VALUES IN SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE

1611 Words Nov 9th, 2001 7 Pages
When considering what part values play in social work practice, one of the first things to understand is what our values are, Thompson (2000) states that One of the significant features of values is that we tend to become so accustomed to our own values and beliefs that we do not recognise that they are there or how they are influencing us. An important step, then, is to be clear about what our values are. Thompson (2000,pp33) I will discuss both the personal and professional values that influence social work practice and discuss a particularly challenging experience I had with two clients who came for counselling. The names of the clients have been changed to ensure confidentiality.

An important thing to recognise regarding values in
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Jane had told me her story from which I had developed my own picture of Bill, before even meeting him. Bill was a large man, very loud and appeared aggressive at first, I was a little concerned about the safety of both Jane and myself, in that first meeting. When writing my notes after the session, and analysing what went on, one of the questions I had of my practice was: What had Bill done to make me feel threatened? He did not verbally or physically attack me, or make any threats, after reflection, I felt it could have been because he was different. Bill was from a different culture of Aboriginal descent, he was tall and heavily build, and his way of communicating was to shout as that is how he got attention. If I were to work positively and constructively with Bill, I needed to act in an anti oppressive and anti discriminatory way, to ensure that he received the same respect that all clients have a right to, and that I treated him as a unique individual. According to Egan (1990) Respect means prizing the individuality of clients, supporting each client in his or her search for self, and personalizing the helping process to the needs, capabilities, and resources of this client. Effective helpers do not try to make clients over in their own image and likeness. On the other hand, respect does not mean encouraging clients to develop or maintain a kind of
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