Academic Master

Education

Ethics In Social Working

Introduction

The nature of the job being undertaken by social workers contains the confrontation of such ethical dilemmas that come in a routine. The education that is being provided to those people who join the field as a social worker in a way that the perspective of all the practices and programs comes under that educational program. The council, which was built with the aim of preparing social workers, has specifically added the point that deals with ethical dilemmas and provides guidance. Decision-making is always hard to handle when the situation comes in which ethics comes under consideration. The professional who is working as a social worker knows the guidance, and they have the ambiguity to tolerate while resolving conflicts specifically from the ethical point of view. Ethics, values, and a code of ethics are the guiding principles that help in leading life. Values refer to beliefs that are being provided by the culture in terms of ethics, and the code of ethics is defined formally, which provides guidance. However, as a social worker intern in the senior resource center, the dilemmas of ethics have been dealt with, and the decision being undertaken according to the ethics is further discussed.

Discussion

An ethical dilemma occurred during my internship in one of the senior resource centers while I was taking care of the meal programs that were assigned. The nature of the job as the social worker is to provide daily meals to people above 60 years of age, and the meals are prepared by the senior resource center with the help of a local catering organization. If specifically mentioning the ethical dilemma that was being faced, analyze and decide on one person who has been receiving the meal for several years. The required condition deals with the rule that after every six months, it’s the duty to check whether those who are receiving the meal still meet the criteria and are eligible for the services (Congress, 2017).

The specific incident was one that had been the only one quite big enough to come under the ethical dilemma one day during the delivery of food as an assessment of eligibility. That day, we went to the house of that person and smelled the marijuana being smoked in the house. After knowing the door a young 18 years male answered the door who was clearly looking high due to the use of marijuana with red eyes and disoriented. The man who was receiving the meal was taking a nap and couldn’t come to answer, as informed by that boy. Now, it raises the question of whether providing services to the house in which marijuana is being consumed will badly affect the health of that elderly man. The ethical dilemma was whether it came under my duty to report this, which I had witnessed or not.

After going through the code of ethics as described by the National Association, especially for social workers, the well-being of the client is the duty of the social worker. There are other laws and rules that also emphasize that all social workers, even common citizens, should always look after the well-being of the people around them, especially senior citizens. If considering all these points and clauses provided by reports and laws, I was motivated enough to do something. But when working in the organization, the decision taken by the workers affects not just the specific person to whom the decision is being directed but also the whole organization comes under the stake of it. In this particular case, the stakeholder who comes first and is likely to be directly affected by the decision is the client, who is the senior citizen receiving the services. The decision also involves the young man living in that house because of the dilemma raised due to his course of action. The other stakeholders will be our group, which was working on that particular task when the dilemma was raised. In the end, the organization, social services department, and police department are the groups that will also get involved as stakeholders.

Identification and analysis of all the courses of action, considering the stakeholders who are involved in the decision, and considering the results and the risks of those results will also be taken into consideration. The decisions that come under ethical dilemmas are always the hardest ones in the experience of that situation. While considering every perspective of the decisions, there are going to be three courses of action that can be taken as decided by then. The first course of action was to do nothing, which means to let things happen as they are and not to confront the grandson regarding the issue. The documents that need to be made will be created normally, and the investigation will stop right there through the continuity of the service. This action will provide the client the meal services, the grandson will continue doing what he was doing and if any bad thing happened they will use 911 for that. But the worst thing about this decision is maybe the grandson was abusive as a result of marijuana, and it has a negative effect on the health of the client (Ferguson, 2017).

The second decision was the opposite of the first, and that was to report what we suspected and saw during our visit. In this decision, the involvement of stakeholders will be the client, the young boy, and the police department, along with our organization. The positive side of this decision is the police will force the young man to stop using marijuana, which is bad for the health of senior citizen clients. However, the worst side of this decision was that the client was displeased with what we did and reported to our organization because it was not our duty to report the police as described by the job. The organization’s response was unknown, and the client stopped using the services due to this course of action. Now comes the third course of action for dealing with this ethical dilemma. That was to confront the client and inform him about the situation. The positive side of this action is that the client took notice of the information provided to him and removed the marijuana usage in his house, but the worst part of this action is that the client may have taken this as an offense why we are not doing our job as asked and stop taking an interest in the personal life of the client. It will make the loss of this client by the agency, and our team will held accountable for it (Avby, Nilsen & Ellström, 2017).

The framework for ethical decision-making involves the training to deal with ethical dilemmas and issues. There are methods that can be practiced while making the decision. The earlier provided three courses of action that need to be analyzed and considered, which should be taken so that ethical decision-making comes under the framework of it. Ethical decision-making is not an easy task to do when it is a rare case, but the one who is experienced can take it efficiently and effectively. Sometimes, decisions can be made by moral intuition, which comes first in the mind when thinking about them. But it is also advised by experienced people that what comes to mind first is not always a good option. The decisions which deal with ethics need very strong and deep consideration. To solve the problem the researchers have designed three types of ethical framework of decision making so that the one who is taking decision can understand the consequences both ways, the duty involves according to ethics and the virtue of taking decision or not taking the decision (Bogo, 2015).

  • The consequential framework of making the decision is the first one in the framework, which helps ensure possible future results after making the decision. After the action that is done gives the best and possibly favored result, the action has the possibility of giving the worst consequences.
  • The second framework type for decision-making is the duty framework. This framework provides guidance to each and every human being on their moral and ethical duty or obligation when they face an ethical dilemma. The actions that are being considered come under a duty or not, which is the question that needs to be asked in order to find out what this ethical framework provides as guidance or not.
  • The third type of framework which comes under ethical decision-making is the virtue framework. This framework helps in understanding the perceived reaction by seeing the situation and whether the reaction is positive or negative. Every action that is being undertaken by human beings comes from emotions, whether negative or positive, even though they think it’s morally right or wrong. Our course of action defines the type of person we are and what we should do in a situation that involves an ethical dilemma.

After going through all the types of ethical frameworks for decision-making, the decision-making is being done using all three types. Applying all three will provide the best possible help because ethical decision-making is not an easy task to do. First of all, the recognition is being done of the ethical issue, which is the use of marijuana in the house of an elderly person who will be affected by that, and it will damage their health. The parties involved are also considered earlier: the client, the boy, the police department, our group, and the organization for whom we are working (Arthur, 2015).

The decision that I have considered is to discuss the matter with the client so that he will know what is going on and tell him that the assessment requirement is to stop giving the services. But this decision is guiding me to talk to the senior citizen because ethically, seeing the situation, he will not be aware and can take possible action against that young boy. In the meantime, giving a warning also comes under my duties as a social worker. It is my duty to decide in the report under suitable terms whether to stop the services or not to top them. Our group decided to give the warning by explaining the organization’s terms and conditions.

Conclusions

In conclusion, it is the conflict of moral principles when the ethical dilemma arises during different stages of life. Working as the social worker the nature of the job as the social worker is to provide daily meals to those early age people who are above 60 years old, and the meals are prepared by the senior resource center with the help of a local catering organization. The specific incident was one that had been the only one quite big enough to come under the ethical dilemma one day during the delivery of food as an assessment of eligibility. After going through the code of ethics as described by the National Association, especially for social workers, the well-being of the client is the duty of the social worker. There are other laws and rules that also emphasize that all social workers, even common citizens, should always look after the well-being of the people around them, especially senior citizens. Furthermore, the decision could have been taken with more consideration and can be the other two which may be suitable for the situation.

References

Arthur, D. P. (2015). Social work practice with LGBT elders at the end of life: Developing practice evaluation and clinical skills through a cultural perspective. Journal of social work in end-of-life & palliative care11(2), 178-201.

Avby, G., Nilsen, P., & Ellström, P. E. (2017). Knowledge use and learning in everyday social work practice: a study in child investigation work. Child & Family Social Work22(S4), 51-61.

Bogo, M. (2015). Field education for clinical social work practice: Best practices and contemporary challenges. Clinical Social Work Journal43(3), 317-324.

Congress, E. P. (2017). What social workers should know about ethics: Understanding and resolving practice dilemmas. Social Work Ethics, 1909.

Ferguson, H. (2017). How children become invisible in child protection work: Findings from research into day-to-day social work practice. The British Journal of Social Work47(4), 1007-1023.

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