Code Of Ethics: Ethical Issues In Social Work Practice

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Ethical Issues in Social Work Practice The social work profession and its Code of Ethics dictate that social workers must act in the best interest of the client, even when those actions challenge the practitioner’s personal, cultural and religious values. In practice; however, ethical decision-making is more complex than in theory. As helping professionals, social workers are constantly faced with ethical decision-making or ethical dilemmas. As noted by Banks (2005), an ethical dilemma occurs “when a worker is faced with a choice between two equally unwelcome alternatives that may involve a conflict of moral principles, and it is not clear what choice will be the right one” (as cited in McAuliffe & Chenoweth, 2008, p. 43). In addition, ethical decision-making is a process that encompasses a great use of self-awareness and critical thinking by the practitioner. Therefore, there should be a series of steps that a social worker must take in order to resolve or intent to resolve such a dilemma. I believe that the first step should be recognizing what the ethical dilemma is. Second, the practitioner should be self-aware of how professional values, rather than personal, may interfere with the decision-making process. Lastly, the social worker must consider the structural, cultural, and agency context issues surrounding the presenting ethical dilemma. In this paper, I will describe my ethical dilemma, discuss the ethical principles and values guiding my decision-making process, I
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