Code of Ethics in Social Work

Ethics in Social Work
Tika Shoulders
A code of ethics is a list of rules and expectations for communicating with one
another when dealing with conflict. Each and every one of the family member should agree
to these codes as well as hold the other family members accountable to the code when
communicating with them during a conflict, ("Code of Ethics: English," n.d.). Ethics in
practice are designed to not only encourage and inspire families but also give ethical
guidance to the areas that the family scientists may have overlooked. It helps in dealing with
complex family or rather ethical issues as well as providing solutions that will help in
enhancing the status and personal image, (Allen, 2012). Ethics in practice provide the ideals
that support the coexistence of humans such as making a person to be familiarized with
childhood knowledge through education and always stay informed. In this essay, I will be
focusing a case where a child was abused by her parent who has now done 3 years of her 6
years term for child abuse. The paper is written based on a social worker perspective who is
now the counsellor to the convict who has now decided to do counselling in order to be able
to get out and reunite with her child soon.
Therefore, as a social worker, I will make decisions based on Rutland Model for
ethics. It helps in developing a relationship with the family as well as inviting all the
members of the family to participate in the program. Ethics in practice has different
principles based on the context. One of them is the principles of professional conduct. These
are the principles that guide the American association of family even economic sectors. By
working on my self-awareness and my commitment to the profession and its values, I can
resolve this conflict to ensure my emotions do not present a problem and inhibit my ability to
develop helping relationships. T
his principle is intended to guide and direct the members of the association on the
descriptions of ethical action that is required. Principles of ethical in practice are categorically
selected based on the relationships in context. One of the relationships is parents to children,
children to children, or relationship with society.
Good values in a family environment are the actions that take place in a society and
individual and they are consistent. The main component of ethics in a family is integrity.
Good ethical values, also referred to as, code of ethics, are very important since they promote
moral values of an organization. They act as the rule and guidelines that have to be followed
by the employees in the corporates. These prevent the negative legal effects from the
employees of the corporate and promotes a positive relationship. Ethics do not only apply in
cooperates they also reflect in families and any other relationship. They enhance integration
and understanding humans. The mandate of the code of conduct is to solve any ethical
dilemma, (Allen, 2012).
The typical elements of culture are, core values that the members of a certain family
believe in, and stories which convey the core values. The stories tend to exemplify the core
value of the society. Among the above elements are the models of the community, symbols
and rites and rituals of the families. There is also a different type of ethic. Since ethics is
considered as the principals that guide on how to determine what is right and wrong, it has
subcategories that have been placed in cultures. The most important of all culture of
compliance and the culture character.
The value of integrity states that social workers must adhere to the rules of their
organization responsibly and promote ethical practices. Social workers are supposed to treat
their clients respectably and helpfully while being aware of their troubles, culture differences,
ethnic diversities, and specifically your differences of opinions, ("Code of Ethics: English,"
Ethical Dilemma
The ethical dilemma in question is a case of a mother who beat up her child with a
belt and abused her. According to the nature and description of the case, it is a child abuse
though the client denies the charges. Ethically, a child is to be discipline if she or he has done
wrong. The best thing or the best way to handle a child who has misbehaved is instilling
discipline to her and not brutally beating her up. As a social worker who have been this
client, I will depend on personal, professional ethics, values and morals in making any
decisions with or without the mother. Interests of both parties will be considered as the child
still needs a parent and the mother is aware of her rights as the parents but now the question if
she is ready to handle her child or what happened will happen again.
According to the case descriptions, the mother says that she is not even aware of what
happened the day of the incident. A psychiatrist or psychologist will be recommended here as
it may be simple to say but this is very serious considering the future and security of the
child. If the mother can’t recall what happened means in future, there is a great possibility of
what happened to replicate. The previous incident is not planted in the mother’s
consciousness and this is risky since the repercations of her actions are not well known to her.
The standards t5hat can be used in this ethical issue are consequentialist, deserved
treatment, and ethics of aspiration. The best approach of handling this case is by using
deserved approach whereby, to cases are considered;
1. Wrong act can have right consequences
2. Right act can have wrong or lousy consequences
In this case, the mother might be acting right by disciplining her child but it was lousy for het
to use a belt to beat her up.
“The categorical imperative tests intent by asking about the rule or policy of the
action you are contemplating: Could you will that this rule be a universal law, i.e., a
law that applies to everyone? Put another way: is it your intent that everyone act on
this rule? If you can answer this question affirmatively, the action is ethically okay…
but you wouldn’t want to be the person on the other side of the action— in a word, the
victim. In that case (i.e., if your answer is no), the action in question is wrong. It is
your duty not to do it. The crucial point can be put another way: acting on this rule
you would violate the right the victim has not to be treated that way”, (Robert, 2013)
Analysis of the Ethical Dilemma
For instance, early childhood experiences, such as child abuse and domestic violence
for the child in this case, have a considerable influence of the manner in which their
personality develops. For the child, she might have a troubled childhood, which may force
her to result to drug abuse and alcoholism. In the case of child, her partner has mistreated her
whereas she lacks anyone to support her either economically or socially. Although I should
aim at safeguarding the lives of both the mother and the child, I should seek the opinion of
other medical professionals in the hospital given her domestic violence, and child abuse. If
according to the report from the doctors determines that the child is in a poor condition, I will
be forced to make other consultations with the psychiatrist on how the mother treats the child
and how she takes her for especially after the incident. . Here, the needs of child would be
protected while the rights of the mother are observed, ("Code of Ethics: English," n.d.).
Furthermore, it may be true that the mother has a habit of failing to keep appointments
with her doctors. In this case, as the social worker I should not hold an appointment for
Debbie, since there are other women who suffer the same situation as Debbie. As such, she
should be provided with an appointment as they also have a right to access the same limited
services as her. This is because she might lack commitment and might have suffered similar
situations in the past, but failed to keep up with the appointments she had with her doctors.
Address Personal Values resulting to Biases
Informing the client of his/her rights? Due to the fact that I receive clients from other
agency or youth that are juvenile offenders, the youth do not sign the releases. Instead, the
releases are usually signed by their parents, the referring agency or their juvenile justice
worker. Due to the fact that the youth may not sign the releases in front of us, doesn’t mean
that the parents need to. Therefore, I, starting by defining the rights and responsibilities that
the subject has is very essential. Forgiveness is not an option, it will be the premise of every
discussion in every conflict that is presented to the family, (National Association of Social
Workers, 2006).
There is no doubt we will have differences in the family, however we will never let
the sun go down on our anger. The social workers are male and female, African American
and Caucasian, young and old. The staff and house parents that work in the group homes are
also racially and culturally diverse. When handling this client, social workers make a point to
place them in diverse foster homes to help promote their cultural learning. When the
opportunities are available the client will be allowed to attend cultural events, (Robert, 2013).
As a social worker, I have crossed examined the situation and come up with solutions
based on the decision making models developed through Rutland Model of ethics. Therefore,
making any decision has its consequences and for that reason, a person is not limited to make
decision. The best thing is to evaluate the impact of something before doing it in order to
determine its right’s percentage or its wrong’s too, (Robert, 2013). In this case, before
deciding how to handle the case, involving the client in decision making is legit and will help
her by making it clear to her that she belongs somewhere and she still has the power over her
life. As a social worker, I will depend on these question throughout our talk; what gaps in
services or improvements need to be made to improve or strengthen the agency’s policy and
procedures for providing efficient, appropriate and effective services?
Parents are however advised to use spanking as a form of punishment only when it is
a case of defiance of authority or willful disobedience and never for a case of mere
irresponsibility associated with childish nature. Children spanking should never be
administered with the potential to do harm, impulsively or harshly; parents should never
implement this type of punishment if they have anger management issues. Spanking
administered guided by a proper approach and philosophy is extremely important in deterring
bad behavior among preschool’ children or any form of child correction technique, involves
the concept of discipline and punishment is the absolute opposite, (National Association of
Social Workers, 2006).
Punishment focuses on a child’s past and motivates anger; the outcome is hostility,
guilt, shame, and rebellion. The outcome is feelings of security and obedience and a child
ends up focusing on the future. Discipline is derived from the word “disciple” which means
to teach. Parents have a life time responsibility and opportunity of teaching their children
good behavior. Children thus should be made to understand that a gentle spank is directly
linked to a long-term and greater pain of future harmful decisions. This brings out the concept
of prevention being better than cure, (Robert, 2013).
Prior to any spanking, a child needs to be given a fair warning before committing any
offense; if they go ahead and commit it, they need to be understand why they received a
spanking as a disciplinary action. If children disobey a rule deliberately, they need to be
informed of an upcoming spanking and escorted to a private room for the same. Spanking
should be administered in a loving, consistent, and clear manner, (Reamer, 2006). Afterwards
the child should be repeated so that she becomes aware, understands, and learns from the
The concept of a social worker has realized considerable growth in the recent years,
emerging as a key area of concern in the society today. Social workers encounter a variety of
problems when dealing with different types of patients. One of the major problems is ethical
dilemma. They encounter challenges when giving advice to patients. As a professional social
worker, I believe that I will have a difficult time working with individuals that have physically
or sexually abused a child; therefore, I will have to work at internalizing my feelings of anger
and resentment. Becoming a helping professional will require me to show integrity by working
with a diversity of clients and doing what is ethically needed; putting aside my prejudice and
bias thoughts and regard them fairly and just worthy.
Allen, K. (2012). The New Social Worker. What Is an Ethical Dilemma?. Retrieved from
Code of Ethics: English. (n.d.). Retrieved from
National Association of Social Workers. (2006). Social work speaks: National Association
of Social Workers policy statements, 2006-2009. Washington, DC: NASW Press.
Reamer, F. G. (2006). Ethical standards in social work: A review of the NASW code of
ethics. Washington, DC: NASW Press.
Robert, J. (2013). Rutland Institute for Ethics Clemson. ETHICAL DECISION MAKING: A
TOOLBOX APPROACH 126 D Hardin Hall Clemson, SC 29634-0528 864-6565379.