Social Work Ethics Summary

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In my research, I came across a very interesting article by the ethics director of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Stephen Behnke, ethics entitled, “Sexual involvements with former clients: A delicate balance of core values.” After reading this article, my belief in the problematic nature of having romantic and sexual relationships with clients was re-enforced. The article stated that having this type of relationship with a client is counter to what people in helping professions should work against, which is further harming the client. (Behnke, 2004, para 2). Entering into a relationship where deeper emotional attachments are established carries with it a significant risk of harm. The article also brought into question of autonomy.…show more content…
If social workers engage in conduct contrary to this prohibition or claim that an exception to this prohibition is warranted because of extraordinary circumstances, it is social workers—not their clients—who assume the full burden of demonstrating that the former client has not been exploited, coerced, or manipulated, intentionally or unintentionally,” (Reamer, 2007, para 8). So from this, it appears romantic relationships are not completely prohibited, but they are discouraged and if one engages in such a relationship as the professional it carries a great deal of responsibility to it. For Reamer (2007), he sees the occurrence of dual relationships happening out of a personal crisis in the life of the practitioner or a breakdown of sound judgment. (para. 12). Often times, this happens because the social worker has gotten to a place where they have gradually increased the amount of personal questions of the client that really don’t hold relevance to the work being done in the professional relationship. (Reamer, 2007, para. 12). What is more, Reamer goes on to say, boundaries related indiscretions have a higher likelihood of occurring to the point where they might not exist…show more content…
Dealing with ethical situations is how one grows significantly in this field. One must be aware of not only ethical complications, but also the legal requirements and ramifications involved with important decision making. As a social worker, it is essential to take the commitment to professionalism very seriously. It is important to remember that part of what makes social work so unique is the strong commitment to a core set of values. It is therefore these very values that should always be remembered when ethical and possible legal complications arise in one’s career. Through the experience of handling these tough situations one is able to grown and enhance social work skills that will ultimately be of better
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