Ethical Practice in Social Work: An Applied Approach

Ethical Practice in Social Work: An Applied Approach

Ethical Practice in Social Work: An Applied Approach

Ethical Practice in Social Work: An Applied Approach

Synopsis

'Ethical Practice in Social Work' provides social work students and practitioners with the tools to develop ethical decision-making and problem-solving skills for the changing world of welfare practice.
Through case studies in each chapter, the authors demonstrate how social work principles and values can be used to transform practice into an active, effective, inclusive and empowering process for both professionals and their clients. Exercises and discussion questions assist students in developing their ethical understanding.

Excerpt

Ethics is an integral part of the working life of every social and other human service worker. Making decisions in situations where there is no simple right or wrong solution, working between people and organisations, advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves, having to justify your actions to people who are questioning why something was done or not done—these are just some of the daily challenges social workers encounter. Faced with complex situations and conflicting interests, and arguing for different courses of action, social workers need a solid base of ethical understanding and decision-making ability if they are to make a difference to other people's lives, and personally thrive in their own jobs.

In this book we argue that not only is ethics fundamental to social work, it is a source of empowerment for social workers. Many people, social workers in particular, feel uneasy about terms such as 'power' and 'empowerment' being associated with ethics. Power, especially unchecked power, is usually associated with being unethical. We think of dictators doing terrible things to people, or faceless bureaucrats making unethical decisions, hidden away from anyone who could hold them accountable for their actions. Social work itself has had some bad moments in its history when it has acted as a tool of the state to oppress disadvantaged groups. Images of social workers removing babies without good reason, or abusing their power in other ways, are all too familiar. Power has always had a contradictory place in the social work profession. Radical social workers of the 1970s and more recently the . . .

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