Ethical Dilemmas Facing Social Workers Social Work Essay

Social workers face ethical quandary on a day-to-day footing, Banks illustrates this in her citation ‘ethical quandary occur when the societal worker sees herself as confronting a pick between two every bit unwelcoming options, which may affect a struggle of moral values, and it is non clear which pick will be the right 1 ‘ ( Banks 2006:13 ) . Banks implies that societal workers are frequently involved in personal and even painful issues and ethical opinions in societal work that are about ‘human public assistance ‘ ( Banks 2006:155 ) .

This poses many challenges as determinations made are likely to be life altering for service users. It is hence of import for a societal worker to be able to warrant action ( or inactivity ) consequently. The facts of a instance entirely can non find what action must be taken, ‘it would be impossible to do picks without values ‘ ( Beckett and Maynard 2005:7 ) . It is indispensable for a societal worker to hold a strong value base from which they work. In some cases jobs may originate as societal workers come into the profession with their ain set of personal values and these may conflict with their professional values.

Hence what Banks refers to as ‘conflict of moral values ‘ ( Banks 2006:13 ) . Personal values can non merely be eradicated because they conflict with professional values, but we must ‘keep our values and premises under reappraisal, and be unfastened to other statements and other thoughts ‘ ( Beckett and Maynard 2005:17 ) . In the instance scenario of the Bertrams the ‘alternatives are unwelcoming ‘ and in order to voyage the ‘value “ labyrinth ” in societal work ‘ ( Wilson, Ruch, Lymbery and Cooper 2008:92 ) societal workers use assorted theories to inform pattern.

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Kantism besides referred to as deontology was derived from the thoughts of philosopher Immanuel Kant ( 1724-1804 ) . Kant believed people should be treated as an ‘end ‘ and non a agency to an terminal. By this Kant meant people should be valued and respected as an person and non used for the benefit of others. Hence, Kant believed that everyone should be treated every bit. Kant ‘s political orientation was to put aside people ‘s position of faith and religious beliefs and move to the thought of being rational. ‘Rationality enables people to understand what their responsibilities are and how their responsibilities enlighten what they do in the universe ‘ ( Parrott 2010: 500 ) . Kant besides believed that by utilizing ground this would develop a ‘consistent moral system ‘ . In the instance of the Bertram ‘s if the societal worker were to utilize the deontological position to steer her decision-making it would be of import to value Mrs Bertram as a individual because the nucleus of this position is ‘respect for individuals ‘ ( Beckett & A ; Maynard 2005:35 ) . This goes manus in manus with the British Association of Social Workers ( BASW ) Code of Ethics cardinal rules: Respect for human self-respect ; Value for every human being, their beliefs, ends, penchants and demands ; and Respect for human rights and self finding ( BASW 2010 ) .

Jeremy Bentham ( 1748-1832 ) developed the philosophical theory of Utilitarianism. ‘Utilitarianism looks at the effects of actions equilibrating the comparative advantages and disadvantages of a peculiar class of action, ‘ ( Parrott 2010: 54 )

Therefore one individuals ‘ agony is acceptable as the greatest figure of people is happy. There are two rules of utilitarianism, the rules of justness and public-service corporation. The rule of justness is about being equal and just as the value of everyone ‘s felicity should be the same. The rule of public-service corporation signifies the greatest good for everyone. In many instances these two rules clash as the minority of people are unhappy. In the instance scenario of the Bertrams her felicity should be valued and it would be of import to see the reverberations of traveling against her wants if it were considered in her best involvements. A societal worker would be expected to equilibrate Mrs Bertram ‘s right to self-government, her safety and the concerns of her household for her public assistance as ‘it is frequently the societal worker ‘s occupation to measure the whole state of affairs and work for a solution in the best involvements of all concerned ‘ ( Banks 2006:167 ) .

Virtue moralss is a theory that looks into an person ‘s character. Ones ‘virtue moralss ‘ are developed by their personal belief system and this determines their character. Virtue moralss is an attack ‘according to which the basic judgements in moralss are judgements about character ‘ ( Statman, 1997:7 ) . Ethical issues are embedded in relationships and duties. An single may lie to be seen as virtuous because they want to be seen as an honorable individual. A A

Extremist societal work is seen as belonging to an country of societal work which can besides be known as “ critical ” or “ activist ” societal work. The extremist place takes a transformational position of societal work, and as such is concerned with transforming society to profit the most laden instead than concentrating on the person ( Hill, 2010 ) . Payne ( 1997 ) suggests some typical positions are that ; jobs are defined as societal and structural instead than single. McIntyre ( 1982 ) cited in Payne ( 1997 ) summarises the extremist attacks unfavorable judgments of traditional societal work as ; traditional societal work reduces complex societal jobs into single psychological 1s, it cuts service users off from others who may portion the same job and it reinforces the capitalist societal order that is oppressive. The extremist place sees the professionalization of societal work as estranging workers from service users.

Praxis is the procedure of thought and moving. It is like a spiral of idea and action, or a praxis spiral. Praxis is built-in to societal work pattern and comes in the signifier of contemplation. In societal work theory, practice is the automatic relationship between theories and action. It describes a cyclical procedure of societal work interactions developing new theories and polishing old 1s. In order to work anti-oppressively societal workers need to reflect on factors that influence their pattern ; they so need to integrate the consequences of this contemplation into their pattern ( Lee, 2001 ) .

Downie and Telfer ( 1969, 1980 ) province that ‘respect can be regarded as an active understanding ‘ towards another human being ‘ ( Banks S, 2006: 29 ) . Darwell ( 1995 ) outlines two types of regard, acknowledgment regard and appraisal regard. Recognition regard is in kernel when a human being is worthy of regard whether it is for something they have communicated verbally or through their actions. Appraisal regard is admiting 1s qualities. The degree of regard would reflect on the qualities shown. Kantism has had an influence on the moral rule of regard in a relationship between a societal worker and the service user. ( Banks S, 2006: 31 ) In order for a societal worker to demo full regard there are four cardinal elements that have to be met, these are, acknowledgement, saving, non-destruction and battle ( Banks and Gallagher, 2009 ) .

Relativism suggests that all points of position are every bit valid and the single determines what is true and comparative for persons. Relativism theorises that truth is different for different people, non merely that different people believe different things to be true. Subjective relativism allows us to be swayers of our ain rules and how we chose to populate our lives. Cultural relativism is the position that moral beliefs and practises vary with and depend on the human demands and societal conditions of peculiar civilizations so that no moral belief can be universally true. ‘ ( A Tocopherol Holmes 1984 ) . – is this a direct quotation mark? Descriptive Ethical relativism believes that different civilizations have different moral values and normative ethical relativism suggests that each civilization is right unto itself.

The Collins English Dictionary ( 2009 ) defines values as the moral rules and beliefs of a individual or group and moralss as a societal, spiritual or civil codification of behavior considered right, particularly that of a peculiar group, profession, or single. Therefore values can be seen as the cardinal beliefs that an person or group holds to be true and ethics the more formalistic regulations or guidelines of an organisation or society. Banks ( 2010 ) states that values are ‘ … regarded as peculiar types of belief that people hold about what is regarded as worthy or valuable ‘ . ( direct quotation mark? need pg figure ) Although values are personal to us as persons, they may besides be shared by the society or civilization in which we live. Our values are formed through personal development and socialization and will be influenced by both past and present experiences. ( Parrott, 2010 ) Dubois and Miley ( 1996 ) province moralss are concerned with what people consider “ right ” while values are concerned with what people consider good. Most moral philosophers would specify moralss as a remarkable term, which is used to depict a subdivision of doctrine concerned with the survey of ‘Morality, moral jobs and moral opinions ‘ ( Frankena, 1963 cited in Banks, 2006: page figure ) . Harmonizing to Parrott ( 2010 ) , moralss can be seen to steer an action and are at that place to inform and act upon any opinions made harmonizing to the professional value base of societal work. Reamer ( 2006 ) provides an penetration into the historical beginnings of values and moralss in societal attention and provinces that they have been at the foundation of societal attention ‘s mission since its origin. He suggests that societal work values and moralss come from four distinguishable phases: the morality period ; the values period ; the ethical theory and decision-making period and the ethical criterions and hazard direction period ( Reamer, 2006 ) . These have culminated in the General Social Care Council ‘s ( GSCC ) codification of behavior that is in topographic point today ( Barnard, 2008 ) .

Social workers are duty bound to adhere to the GSCC codifications of pattern which acts as an ethical model. A written codification of moralss enables societal workers to judge their pattern against an ethical criterion and enables service – users to understand what behavior they should anticipate from their societal worker. If societal workers are considered to be in breach of the GSCC codifications they can be removed from the societal attention registry and no longer pattern. Professional societal workers must take duty for their actions as they hold a place of trust and power that is legitimised by the province devising moralss an of import factor in answerability. The impact of all pattern on service – users can be said to be powerful and hence the moralss and value base emphasises the importance that the moral standing of service – users is equal to that of the professional ( Hugman, 2008 ) . The National Occupation Standards ( NOS ) for Social Workers province clearly that values and moralss are cardinal to being a competent practician. Parrott ( 2010 ) suggests that values are of import to societal work as they ‘provide a common set of rules, which societal workers can utilize and develop as a agency of working in an ethical manner with service users ‘ . ( direct quotation mark? pg figure ) He goes on to state that they guide professional behavior, aid keep a professional individuality and protect service – users from malpractice. It is of import to clear up one ‘s personal values in order to increase one ‘s consciousness of the possible struggles and the impact these may hold on ethical determination devising. A individual ‘s cultural experiences and background will impact the determinations they make and may bias their behavior. ‘Social workers must foremost clear up their ain value stance in relation to value-laden issues they meet in pattern state of affairss if they want to be true to themselves and to their profession ‘ ( Dolgoff, 2009:54 ) .

When associating moral doctrine and ethical quandary to societal work pattern it is of import to admit that no 1 theory provides an reply. Traditionally societal work has taken the Kantian attack and focused on the societal worker / service user relationship. The demand for societal work to dispute inequality and subjugation on an person and structural degree means extremist societal work is besides still relevant. An overall Kantian – Utilitarian – Extremist attack may be better. ( Banks, 2006 ) The right of a service – user to self finding may conflict with a societal workers statutory responsibility if they are potentially jeopardizing their ain life or that of others ( Clifford and Burke, 2009 ) . Neil Thompson ( 2006, p40 ) defines subjugation as ‘inhuman or degrading intervention of persons or groups ; adversity or unfairness brought approximately by the laterality of one group over another ; the negative and take downing usage of power. It frequently involves ignoring the rights of an single or group and is therefore a denial of citizenship ‘ . Service – user ‘s will predominately come from oppressed and marginalised groups and it is important that societal workers acknowledge institutional favoritism and avoid unwittingly pigeonholing service – users, intensifying bing subjugations. ( Thompson, 2008 ) Social workers need to be cognizant of the unequal distribution of power within administrations and make up one’s mind how best to recommend and negociate within these administrations for the best involvement of the service – user, even if it involves disputing the construction and values of an administration from within ( Dominelli, 2002 ) . Paternalism focuses on the right for societal workers with cognition, authorization, and accomplishments to travel into the lives of those who need their aid, either by self referral or referrals from other professions. Mrs Bertram has been referred by another professional because of her Alzheimer ‘s. Ethical consciousness is an of import portion of societal work as it gives the societal worker the ability and committedness to work aboard other professionals and service users. The Utilitarian position is eventful with the consequences given as much consideration as possible. Therefore when believing approximately pattern this attack would state to believe of the individuals outcome ( hereafter ) when covering with the present state of affairs. This would intend weighing the good with the bad. The extremist attack would authorise the service user into alteration enabling them to get the better of jobs and fit them with techniques to cover with these independently in the hereafter. Social workers should affect the service user in the determination devising procedure, working in partnership and maintaining them to the full informed about their instance.

The get downing point of covering with this instance would be an appraisal of the Bertram ‘s state of affairs. The assessment undertaking ‘when undertaken in a professional and informed mode is honoring and sets the foundation for farther intercessions ‘ ( Wilson, Ruch, Lymbery and Cooper 2008:269 ) . The Bertrams ‘ fiscal state of affairs is ill-defined as it appears that Mr Bertram does n’t hold much heritage money left which has led to lease arrears. This state of affairs would necessitate to be resolved shortly as their landlord is endangering to evict them for rent arrears and the province of the flat, which could render them both homeless. Mrs Bertrams ‘ penetration appears to be badly impaired by her terminal phase Alzheimers and an appraisal of the wellness hazards may necessitate procuring elaborate information from the GP about Mrs Bertram ‘s Alzheimer ‘s and other wellness issues, and the likely forecast. Mr Bertram is believed to be an alcoholic and this could hold deductions for his wellness. The likeliness of a positive result would possibly be increased if Mr Bertram could be offered aid for alcohol addiction every bit good as a carers appraisal to determine what his demands are. He spends considerable clip at his nine, go forthing his married woman entirely in the house vulnerable and at hazard. Mrs Bertram ‘s girls distrust Mr Bertram and believe it ‘s in her best involvement to be moved into residential attention. Before her unwellness advanced Mrs Bertram stated she wanted to remain with her hubby. Possible options to see after the appraisal would be supplying support for Mr and Mrs Bertram at place, traveling them into sheltered adjustment together or traveling Mrs Bertram into residential attention. All these options may be unwelcoming to the Bertrams therefore in order to convey about any alteration it would be of import to first construct a relationship with both Mr Bertram and Mrs Bertram and her girls using the Kantist position that the truth is told. This could intend seeking to pass on with Mrs Bertram at choice times when she is more limpid and can take part every bit much as possible. It is of import to ‘develop/construct a shared apprehension of the job ( s ) being faced ‘ ( Wilson, Ruch, Lymbery and Cooper, 2008:282 ) . Opinions should be informed straight by what Mr and Mrs Bertram say about their fortunes. Mr and Mrs Bertram must hold a cardinal portion in the appraisal of their state of affairs, and any issues should be shared leting them to go on to hold every bit much pick as possible.

The strengths of this program are that Mr and Mrs Bertram will be involved in the attention program and will be able to show their positions, every bit good as Mrs Bertram ‘s girls being able to lend towards the attention program. This may construct a strong relationship with the household and physique on trust so they do co- operate and see all the options as they will understand that the scheme would be for the wellness and good being of both Mr and Mrs Bertram. As societal workers we need to hold a basic apprehension of what the Bertram ‘s values are as it would be hard to sympathize and acquire the necessary apprehension of their wants if we do non. As societal workers we could so perchance struggle to do advancement when seeking to assist the Bertram ‘s. This professional development is of import as we will utilize this type of growing everyday in the workplace. In this instance the chief value/wish seems to be that the Bertram ‘s stayed together in their place.

A societal worker ‘s personal values may inform their apprehension of pattern. However, a societal worker demands to follow the broader model provided by anti-oppressive societal work moralss. The model provided allows a topographic point for personal values but challenges societal workers to put them within the wider model where they are accountable to others and they must abstain from enforcing their values and in fact inquiry them. ( Clifford and Burke, 2009 ) Different parts are made by assorted ethical positions in any given state of affairs and these must be considered. Ethical positions must be considered in visible radiation of an anti-oppressive attack to pattern and in relation to each other as there are occasions when the different positions struggle. Social workers have an ‘obligation to work in a manner that demonstrates non merely cognition of relevant ethical constructs and local Torahs but besides a broader consciousness of how ethical values are related to societal inequalities and diversenesss ‘ ( Clifford and Burke, 2009:203 )

Word Count: 2993 ( including writer inside informations in brackets )

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Ethical Dilemmas Facing Social Workers Social Work Essay. (2017, Sep 19). Retrieved from

Ethical Dilemmas Facing Social Workers Social Work Essay
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