Ethical dilemmas happen frequently in the social work and how one handles them could be the difference on how a clinician keeps their license or not. The problem is there is no way to prepare a person from knowing what situations will arise. Scenarios arise all the time and new ways to handle them is constantly changing. The ethical dilemma can happen anywhere and at any time with anyone, it could be a client, co-worker, and even supervisors. No social worker is safe from them. One however can practice with scenarios and be aware of personal biases. A social worker needs to evaluate each dilemma with the different frameworks and principals to determine which one applies best, anticipate what possible outcomes could happen, and what interventions a social worker would implement. Case Scenario The case involved a 45-year-old gay male who was going through a divorce but was being seen for therapy for a past sexual assault. The divorce was long and messy and being dragged out by his partner’s attorney. His partner’s attorney had asked the client to sign a release of information to obtain files from the agency. The client signed the release of information unknowingly allowing the attorney to the clients entire file, case notes, therapy assessments. Unfortunately, the agency only had one generic release of information that the records department was in charge of. Later, the entire file was sent to him in the mail and caused a problem when the client had seen everything
A social worker has a multitude of responsibilities to ensure the best care is provided for their clients. Due to conflicting interpretations of ethical guidelines and rules, and a variety of personal views, social workers can sometimes find themselves in a tough situation when there are conflicts of interest. This can cause difficult or awkward sessions between the social worker and client, and can ultimately lead to the termination of services. In the case between Allison and Carmen, conflicting views caused Carmen to discontinue her sessions with Allison.
Social workers encounter ethical dilemmas every day during their work. Banks, in her explanations says these are occurrences whereby a social worker encounters two unwelcoming situations and there is a conflict of moral values, and there is no clear choice as to which decision to make.(Banks, 2006).To elaborate on this , Banks implies
All social workers can attest that at some point in their career they’ve had a situation that was an ethical dilemma. They work with people who are experiencing some very difficult and sensitive situations, and there are instances where issues arise that put social workers in a difficult position in regards to ethics. Whether it be from conflicting responsibilities of a social worker or an issue that lies in an ethical gray area. Fortunately, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has a code of ethics for social workers that lays out what is expected and required of a social worker when dealing with a variety of issues. Also, since social workers are considered covered entities under the Health Insurance Portability and Affordability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), they are also held responsible for protecting their clients’ health information. When faced with an ethical dilemma, if a social worker chooses to not follow the standards laid out by the NASW and HIPAA then they could face professional, and potentially legal, disciplinary actions.
As a social worker many problems may arise because of the constant grey area of either letting your personal values interfere with your professional opinion. It is essential to provide your client with information and tools to help them succeed and overcome their problems. Following the core values is essential to being a resourceful, competent social worker. In some cases, core values are in conflict. In a situation where more than one core value is in conflict it is considered an ethical dilemma (Hick, 2009). It’s not guaranteed that a perfect solution will arise, therefore one of the core values is subsided because the other has more of an impact on the client.
Social work is a very unique profession. The other professions that are in the same realm as social work are very specialized, however, social workers must have a broad range of knowledge in order to help their clients. This is where multiple agencies come together to make sure professionals are properly trained and knowledgeable. In the field of social work, ethics and values are the key principles that provide the basis for the mission. It is these principles that guide the decisions and actions of everyone in the profession. Without a clear set of guiding principles, social work professionals could do more harm than good. This profession sees people during highly emotional times in their lives, and that can be extremely challenging. The National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics not only sets the standards, but also guides a social worker through dealing with ethical dilemmas. As we evolve as a society, so have the guiding principles and values for the social work profession.
There are many ways in which social workers can avoid ethical dilemmas. In regards to the Jones case I will explain five ethical dilemmas. I will explain what 3 core values could have benefitted the Jones family and I will give three strategies I will use to practice ethical behavior in my field of social work in the future.
This sanction occurred resulting from several ethical violations the licensee was involved in with regard to a specific case involving family counseling which had been court ordered to the clients. The licensee did not disclose his lack of experience in high-conflict custody/visitation disputes and did not seek supervision or consultation with regard to the high-risk scenarios which took place. He did not follow proper record keeping practices as he did not document or keep a record of initial informed consent for treatment or clarification of his role in the
This code requires that all social workers render respect towards their colleagues, as well as accurately represent their colleagues’ qualifications and views. When sharing information with clients, about their colleagues, they need to be fair and truthful regarding colleagues’ views and qualifications. In no way should a social worker be demeaning verbally or otherwise in front of clients or other colleagues, even if they disagree with their views, practice or otherwise. A social worker cannot show any bias, criticism, prejudice, racism towards colleagues or clients regarding race, color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation age, marital status or any physical attribute or other personal values. They must be careful to not portray any sort of criticism regarding a colleague’s style of counseling, level of education or anything else, even if they disapprove, in front of clients or other colleagues. If a colleague has a disagreement regarding another colleague, this needs to be addressed on the side with that certain colleague.
To begin with, the client whose name is Mr. Sam Pilsudski has an obstructed airway secondary to cancer of the larynx. He is a 67-year-old widower, and a father of one son and two daughters, who is unconscious and terminally ill, if not for a much-needed operation to remove both his cancer and larynx to save his life. However, one of Mr. Pilsudski’s daughters has adamantly refused to consent to the surgical procedure despite the physician explaining that although the operation would unfortunately render his patient disabled without a voice consequentially, but ultimately surviving the procedure to live and recover. Moreover, the physician attempted with rational and clear communication to express the gravity of the rather poor prognosis of his illness to his daughter that in the event of foregoing the surgery, his patient would surely die (Ralph Dolgoff, Donna Harrington, and Frank M. Loewenberg (2012), Ethical Decisions for Social Work Practice. 9th Ed; p. 279).
According to the Preamble of the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers, “the primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human wellbeing and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.” National Association of Social Workers. (approved 1996, revised 1999, 2008). Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Washington, DC: Author. The ethical considerations of the Bruff Case as presented by Hermann and Herlihy (2006), are clearly defined and set forth Code of Ethics; additionally, the Code provides guidance to counselors on dealing with issues which might give rise
Loewenberg & Dolgoff (1996, p.12) point out that learning about ethics can sometimes hinder ethical decision making behaviour because there are no easy answers and it is easy to feel ‘stuck’. As they have stated “social work students and practitioners who spend too much time reflecting about professional ethics may find themselves in the same situation as the centipede who become incapable of moving about when it tried to understand how its legs worked.”
Traditionally, social worker are expected to not impose their own values on their clients, and suspended judgment about client behaviors, even when their own values or society values demand a judgement (Dolgroff, Harrington & Loewenberg, 2012). This can often pose difficult ethical decisions for social workers and clients, as personal value systems are inevitable. Social worker value gap, value neutrality and value imposition are important to consider when analyzing any ethical situation with our clients. Consideration needs to be given to both the social worker and the client as they interact together, although it is the social worker’s role to not impose their own values onto the client. The social worker must uphold the value of self
School social workers work within schools to provide a variety of social, emotional, and mental health services to students to support overall success. The intent of this research is to evaluate the significance of having a school social worker available to general education students within the Owatonna High School setting and to examine the gaps in services that may have appeared since removal of this position in 2009. Various related studies were examined to outline a range of ways in which school social workers are used to support student success. During this study, a total of seven employees of the Owatonna School District were interviewed regarding school social work. As a whole the participants identified a large number of gaps
As the saying goes, “Our children are our future” and who you are as a child can determine who you can be later on in life. It is important for a child to be in a safe, comfortable and loving environment during its development so that the child can have the full advantage to become the best he can be in his future. My future career as a social worker will ensure just that. I chose this profession because of my own history. Growing up, I’ve had my share of social workers in my house. I experienced them as people who helped my family during a hard time. This is a career where I can fight for people’s rights. I will also be able to protect