Are codes of ethics promoting religious literacy for social work practice?

Crisp, Beth R and Dinham, Adam. 2020. Are codes of ethics promoting religious literacy for social work practice? Australian Social Work, 73(2), pp. 204-216. ISSN 0312-407X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

As codes of ethics play at least a symbolic, if not educational, role in highlighting and informing professional priorities, 16 codes of ethics for social work practice were examined for references to religion and belief and analysed against the four domains of Dinham’s religious literacy framework. Although religion and belief are mentioned in all but two of the documents, approximately half the surveyed codes only mention religion and belief in respect of either knowledge or skills. Some recognise the need for social workers to be aware of their own biases, but very few recognise the need to explain what is meant by religion and belief, despite these terms being in flux. While codes of ethics can contribute to the development of religious literacy among social workers, this requires social workers who already have some religious literacy to actively participate when codes of ethics are being revised.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Religious literacy, codes of ethics, religion, beliefs, international social work

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Faiths and Civil Society


4 November 2019Accepted
9 December 2019Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Nov 2019 09:15

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 15:59

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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