Ethical Dilemma Social Work-Essay

Since the Enlightenment it has been said that knowledge is drawn from observable facts (as in science) and this has meant that knowledge based on experience is not so highly thought of.The objective, scientific view of knowledge has increasingly been challenged as a narrow view that maintains there is a specific response to situations that a practitioner can employ and thus solve a problem.

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Social workers are often faced with a conflict of values, on the one hand there is a particular client and situation and on the other there is an increasing need to satisfy bureaucracy by processing a case as quickly as possible.

In a situation like this it is very easy to be governed by rules and procedures and particular theoretical approaches that may have little basis in reality.

The Enlightenment view is one which tends to forget that people (both social workers and their clients) are individuals and so there is not one size that fits all, rather each situation has to be responded to in a way that best suits the situation and the people involved.

Schon (1991) maintains that this knowledge is acquired through process or doing.

There should also be an early establishing of clear relationship boundaries as to great a personal involvement with a client is contrary to what the BASW has to say about social work ethics and values.

One of things that I have learned during the course is that in higher education attention always has to be paid to the question of knowledge and what it is that makes knowledge.It is a key part of reflective practice which recognises the importance of non-rational knowledge.Arguably this type of knowledge is invaluable to social workers because they deal with people and have to think about their relationship with others on a daily basis.Shon (1991) has argued that: Professionals claim to contribute to social well-being, put their clients’ needs ahead of their own, and hold themselves accountable to standards of competence and morality.But both popular and scholarly critics accuse the professions of serving themselves at the expense of their clients, ignoring their obligation to public service, and failing to police themselves effectively (Schon, 19-12).There will be an assessment of social values as they are found in the literature that I have looked at during the course.Finally I will evaluate the areas where I would like to develop both personally and professionally in relation to social work values.I am finding that good social work practice puts the needs of the client first and the rules and procedures second, particularly where they might contradict the values of social work.Social work, it would seem to me is based on a common sense of justice and on the basic worth of all human beings.Personal and Professional Development and Values Issues I think that this course has helped me to assess what my personal values are, not just that they are inherited, but how they have become my own.I believe that this process is invaluable to my personal and professional development and to my understanding of issues to do with values.


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