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Values and Ethics an Ethical Dilemma

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Introduction

This essay will explore an ethical dilemma reaching an ethical resolution using Steinman's framework for decision making, social work ethics and values showing how these are underpinned in practice and using PCS analysis, reflecting on the ways in which inequality and discrimination impinges on clients' life's. Social work principles as defined in British Association of Social Work (BASW) and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) will also be examined. According to Banks (2006, p.6) values are "particular types of belief that people hold about what is regarded as worthy or valuable", values "determine what a person thinks he ought to do" Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work (CCETSW) (1976:14 cited in Beckett and Maynard). Social work values are based on the principal "respect for persons" Plant (1970 cited in Banks 2006, p.29) which comes from the writings of German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). From these writings Biestek developed seven principles for effective practice. Kantian principles are individulisation, purposeful expression of feelings, controlled emotional development, acceptance, non-judgemental attitude, service user self-determination and confidentiality. All of these are open to interpretation and will mean different things to different people, which is why professional codes should be consulted. Beckett and Maynard (2006, p.24) define ethics as "codes, or principles of conduct. Principles, on which decisions as to action should be based, derived from a specific value system, principles on which decisions should be based in a specific professional context (Professional Ethics)." ...read more.

Middle

Point 4.1.3 is clear that self determination by service users is priority however there is no guidance on how to achieve this. If this point only was considered then Kate's children would be given over to the care of Francis, however the children' s rights to self-determination would mean that they would have to stay with Kate. The SSSC Codes of Practice require practitioners to adhere to the code in order to become or continue their registration to the council, without registration social workers will be unable to practice. SSSC Code of Practice (2005), point 1 states "you must protect the rights and promote the interests of service users and carers" This is an important ethical standard to consider. As discussed above both Kate and the children have rights and interests. Following the SSSC Code of Practice means that I am protecting the rights of the children in keeping them with Kate. It is also in Kate's interest in the longer term to keep the family together, although she feels she cannot cope at present if the children were taken from her feelings of uselessness would increase as she would feel useless as a mother. These feelings of uselessness may be a result of Kate being cared for child. If her needs of love and belongingness were not met as a child, she will according to Maslow's hierarchy of needs (Gross 205) ...read more.

Conclusion

Allowing Kate to take over control of the children again in a timescale which she dictates would enable Kate to feel empowered. Longer term I believe my decision to keep the children with Kate is correct. I believe the children and Kate will both benefit. On a larger scale society and the community will also benefit as Kate and the children's needs are being addressed enabling them to take control of their lives and become less dependant on social services and live a better quality of life within their community (Banks 2006). In conclusion this essay has considered Kate and her children. Using ethical principals and personal values this essay has resolved an ethical dilemma regarding Kate and her children using Steinman's ethical decision making framework for the helping professionals (1998) resolved the ethical dilemma. Kantian principles and Biestek principles were also considered. I considered carefully British Association of Social Work Codes of Practice and the Scottish Social Services Council Code of Practice and applied them to Kate and the children's case study, considering ethical traps which it is possible to fall into. I also considered the psychological issues Kate and the children may experience if they are kept together or if they are separated. I considered some of the discrimination Kate and her children may face and discussed how Kate could become empowered through taking control of her situation and the children with help and support. I revisited my decision in line with Steinman's framework and concluded the family should be kept together. ...read more.

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