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Values & Ethics in Social Work

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Adrianne Keeney

on 18 April 2014

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Transcript of Values & Ethics in Social Work

Values & Ethics in Social Work
Functions of Values
Instrumental Values:
Guides how we should or should not behave
- moral & ethical guidelines

Terminal Values:
Reflects what we want to accomplish
-desire for social justice

Values lead us to thoughtful decisions- not just emotional based
Why Values are Difficult
Ingrained in who we are as individuals
People may be forced to chose between values that are in conflict with each other (value conflict)
Values can be abstract
Values can change over time
Place of values in Social Work
Values Clarification
influence on goals and decisions
Value Choices
may not always be in congruence with client
Value Suspension
"Learning to suspend one's values to keep the focus of helping on the client...is an important, yet difficult task for every social worker"
Social Values in U.S. Society
Ethical Dilemmas
1. 13 yr. old student, Betty, has unprotected sex for the first time and is worried she could be pregnant. She doesn't know her options, can't ask her overly religious mom, and has no one else to turn to. What you can tell her is very limited per school policy and she wants you to go with her to the clinic, but that too would violate school policy. She has no idea how to get there or what to do while there. What do you do?
1. Judaism & Christianity- inherent worth of all
2. Democratic Ideals- "life, liberty.."
3. Puritan ethic- character is everything
4. Social Darwinism- survival of the fittest
Social workers have to learn how to navigate through these value systems in order to assist clients (mediate)
Values held by Social Workers
1. Commitment to the primary importance of the individual in society
2. Commitment to social change to meet socially recognized needs
Social Work Values Continued:
3. Commitment to social justice and the economic, physical, and mental well being of society
4. Respect and appreciate for individual & group differences
5. Commitment to developing clients' ability to help themselves
Social Work Values Continued:
6. Willingness to transmit knowledge & skills to others
7. Willingness to keep personal feelings & needs separate from professional relationships
Social Work Values Continued:
8. Respect for the confidentiality of relationship with clients.
9. Willingness to persist in efforts on behalf of clients despite frustration
10. Commitment to high standard of personal & professional conduct
2. Matt is a 38 yr. old male patient with a life sentence on a secure psych ward. Hospital policy is you can knock on the patients door twice, then open the door. You go get him for group, following this policy. You open the door and he is "using" pornographic material, which explicit material is considered "contraband" per ward policy. Violations like this could make him loose several privlidges & as long as you have worked there, he has been a model patient. What do you do?
3. You work at a non-profit agency that grants wishes to children who have a life threatening illness. Your new referral, Andrew, is a boy who is non-verbal and unable to regulate his own body temp. On the "wish visit" you meet the family and hear the child's 3 wishes. All the wishes that the family said he wanted were lavish trips/vacations. While there, you notice that the family has no central heating/cooling system which only allows Andrew to be in 1 or 2 rooms at most in the entire house. After the visit, you are to recommend which wish to complete to the agency director. The agency values treating the whole family opposed to the one child, as a sick child is a family issue, not an individual issue. What wish do you recommend to be granted?
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