Neglect of normative principles by social work practitioners: Recommendations for social work education


  • Anna Katharina Kolbeck Social Worker, Integration Assistance for Disabled People, District Administration of the Neckar-Odenwald distric
  • Mathias Blanz Professor for Social and Organizational Psychology, University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt



neglect, ethical principles, Assistance for Disabled People, District Administration of the Neckar-Odenwald district


Two hundred and four German social work practitioners were reviewed to what extent they neglect ethical and normative principles in their daily professional social work practice. The principles have been derived from the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), and the German Professional Association for Social Work (DBSH). Different from expectations, factor analyses led to a classification of these neglects into three areas: the neglect of goals of the profession (e.g., improving social work's public image), of guidelines for dealing with clients (e.g., not favoring one client over another), and regarding general regulations of careful work (e.g., documenting one's daily actions). Item analyses and scale formations for these three domains are described. In addition, correlation analyses with eight validity variables document convergent, discriminant and criterion validity of the elaborated scales. Finally, the meaning of the three dimensions and the consequences for educating ethical principles in social work are discussed. In addition, suggestions are given to improve the assessment instrument in further research.


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How to Cite

Kolbeck, A. K., & Blanz, M. (2022). Neglect of normative principles by social work practitioners: Recommendations for social work education. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 23(1), 5-20.