The third edition of this popular book has been updated to take account of the latest developments in policy and social work practice. It includes new sections on radical/emancipatory and postmodern approaches to ethics, analysis of the latest codes of ethics from over 30 different countries, additional case studies of ethical problems and dilemmas, practical exercises, and annotated further reading lists at the end of each chapter.
The domain of professional ethics -- Virtue, ethics, and professional life -- Virtues, vices, and situations -- Professional wisdom -- Care -- Respectfulness -- Trustworthiness -- Justice -- Courage -- Integrity.
This book explores the far-reaching ethical implications of recent changes in the organization and practice of the social professions, including social work, community and youth work. Drawing on moral philosophy, professional ethics and new empirical research, the author explores such questions as: * Can any occupation justifiably claim a special set of ethics? * What is the impact of the new 'ethics of distrust' on the autonomy discretion and creativity of practitioners? * How does inter-professional working challenge conceptions of professional (...) identities and roles? * Do 'professional ethics' act as an obstruction to constructive developments? Combing interviews with practitioners with developments in ethical theory, Ethics, Accountability and the Social Professions shows the complexity and range of issues at stake. (shrink)
This article considers the challenges faced by social workers struggling to act ethically in what we characterise as the ‘unethical climate’ of neoliberalism. We offer a brief account of the current context, including the increasing managerialism and marketisation of welfare services, exacerbated by cuts in welfare provision following the 2008 financial crisis. We discuss the concepts of ‘ethical resistance’ and ‘ethics work’. We illustrate this with three case examples drawn from accounts given by social workers in Canada and England in (...) the context of two research studies. These accounts feature social workers struggling to be ethically good and to do what they consider to be the right actions in difficult circumstances. We interpret their accounts of their actions largely in terms of everyday ethical resistance to organisational pressures of regulation of practice and rationing of resources. We conclude that everyday ethical resistance is not enough to ‘make good’ the unethical climate, but is an important precursor to social and political resistance. (shrink)
Ethics in participatory research -- Partnership, collaboration and power -- Blurring the boundaries between researcher and researched, academic and activist -- Community rights, conflict and democratic representation -- Co-ownership, dissemination and impact -- Anonymity, privacy, and confidentiality -- Institutional ethical review processes -- Social action for social change.
Ethical Issues in Youth Work presents a systematic analysis of some of the core ethical dilemmas facing youth workers in their day to day practice. Among the topics discussed are: *when to break confidentiality *the ethics of religious conversion *conflicts between cultures *balancing the autonomy and control of young people *maintaining an equilibrium between accountability to funders, empolyers and young people This book also examines some of the key issues facing youth workers in the context of public fears of youth (...) crime, lawlessness, drug use, teenage pregnancy and policies designed to control and contain as well as educate and care for young people. Ethical Issues in Youth Work offers a timely and unique insight into both the perennial dilemmas of youth work practice and some of the more recent challanges faced by youth workers in the light of current public attitudes and government policy towards young poeple. (shrink)
This extended editorial takes stock of the first volume of the journal Ethics and Social Welfare, offering an overview of the types of contributions in the first four issues and suggesting future themes. A critical summary is given of the contributions so far, which have included: moral philosophical theorizing; analysis of key ethical concepts; exploration of contested areas of policy and practice; empirical studies of living conditions, perceptions, attitudes and professional interventions; accounts of ethical issues in practice; ethical issues in (...) research; and models of professional ethical decision making. Themes identified for future consideration include: service user perspectives on aspects of social welfare practice; development of practice-based ethical theories for the social welfare professions; ideas about teaching professional and practical ethics; ethical issues in managing and distributing resources; critical analysis of the ethical implications of public policies; further contributions offering moral, political and social philosophical perspectives on issues of social justice, cultural diversity, global and local policies for tackling environmental and humanitarian crises. (shrink)
Ethics is an increasingly important theme in social work practice. Worldwide, social workers experience common ethical challenges in very different contexts – from disaster relief in China to child protection work in Palestine. This book takes as its starting point real life cases featuring ethical problems in the areas of: negotiating roles and boundaries, respecting rights, being fair, challenging and developing organisations and working with policy and politics. Each case opens with a brief introduction, is followed by two commentaries and (...) ends with questions for reflection. The commentaries, written by authors from different countries, refer to relevant theories, concepts, practical matters, alternative courses of action and their implications. Features within the book include: An introductory chapter covering issues of global ethics Cases and commentaries drawn from across the world – from Peru to Finland Cases based on real life situations and chapter introductions from leading authorities in social work and ethical theory Questions and practical exercises to aid teaching and professional development This book is a unique and accessible resource for stimulating ethical reflection, expanding ethical horizons and developing ethical and intercultural sensitivity. It is designed for use by undergraduate and postgraduate students and professionals in the fields of social work, social education/pedagogy, social care work, international social work, community development, community organisation, youth work and related fields. (shrink)
_Ethical Issues in Youth Work_ presents a systematic analysis of some of the core ethical dilemmas facing youth workers in their day to day practice. Among the topics discussed are: *when to break confidentiality *the ethics of religious conversion *conflicts between cultures *balancing the autonomy and control of young people *maintaining an equilibrium between accountability to funders, empolyers and young people This book also examines some of the key issues facing youth workers in the context of public fears of youth (...) crime, lawlessness, drug use, teenage pregnancy and policies designed to control and contain as well as educate and care for young people. _Ethical Issues in Youth Work_ offers a timely and unique insight into both the perennial dilemmas of youth work practice and some of the more recent challanges faced by youth workers in the light of current public attitudes and government policy towards young poeple. (shrink)
This article discusses the nature of interprofessional ethics and some of the ethical issues and challenges that arise when practitioners from different professions work closely together in the fields of health and social care. The article draws on materials from a conference on this theme, covering issues of confidentiality and information sharing in practice and research with vulnerable people; challenges for teaching and learning about ethics in interprofessional settings; the potential of virtue ethics and an ethic of care for understanding (...) and handling ethical issues in interprofessional practice; and the extent to which interprofessional working may be about surveillance and control. It concludes that the need to understand and handle ethical issues in interprofessional working is contributing to the revitalisation of professional ethics as a dynamic field of study. (shrink)
This piece comprises short presentations given by contributors to a symposium organized by the journal Ethics & Social Welfare on the theme of global ethics for social work. The contributors offer their reflections on the extent to which universally accepted international statements of ethical principles in social work are possible or useful, engaging with debates about cultural diversity, relativism and the relevance of human rights in non-Western countries.
This article comprises a short case exemplifying ethical challenges arising for a participatory researcher working with Afghan women refugees during the Covid-19 pandemic in Germany. The researcher is an Iranian-German woman, qualified as a midwife, undertaking doctoral research on refugees’ access to reproductive health care. Disclosures about some women’s experience of domestic violence are made, which raise ethical issues for the researcher relating to personal-professional boundaries, roles and responsibilities. Two commentaries are given on this case from participatory researchers based in (...) Germany, UK and Austria. Both commentaries highlight the relevance of the ethics of care for participatory research and for this research in particular, which entails very close relationships between the doctoral researcher and the refugee women with whom she is researching. The first commentary analyses the research process in terms of Tronto’s five phases of care, while the second illustrates the importance of caring institutions in supporting researchers working on sensitive topics. (shrink)
This article starts with a case outlining ethical challenges encountered in participatory action research (PAR) on vaccine hesitancy in rural India during Covid-19. Community researchers were recruited by a not-for-profit organisation, with the aim of both discovering the reasons for vaccine hesitancy and encouraging take-up. This raised issues about the roles and responsibilities of local researchers in their own communities, where they might be blamed for adverse reactions to vaccination. They and their mentor struggled with balancing societal protection against individual (...) rights to make choices. These themes are explored in two commentaries discussing the difficulties in balancing ethics in public health (prioritising societal benefits), social research (protecting participants from harm and respecting their rights not to be involved) and participatory research practices (maximising democratic participation and decision-making). As discussed in the first commentary, often these cohere, but tensions can arise. The second commentary also raises the issue of epistemic justice, questioning the extent to which the villagers could have a say in the design, implementation and interpretation of the research, and the dangers of not hearing the voices and arguments of people who reject vaccination. The case and commentaries highlight the complexities of PAR and additional challenges in a public health context. (shrink)
This case study focuses on some of the ethical issues that arise in community-based participatory research, drawing on an example from practice in the UK. It comprises a case example written by a community researcher, followed by two commentaries, which analyse the case and offer different perspectives on the issues raised from the commentators' experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. The case example highlights the challenges faced by volunteer action researchers undertaking research interviews and mentoring on sensitive topics in (...) their local neighbourhoods. It raises questions about: the emotional effects of discussing matters of mental health, well-being and money management on both researchers and research participants; how much researchers should disclose about their own lives; and the nature of the support needs of volunteer community researchers. (shrink)
In this co-authored article, one contributor presents a case story from an interview with a social worker in Slovenia, while five others offer commentaries on ethical aspects of the case. The story comes from a practitioner working with a pregnant young woman, arranging for adoption following birth. The social worker respected the woman’s request to keep her identity secret, hence not registering her in the institutional records. However, whilst the social worker was on holiday, the baby was born and anonymity (...) was not maintained. Commentaries 1 and 2 evaluate the story through its form: as a narrative with a tempo and plot; and as a performance that creates its narrator as an agent with an ethical identity. Commentary 3 uses a normative moral philosophical framework (virtue ethics), while the final two commentaries take a more grounded approach. Commentary 4 views the social worker as using discretion to act in a space void of rules (there is no provision for anonymous birth), whereas Commentary 5 foregrounds the Slovenian code of ethics as a source of ethical standards unremarked upon by the social worker. The article ends with reflections on the value of exploring multiple perspectives and engaging in dialogue in developing ethical understandings and actions. (shrink)
Background During the pandemic, social and health care professionals operated in ‘crisis conditions’. Some existing rules/protocols were not operational, many services were closed/curtailed, and new ‘blanket’ rules often seemed inappropriate or unfair. These experiences provide fertile ground for exploring the role of virtues in professional life and considering lessons for professional ethics in the future. Research design and aim This article draws on an international qualitative survey conducted online in May 2020, which aimed to explore the ethical challenges experienced by (...) social workers during Covid-19. Participants and research context 607 social workers responded from 54 countries, giving written online responses. This article first summarises previously published findings from the survey regarding the range of ethical challenges experienced, then develops a new analysis of social workers’ accounts of ethically challenging situations from a virtue ethics perspective. This analysis took a narrative ethics approach, treating respondents’ accounts as stories featuring the tellers as moral agents, with implicit or explicit implications for their professional ethical identity and character. The article is illustrated with accounts from the 41 UK respondents, drawing particularly on two case examples. Ethical considerations Ethical approval was gained from Durham University and anonymity was ensured for participants. Findings/results This article explores the nature of the ethical space created during the pandemic showing how practitioners were able to draw more on ‘inner resources’ and professional discretion than usual, displaying virtues such as professional wisdom, care, respectfulness and courage as they took account of the specific contexts of their work, rather than simply adhering to blanket rules. Conclusion Exploring practice through a virtue ethical lens provides valuable lessons for ‘building back better’ in social and health care professions. (shrink)
This paper comprises a case study illustrating ethical and practical challenges for a Ugandan hospital-based social worker early in the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a commentary. The hospital was under-resourced, with staff and patients experiencing lack of information and panic. The social worker, Denis Adia, recounts his responses to new and ethically challenging situations, including persuading Muslim patients to stop fasting for the good of their health; deciding to keep a baby in hospital with parents although this was against the (...) rules; and supporting a stigmatised former patient in the face of intimidation by colleagues. He reflects on the importance of recognising each person’s unique needs and circumstances, seeing this as a vital role for social workers. The case is followed by a commentary from a UK academic (Sarah Banks), who notes the cognitive and emotional effort (‘ethics work’) undertaken by the social worker to: see the ethical aspects of particular situations; take account of patients’ specific needs; ensure they are treated with respect; promote their well-being; and perform as a good social worker. Banks draws attention to the key role of the virtue of courage in pandemic conditions, which involves working with new risks and facing fears with confidence. (shrink)
This article examines two cases that present ethical challenges encountered by social workers in making decisions either to maintain professional boundaries or fulfil moral obligations while working with service users in vulnerable situations. In the first case, a Lebanese social worker narrates how she was motivated to step out of her official responsibilities to assist a refugee mother of three who showed suicidal ideation. In the second case, a Ugandan social worker recounts her experience while working with a family whose (...) 12-year-old daughter was raped and became pregnant, but whose parents refused to accept abortion when medical diagnosis showed that the girl’s life was in danger. A commentary from the authors is provided after each case. Both social workers were arguably motivated to act based on their concern to care for people, protect human rights, and save lives in the two case scenarios. This underscores the relevance of the ethics of care and virtue ethics in describing the associated ethical challenges in both cases. Furthermore, the dynamic nature of the ethical challenges encountered by the social workers demands open minds and flexibility in decision-making. (shrink)