Analysis of Practice Dilemma

Topics: Social work, Sociology, Ethics Pages: 7 (2484 words) Published: January 4, 2013
Analysis of practice dilemma
This essay will be examining a case study in relation to an older adult who wants to return to his country of birth. His daughter is opposed to him doing so and these conflicting views therefore become a practice dilemma. According to Parrott (2011) a dilemma involves the social worker “being presented with two equally unpalatable alternatives”. There are no easy resolutions but the element of risk becomes an important factor to consider. The notion of risk will be explored further in relation to the various issues that the service user is facing. Furthermore it will explore the codes of practice and the values needed by the social worker to sensitively consider the best course of action, for the people involved in terms of their rights and responsibilities. The legal context in adhering to this will be touched on and the term ethical dilemma explained.

Ethical Dilemma
According to Parrot (2011, p: 79) “ethics refer to professional obligation which act as rules of conduct by which social workers should practice”. This notion allows social workers to evaluate their practice against ethical standard and furthermore it gives service users better understanding about what to expect of social workers. Theoretical and empirical researches regarding the meaning of ethics and ethical dilemmas in social work perceive social work as a value-laden profession and one that tries to accomplish balance between societal demands for efficiency and personal well-being (Giannou, 2009). Achieving balance between those two factors and others is not always possible and it can cause conflicting values to occurwhich become an ethical dilemma for the social worker. Ethical dilemmas are considered to be a part of the social work identity due to the complex nature of social work practice and can be defined as a situation, where competing values or principles exist within a context of uncertainty about what is the best course of action (Murphy, 1997).

Mr X and key issues
Mr X is an eighty five year old widower who suffers from Parkinson’s disease. The social worker needs to understand what this means for Mr X and have knowledge of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease (Parkinson’s, 2010). According to Thompson (2009) it is important for the social worker to acquire an understanding of what stage of the life course the person being helped has reached and how they interpret this. Mr X is an older adult who will be suffering many of the biological changes associated with age. Although many of these degenerative changes are common place, they cannot be predicted and will affect each person differently (Crawford, Walker, 2003). Mr X lives alone and has managed his day to day living with the help of home care visits. Recently he has been less communicative and the people close to him feel concerned. Mr X has been expressing a desire to return to his country of birth Somalia,while his daughter would like him to come and live with her. In this case the social worker has a duty towards both Mr X and his daughter. Due to the nature of the disagreement it is likely that one person’s solution will be a source of distress for the other (Adams, Dominelli, Payne, 2009).

The Social workers role
The GSCC Codes of practice state that as a social care worker you must “respect and, where appropriate, promote the individual views and wishes of both service user and carer” (GSCC, 2002). This means communicating with both Mr X and his daughter to get a better overview of the situation.Therefore the social worker must approach Mr X with the mind-set that as an older adult he has the right to dignity, choice, independence and fulfilment, as identified by The National Framework for Older People (Trevithick, 2012). He also has a right to live as normal life as possible and take informed risks,which makes it the social workers duty to ensure that he is able to do so by providing the relevant support and...
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