This assignment helps students to understand how to use the NASW Code of Ethics & ethical decision making to manage ethical dilemmas. For this assignment, students will identify and discuss their personal values and those of the social work profession as reflected in the NASW Code of Ethics. The paper will be 6-8 pages long and reference no-less than less than five (5) sources, including journals in social work or related fields. The writing must demonstrate the process of ethical decision-making, and critical thinking must be evident in the discussion of both personal values and professional values. A case illustration must accompany the paper,
highlighting how the dilemma impacts social work practice with the client system.
SOME SUGGESTED STEPS:
Choose ONE ethical dilemma or cases provided on the class CANVAS site (or get permission from your instructor to use your own case):
1. Read the dilemma or case CAREFULLY: Identify the ethical dilemma (e.g., what are the choices faced by the social worker?).
2. Go the NASW Code of Ethics and read carefully the descriptions of each of the following standards:
• Social workers’ ethical responsibility to clients
• Commitment to clients (1.01)
• Self-determination (1.02)
• Informed consent (1.03)
• Competence (1.04)
• Cultural competence and social diversity (1.05)
• Conflicts of interest (1.06)
• Privacy and confidentiality (1.07)
• Clients who lack decision-making capacity (1.14)
• Consultation (2.05)
3. Choose THREE (3) standards that you think are most relevant to the ethical dilemma case.
4. Discuss/explain thoroughly how and why you think each standard is applicable to the case.
5. Address the degree to which there may be conflict between standards and or parts of standards.
6. Rank in order the NASW standards in terms of their ethical relevance to the case.
7. Identify personal values that may be relevant to the case, and explain how these values influence your thinking about the case. Consider the personal values you identified in the Barsky reading on values clarification.
8. Identify and discuss any potential conflict or discrepancy between your personal values and the professional values from the Code of Ethics discussed in #3 and #4.
9. To what degree do your personal values conflict with or shape your interpretation of the professional values as applied to the case? Consider how you will “recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide social work practice.”
10. Using self-reflection, based on your rank ordering of professional values (above), and relevance of personal values, identify the next steps you would take to resolve this ethical dilemma. What changes could you cultivate, if any, in your own behavior/values to assure maintenance of professional standards and ethics in practice situations?
11. What role does supervision play in the development and maintenance of professional judgment and behavior, if any? Should social workers engage in life-long supervision/consultation as a means of receiving guidance with the intersection of personal and professional values, judgement and behavior? Explain your answers thoroughly, citing references.
You are the Executive Director of a nonprofit organization that provides after-school programming for adolescent girls. The agency began as part of the Catholic Church but is now an independent 501(c)3 organization. You supervise staff who provide academic enrichment, life skills training, career preparation, and recreational opportunities to more than 400 mostly low-income teens annually. Your staff has recently become concerned about rising rates of teenage sexual activity among your participants—several girls have become pregnant, and many more talk openly about unsafe sexual practices. A group of girls who are clients at the organization have approached staff about starting a sex education program, as they have little available sex education that is culturally appropriate. Working with the group, two of your counselors develop a plan to create a new coalition committed to comprehensive sex education and teen pregnancy prevention. They have outlined several goals, including increased funding for such programs and additional resources for provision of contraceptives in this community, which faces a shortage of health care providers. They have also identified several potential members, including a local health clinic, a church, the youth representatives of your programs, and two local high schools. After discussing their strategy and ensuring that they can take on coalition-building tasks in addition to their regular duties, you encourage them to proceed. The following week, you receive an irate call from your Board Chair, who has served on the Board since the organization’s founding and is enraged at a ‘rumor’ that you have given your blessing to the organization’s participation in a coalition to ‘hand out condoms to our girls.’ He vows that, if you do not stop your staff from engaging in such activity, he will call for your dismissal. How should you respond? What competing obligations do you face as an employee and a supervisor? What values should guide your decisions? How could you have anticipated and possibly avoided this situation? What guidance does the NASW Code of Ethics give?