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
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At my agency, the Children’s Village, there is not a specific policy that prohibit accepting gifts from the clients; however, there are ethical guiding standards that employees should follow in regards to client-worker relationship consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics. For instance, standard 1.06(a) recommends social workers to “avoid conflicts of interest that interfere with the exercise of professional discretion and impartial judgement” (NASW Code of Ethics, 2017, p. 10). Even though this ethical standard does not prohibit accepting gifts, it sends a clear message to social workers about the risks related to taking gifts from clients. In fact, the NASW Code of Ethics advices that accepting gifts from clients represent the risk of such action to be interpreted as bartering by the client. As a result, if the worker accepts the gift, there is a risk that the client may expect the worker to pay back with work related favors. Therefore, standard 1.13(a) advices social workers to “avoid accepting goods or services from clients as payment for professional services” (NASW Code of Ethics, 2017, p.…show more content…
While the NASW Code of Ethics provided some guidance in terms of conflicting principles and values, it did not guarantee that I made the right decision. As noted by Freud and Krug (2002), the Code promotes extreme idealistic values and principles that are subjected to be interpreted differently by practitioners with different ideologies, political affiliation and cultural beliefs (p. 475). Undoubtedly, my decision-making process was highly influenced by the shared cultural affiliation between my client and I. Culturally, Maria and I share the belief that gift giving is an act to be enthusiastically
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