Academic Master


Professional Ethics and Social Justice in Human Services

Respect versus oppression

Human beings have lived with the test of social justice from time immemorial. Human respect and dignity as stated by the Holy book of creation enabled man to live in harmony. However, injustices have surrounded man all his life. Oppression is a frequent word in the lips of many or maybe those with no idea on the topic may just be lost in ignorance. In the presence of oppression, there is an absolute loss of human dignity and respect. The two phenomenon trade mutually. In the contemporary society, social workers and social service users have encountered oppression in different quarters as the chapter shall reveal. Anti-oppression is the opposite of oppression. However, the chapter alludes that its presence signifies oppression itself. To deliberate on the subject, the paper will tackle the two exercises; 9.2 and 9.3. The discussion on the concept of minimal intervention will form the conclusion of the paper.

Exercise 9.2

For the exercise, social worker agencies have been put on the spot as the agent of these oppressive practices, to the less fortunate, women and black people. The exercise seeks to find out how the levels these agencies inflict oppression on these minority groups

The social agencies are in charge of controlling the social workers. Studies have shown that out of prejudice, the people from poor backgrounds are considered to be exemplary survivors. Therefore, the agency may be reluctant in deploying the social workers in these areas. It is common to find that people from poor background have less education on matters of healthcare. It is the role of the agency to simplify their roles to make it understandable to the ignorant families. Also, most of the vulnerable families consist of the immigrants, with either no permanent homes and as such keep on moving from camps to camp. It also important to note that, these families are different in one way or another and as such cannot be treated the same. Nevertheless, due to reasons that are best known to the organizations, follow up activities are rated zero. These families with the needs will feel oppressed to have to look up to a body that is barely considerate of their nature. A social work user has no capacity to find these social work service, the agencies do. The feeling oppression sets in when one feels neglected due to their situation as dictated by fate in the society.

On the other hand, women are both internally and externally abused by the agency. Social work is nearly voluntary work. Most organizations are non-profit oriented in nature. Most of their workers are from the voluntary communities willing to restore hope to the deprived society. With the concept of servitudes as part of women identity, most roles are delegated to women. The concept of identity does not allow women to complain so they succumb to the pressure to serve. It is a way in which women are reaped off their respect and are unable to make choice of their own.

The black people are perceived as the source of problems. The white man society has not fallen short of accusation in regard to black man bullying. Human segregation in most parts of the world; most particularly in the Western countries has promoted oppressions. Case in point, the agencies would rather recruit social workers from the black quarters to serve the white communities. These services should be accessible with no partiality regardless of the color.

Exercise 9.3

Discrimination and oppression are fairly used interchangeably in most cases when addressing injustices. Discrimination is the act of judging someone based on their societal classification in regard to age, gender, and economic power. Here, the social aspect of an individual comes to play. Notably, discrimination leaves the mark of oppression to an individual. In social work, for instance, the service providers have exhibited these traits in justification oppression. In social work center, pregnant teenage is forced to abort as the social worker perceive her young and ignorant to understand who is to be pregnant. The minor is deprived her right to deliver the child at the expense of age. Another case is common in most social healthcare facilities; people from poor families are forced to make long queues to give way on the pretext of dealing with emergencies just to serve other rich families. Poverty in the latter case forms the basis in which one is oppressed. Also, elderly people with the need for home cares not given full attention since the government may derive little no economic value from them. All the latter cases show how discrimination may be used to rationalize oppression.

Intervention is used positively by most speakers. However, in social work the word is relative. Minimal intervention has a totally different concept in social work perspective (Beckett &Maynard, 2013). Apparently, intervention refers to intrusion into an ongoing process. It is not that all interventions have positive impacts on the patient as some are revealed to be adverse. Since intervention, as stated in the latter statement, may not positive the principle of minimal intervention states that if possible there should not be intervention at all. In ways that have been highlighted in the book chapter, intervention has specific intent to bridge the imbalance of power in social service delivery; this might have adverse effects on the user of the service.


Assignment #2- Chapter 10- Ethics and Resources

The healthcare sector is founded on the principles of ethics. The resource distribution and ethics remain interdependent in the sector. However, the question of whether the ethical principles can hold in an environment with limited resources is still farfetched. In the chapter, the relationship between the ethics and resource distribution has been discussed albeit leaving dilemma to the users and social service provider. The general idea expressed by the chapter has been epitomized by the dilemma in the exercise 10.4.

Exercise 10.4

To address Gills dilemma which is faced with the work pressure to make an assessment on children under care there are four spheres that should be focused on. Firstly, the capacities of the manager and the practitioner; who in this case is the social worker will be put into consideration. In most instances, power imbalances influence the action of the practitioner. With intention not to lose their jobs and to impress the manager, these practitioners may give to the management demands. Secondly, the individual personality of the practitioner; the instincts of the worker plays an important role in making such decisions. Some workers are inspired by the passion to deliver quality services to the client and would rather quit working than jeopardize the position. Thirdly, the level of risks involved; in the above case, performing the duty within the short timeframe puts the lives of these clients at risks. The choice to proceed would depend on whether or not the practice affects the health of the client directly.

The hierarchy of the social work agencies is designed in a fine classification with definite roles down the ladder. The practitioner being the immediate agent to the patients is responsible for operating within the chain of command to disburse the services to the clients. The important decisions are however made by the senior management. The practitioners are required to work within the working framework as supervised by the senior management. However, the most state even the managers hold qualifications in the different fields of care. Resource distribution is undeniably a stumbling block to nearly all economies. It is up to the authorities to ensure that the limited resources are distributed to cover the needs. The decision of the authority on the dispensation of resources gets as crossroads when need to address the code of ethics in the practice arises.

The concept of equity and Advocacy

Equity and advocacy as used in the chapter bring an aspect of choice of the practitioner. In the discussed scenarios, the practitioner is faced with the problems to suffer guilt and waiver their will to exercise code of ethics in their service. Therefore, two terms above are essential in the decision they make. For equity, Gill would decide to just work within the short period and not to put the agency under pressure of deploying more workers to help so that the recruited workers to help elsewhere. In extreme cases like for Mr. Brown and Mr. Rees, the choice would be to consider the riskiest person to go to the care facility first. On the other hand, Mr. Gill had a chance to confront the agency to deploy more workers to assist in the assessment of the children to avoid the evident error that would cause an imminent health risk to the children. Evidently, the two approaches appear to be stretching the muscles of the human ethics. It is ethical, to operate wholeheartedly with no room for taking chances; the practitioner would choose to ensure the clients are not faced with a life gamble. Nevertheless, due to the resources ethics would dictate that we operate in the best interest of everyone, ensuring fairness and equity.

Assignment #3- Chapter 11- Differences and Diversity”

Contrary to the biblical story of the origin of man that failed to recognize the origin of human difference and diversity is an undeniable truth. In as much as humankind may have the motive to form a united universe, failure to recognize the diversity and differences that exist may further divide. Every human being operates with particular spheres of life namely; social, gender/sex, race, age and economic position. Within these sections, diversity finds its way. It is possible to belong to a particular ethnic community with far very different characters and behaviors; this goes to the family unit hence diversity. It is the diversity that enables everyone to operate distinctively. In one way the name paradigms set out the classification of an individual. All these categories make one feel different. Due to the unpredictable locality, one is likely to find him/herself in a majority group in which case they shall feel different. These differences and diversities are both biological and physical. By extension behavioral difference for the most undisguised form of human difference and diversity, it only comes out when one acts. The feeling of being the only black person in a white school obviously comes with its negative impacts.

As illustrated above, these differences make us feel isolated and in our own world both in good and bad ways. In the social work provision, it is salient to exhibit good touch with the patients than to exhibit the impact of difference to the society. Acceptance is the most important tool to mitigate discriminatory practice brought by difference and diversity. The major role of the social worker is to ensure discrimination of the affected individuals so as to provide the need care. With discriminatory instincts, it would be difficult for a social worker. Differences affect how we see others. Most dangerously is when one is charged with the responsibility to deliver service. Case in point, in the context of a social working center with different people idea exchanges, is largely based on the smooth communication. However, due to differences prejudice takes control making difficult for the workers to exchange ideas. The stepping stone to solving the dilemma is first by accepting the nature one is created and by appreciating that there are differences and finally by understanding. In social work center, it would be ignorant for one to assume there are no such differences and diversities as the inverse is true.

It is important to note the importance of difference and diversity in the context of human service delivery and consumption. The fact that one is different from the other is enhanced interaction between them. One might say difference brings about competition and hatred on the contrary; this human nature enables one to establish the needs of the other. For instance, when one is cognizable of the difference of the other they are able to treat them in such manner as special manner; a young man pushing a wheelchair of a cripple, this would not be possible if we’re all the same. Diversity, on the other hand, helps in human development, for example, it took someone with a different mindset to introduce computer and internet. The ability to diversify creates opportunities for various reasoning in the society.

Exercise 11.5

Apparently, different distinctions mentioned do not have limits of diversity. For example, different races fall in different communities; the communities subscribe to different beliefs and cultures within the realm of these distinctions, sexes, and gender has been vividly described. In the exercise, the relationship between culture and the social care delivery is going to be discussed. Particularly, the interest is on the gender influence to the role of the social workers. Given the case of Sue and her brother on the issue of her sick father, gender aspect come to play.

As care-coordinator, the most appropriate advice here should be purely founded on the will to provide maximum and efficient care services to Mr. Robert. Albeit. In most communities, women are taken as caregivers. In some cases, the care involved may be of technical nature, the one with Mr. Robert requires a special facility. The family seems to be in a financial crisis. Therefore, besides organizing a fundraiser, I would advocate for Mr. Robert to the agency for a possible consideration. The intentions here will be pure to ensure that the services given are of high quality. In the abstract, a concept of discrimination has come up. In the latter society, females are profiled as servants. Sue even after years of neglect still had to carry the blame had she not agreed to care for her father. The nature of stereotype displayed in the text has an explicit explanation to adverse effects of differences and diversity within simplest units-family.


Beckett, C. and Maynard, A. (2013). Values and Ethics in Social Work. 2nd Edition. SAGE Publications



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