups
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Social worker's ethical responsibility to clients
  • Social worker's responsibility to colleagues
  • Social worker's responsibility to practice settings
  • Social worker's responsibility as professionals
  • Social worker's responsibilty to the profession
  • Social worker's responsibility to society

Learning Outcome

  • Explain the legal provisions affecting social services and how to function within the court system.
  • Analyze commonly encountered ethical dilemmas in all areas of social work practice.
  • Examine the framework for analyzing and resolving ethical dilemmas.
  • Demonstrate how legislations impact the social worker, the agency, and the clients.
  • Discuss the Singapore Association of Social Workers' Code of Professional Ethics
  • Apply the value of the profession.
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