Term Paper Social Work Ethics

Topics: Sociology, Social work, International Federation of Social Workers Pages: 10 (4332 words) Published: March 23, 2013
Scenario one speaks about a single unemployed mother of two children who is thinking about having an abortion. She decides to make an appointment with a Social Worker about it, however that Social Worker decides that it’s not in the best interest of the client, doesn’t care about her wants and hands her a church pamphlet. Right away I see that there is a direct infraction, as a Social Worker one should never speak of their own beliefs and values when working alongside with a client. A Social Worker should always put what the client wants, within reason, first, as an act of self-determination for the client. The infraction that I found in the Code of Ethics is the third principle “Responsibility to Client”, specifically looking at the sub-principles 3.1 and 3.4. 3.1 Speaks of how College members must “provide clients with accurate and complete information regarding the extent, nature and limitations of any services available to them” (pg.11 Code of Ethics). As a member of the College, we as Social Workers have a duty to provide all resources available to a client, even if it may not agree with our own personal values, attitudes and beliefs. I also believe that we are responsible to provide accurate information; as a Social Worker I would not turn away a client looking for resources and tell her to go to a church, specifically my own church, and to seek God and forgiveness for thinking of abortion. I think it is important to deal with each situation without any hidden agendas and to look for the best possible outcome for the specific clients requests. 3.4 Discusses how College members “do not discriminate against anyone based on race, religion, political affiliation, national origin etc…” (pg. 11, Code of Ethics). I think this was appropriate as a sub-principle as it speaks of how this Social Worker in the scenario brings in their own personal values, attitudes and beliefs and uses them against the client seeking professional help. I believe it is a direct infraction of one’s religion and rights as a person. As a Social Worker, I would have spoken to Mrs. Tremblay thoroughly to make sure that this is what she wants, as it is a permanent decision and I would want to make sure that this decision was made purely from her decision and not based on what I have to say. I would have given Mrs. Tremblay resources that are available that she may have wanted, such as hospitals, support groups, counseling services etc, and well as letting Mrs. Tremblay know that if she ever needs extra support that I would be available with a non-judgmental ear. Scenario two speaks of how Mr. Smith feels “blue” and see’s a Social Worker in therapy, however that Social Worker tells Mr. Smith that he/she is specialized in Mental Health, and diagnoses Mr. Smith with a depressive episode of Bipolar Affective Disorder, and tells the client to start group therapy and take a week vacation to help alleviate the symptoms. From reviewing the case, it would have to depend on whether or not this Social Worker has a Doctorate Degree in Social Work to be able to diagnose the client or not (as mentioned in the footnote from the Advertising principle) however from reading the text, I feel as though this Social Worker believes that he/she has just specialized in the field of Mental Health, and not earned a Doctorate in the field. I found that the infraction happened under second principle of “Competence and Integrity”, under “Competence” with the sub-principles 2.1.1 and 2.1.3. 2.1.1 Discusses how “members are responsible for being aware of the extent and parameters of their professional scope” (pg.5, Code of Ethics). I believe that this is a direct infraction to what happened in the scenario. Since the Social Worker believes that they are specialized in the field because it is an area of practice that they have worked in seeing many patients “like him”, however does not have the appropriate credentials, the services are beyond the member’s professional scope of...

Cited: Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. (2008). Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Handbooks . Toronto : Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
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