The perception of the professional self of social workers in private practice
Schenck, Catherina (Rinie)
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Introduction: The professional self is that part of the social worker that is guided and informed by the values, ethics and principles of the social work profession. It represents a way of conducting oneself as a social worker. The manner or style in which this is done is informed by the personality and creates a certain image which is presented to the public and communicates a message of who this professional person is. The professional self is also that part of the social worker in private practice that has acquired knowledge, skills and experience used in the rendering of the service offered. These skills include, amongst other things, counselling expertise, and organisational and managerial abilities. The professional self aims to be trustworthy, reliable, responsible and accountable. The professional self engages in self-evaluation and personal growth on an ongoing basis. The professional self has the clients’ interests at heart and regards human beings as valuable and worthy of dignity, respect and the right to be self-determining.