Social Work Case Studies Ethical Dilemmas

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The more what one is supposed to do and what one does coincide, the more ethical the practice.

The problem, however, is that what the social worker is "supposed to do" is not always evident, nor is it one-dimensional even when the issues are clear. What are the possible resolutions (must include at least two)? Resolution of choice: Specify the moral reasoning behind the resolution of choice regarding how and why any given action contends with the conflict of values.

It is important to keep in mind that while all aspects of practice may have implications which are ethical, not all aspects of practice involve ethical dilemmas per se.

One measure of ethical conduct in any occupation is the continuity between what the practitioner is supposed to do and what is actually done.

There are ethical and nonethical aspects of social work.

The "nonethical" aspects include various aspects of clinical practice, for example, particular intervention techniques, process notes, where to conduct one's practice, whether or not to collect fees or methods of assessment.In fact, quite to the contrary, ethical practice at times is laborious and time-consuming. What is the proposed action to be taken which needs to be evaluated as ethical or unethical? However, this is at the very heart of the social worker's difficulty in sorting out any given service situation, for it is at this interface where what one can do and what one should do that ethics transcends practice and we encounter ethical dilemmas. In this example, an ethical dilemma exists in that both values, self-determination and confidentiality, cannot be equally and necessarily upheld. It is important to actually go through the exercise of writing out what the competing values are to make sure you are thinking through the situation rationally.Herein lies the difficulty with how to resolve ethical dilemmas--how to contend with all the facets of one's ethical obligations in light of competing social work values. If there is only one value at stake then the social worker is obligated to actively support that social work value.This can be done individually or in a group process such as a multidisciplinary team or a department. These steps are a modified form of those found in "Truth Telling: An Ethical Dilemma" by K. Sometimes conflicts arise between the social worker's professional obligation to a client – the client's right to confidentiality, for example – and the social worker's own ethics, her concern for the client's well-being or her obligation to the community.These conflicts can arise as well with agencies, administrators or colleagues.Craig currently works as an Assistant Crown Attorney in St. As a prosecutor, he has taken carriage of the full gamut of criminal cases, from mischief to murders. Craig is the domestic violence lead within his office and frequently prosecutes child abuse cases.He regularly appears before the Ontario Review Board.


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