SW3010 Practice Methods I
October 8, 2014
Wayne State University
Which of your values do you see as especially helpful to you as you practice social work? One value that I see especially helpful would be the way I look at humanity as a whole. The NASW Code of Ethics value of dignity and worth of the person, which states that social workers treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity, comes to mind. I have always believed the outside of a person is just that: a shell. We all feel sorrow or joy, safe or insecure, content or dissatisfied on the inside. Seeing people for who they are and not for how they look is an ideal that I have tried to incorporate into my life. While there are people who may not hold many values highly, I usually try to feel compassion for how they became that way in the first place. Another value I deem to be important is to care about the moment that is happening right now. Wishing you were somewhere else when you are bored or uncomfortable generally does not accomplish much. I like to think of it as a challenge and a learning experience, and most of the time the feeling of not wanting to be in a situation can be turned around into something fun and rewarding. I think this can be particularly helpful when helping a client and being totally there to listen and hear their story. Describe life situations that have helped you shape your values and support your belief in the social work values described in your texts and in the NASW Code of Ethics. When I was growing up in a small, suburban town, I pretty much went along with the opinions of those around me. The town was lacking in cultural diversity at the time, and the prevailing outlook was that our way was the best way. While I do not remember anyone being outwardly prejudice, there was an undercurrent of thought that if you were poor you created your circumstances by just being lazy. It was not until I moved to a city with many different cultures and ethnicities that I began to see things in a different light. Seeing how a variety of people socialize, eat, dress, and conduct their everyday lives was very enriching. I realized how important it is to advocate for social justice. In the code of ethics 6.01 declares that we should promote the general welfare of society, from local to global levels, and the development of people, their communities, and their environments. I have learned a lot then and now by having friends from different cultures and backgrounds. What population would you have the most difficult time serving or advocating for? Explain why. The population that would be most difficult to serve for me would be abused children, especially sexually abused children. I would not have a hard time advocating for them. Actually if I decide to specialize in social policy, abuse of children is one of the issues that I would try to push for tougher laws to prosecute and sentence offenders. The problem I have is that just thinking about someone hurting a child makes me very angry, almost to the point of losing control of my emotions. As a comparison I could never work in a veterinary office because I become overwhelmed seeing an animal hurt. This goes to the core of my heart and I feel the same way when I see a child hurt. Hearing an abused child tell their story also makes me very emotional. I want to cry with them, hug them and protect them. In the Code of Ethics 4.05 states that social workers should not allow their own psychosocial distress interfere with their professional judgment and performance. When I become this emotional I may not look objectively at the circumstances. I understand connecting with the child is important but also that being in control of the situation would make them feel safer. My hope is that through education and training I will be better able to handle this. What have you learned about or...
References: Workers, N. (2008). NASW Code of Ethics (Guide to the Everyday Professional Conduct of Social Workers). Washington, DC: NASW.
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