A key part of a caseworker’s mission was assumed by many to be the inspiration of clients to lead morally choice. Value is defined as something judged as being right. We get are workers. Ethics of Practitioners The term ethics comes form the greek root ethos, which means custom, usage or habit (www. ask. com) ,. According to Collins Dictionary ethics is defined as the science of morals in human conduct. social ethic are designed to help social worker decide which of the two or more competing goals is correct for their given situational(Loewenverg and Dolgoff).
The code of ethics presents the ethical standards both general principles and specific rules that professional social worker are expected to follow. The code of ethics is intended to serve as a guide of the every day professional conduct of social workers. (CCETSW. 1995:p18)The ethical dilemmas arises when there are two equally unwelcome alternatives which involves a conflict of moral principle and it is not clear which choice is right (Banks 2001) Case Study The identification and resolution of ethical dilemmas is a cornerstone of social education at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
According to Loewenberg and Dolgoff, dilemma is a problem situation or predicament, which seems to defy a satisfactory solution. The word dilemma comes from two greek roots; di (double) and lemma (propositions), therefore, a dilemma is a predicament in which the decision, maker must choose between two options of near or equal value. In addition to that dilemmas, which confront modern professsinals, may result from options, which are not well defined, or from solutions which create additional possible or known problem and harm for the problem carriers or for others (1996)
Case study. The trainee social worker stated that when she visited them, Mr and Mrs Finch were suffering from impaired memory function. They could not comprehend why they had been admitted to residential accommodation, but were categorical that they wanted to return home. She felt that the couple should be allowed to return home on the basis of their individual right to choose. The trainee social worker may well be right in this case that the couple should be allowed to return home, but focusing on their right to choose (a Kantian approach) is only way of looking at the issue.
She might consider the extent to which they are capable of making in informed choice, as well as taking into account the rights and need of the warden and the family. It seems as though she sees herself principally in the role of advocate for the users, whereas it is often the social workers job to assess the whole situation and work for a solution in the best interests of all concerned (a more utilitarian approach). ( Banks 2001:p28)
In stressing the principles of user self-determination, as with privancy and confidentiality, the trainee social worker has long valued the concept of self- determination. As ethical standard (1. 02) NASW code of ethics, social worker respect and promote the right of the clients to self -determination and assist clients in their efforts to identify and clarify their goals. ‘Clients must have freedom and power to change their lives as they see fit’, there appears to be no dilemma here for the trainee social worker.
Since she knows what is more morally right course of action, based on what she feel. She is facing a moral problem of how to achieve this in the face of opposition. However, ethical standard (1. 02) NASW code of ethics, does note that social workers may limit clients rights to self-determination when in the social worker professional jugment, clients’ actions or potential actions pose a serious foreseable and imminent risk to themselves or others. Does the client have right to prove herself.
Others might see it as a dilemma to be resolved by taking various other factors into account, such as whether the users understand the risks attached to returning home and what is the level of support and responsibility, social intergration and social control, to make a desion selection of correct moral choice may cause harm to one of individuals involved, for example if Mr and Mrs Finch are allowed to go back to the sheltered accommmodation what are they going to do and what effect will it be upon the family members, wardern, the senior social worker who put them in the residencial care, is it fair for the warden if the senior citizens above mentioned to return home. social worker trainee does she need to conduct an assessment before she come to conclusion that the couple should return home. The risk assessment, as the couple appears to be confused, or the harm this may cause to other, for example burning down the building, risk of fall, risk of them wandering in the streets. In addition to that the couple have the right of privacy and confidentiality are hallmark social work value.
Ethical standard 1:07 code of ethics notes that social workers should respect clients right and privacy, and social workers should protect the confidentiality of information obtained in the is the course of professional services, except for compelling professional reasons, Ethical standard 1:07 notes that a social worker may breach confidentiality when disclosure is necessary to prevent serious, foreseeable, and imminent harm to a client, or other identifiable person or when laws or regulations requires disclosure without a clients consent Criticism. Social workers are/should be committed(CCLTSW1989,p. 15) To be a competent social workers all these values and actions have to be looked at and balanced when working with client, with guidance of professional values and principles. “Competence in social work requires the understtanding and integration of values of social work”. These values include dignity of individuals, promotion of choice, privacy, respect, confidentiality and action (shardlow). “there is a direct link between values and action.
When we perform an action and the act itself, may be judged according ot the values expressed through that action”(shardlow 1989. p2) None of these values should be looked at exclusively, because it will be at the expense of the others( Banks 1995). According to Banks “Personal peofesssional, agency and social values are interlocking, yet in tension(1995:140) With reference to Banks and Shardlows statement regarding the case study, the social workers values were interlocking, yet in tensions. Her personal and professional values were interlocking because she perceived Mr and Mrs Finch, by her own personal and moral standard, which motivated her, to deal with the situation accordingly.
If she had followed her professional social worker values, which includes self-determination and respect to the couple as an individual, right to choose, her actions would have been different. Subsequently she did not even approch the case with the philosophical Kantian and Utilitarian frame work thinking, which includes respect for individual human beings, individual liberty,, non-judgemental and respct for users’, free to make decision and choices. So because the social worker locked at her personal value exclusively, it caused tension for the couple, because they were not involved at the review and was not aware of any changes, and they went into residential care against their wishes. Referring to Banks’ statement regarding personal and professional values interlocking, this can be locked at hypothtically.
If a social workers religious belief was opposed to abortion and the social worker’s client, decided to have an abortion, rather than the baby adopted. The social worker would have to respect her client’s decision, even though it would be against her religious and moral belief. As a competent social worker she should have recognised her professional values suchas ,promoting choices for the client, empowerment, and self-determination . BASW’s twelve principles code for social work, Foe example Empowerment of clients and letting them help to make decisions and professional responsibility should be prominent over personal interest. (Banks) Conclusion Based on the Case Study
It seems to me though that the social worker trainee is having problems on how to handle and manage the elderly couples, who is Mr. and Mrs. Finch. It is mentioned above that social pressure arises from the family, the warden, and the senior social workers. The warden, senior social worker, and the family I guess wants the elderly couple to stay to the residential care, while the couples wants to go back to their sheltered accommodation where they can have freedom.. As part of service users rights to freedom of expression under human rights Act that services which support rather than direction and are fully participative, they want to be seen has individuals and not as an autonomous group, they want to be treated with respect.
The family wants the elderly couple composed of Mr. and Mrs. Finch to stay at the residential care for the reason that the family is maybe busy and could not afford to look out for them. The couples are indeed old according to the social workers and could not comprehend on the couples because the couples have problems on their memory having an impaired memory dysfunction. And under the human Act, the couple are entitled to services and rights to participate in decision- making, the right to be treated equitably by law ( Johns 2003: p 33). So it is suggested for the couples to return home instead according to the social worker trainee. Comments about the Case Study Mr. and Mrs.
Finch also possess some humanitarian rights, the decision on whether to return on their home or not is based on their willingness to stay or simply to return home with their families. (Johns 2003) But social workers or other people around the residential care should be aware of their duties. These social workers employed in the residential care centers have the responsibility of taking care of their patients especially people like Mr. and Mrs. Finch. And that is the reason for their existence in the residential care. They are too old to take care of themselves and unlikely to move or to do what they really want and unable to think and act normally. That’s the reason why the residential care was built. It is established to adopt older people who are unable to take care for themselves.
The social workers have to realize that their duty is to take care of them and make the best out of what they are doing for the benefit of the senior citizens in the residential care.
References: Johns Robert 2003 Using the law in social work learning matters ltd.Abramson, M. and F. G Reamer. “The Teaching of Social Work Ethics”. Hastings-on-Hudson. The Hastings Center, NY 1982. Levy, C. S. “The Value Base of Social Work”. Journal of Education for Social Work, 1973, p. 34-42 Pumphrey, M. W. “The Teaching of Values and Ethics in Social Work Education”.