An in-depth study of ethics and values within social work; domestic violence| Social Work Report| Gavin Simpson| Abstract: Introduction: Short term aim: Raise awareness for current and future social workers about the ethical dilemmas they face whilst dealing with domestic abuse cases. I also aim to complete this assignment for the purposes of completing an Access to Social Work Diploma. Long term aim:
Bring this subject to the attention of social workers who are likely to face at some point in their career; a client suffering domestic abuse and being faced with a dilemma of how to protect the service user whilst maintaining autonomy of the service user. Definitions: Ethics: The science of human duty; the body of rules of duty drawn from this science; a particular system of principles and rules concerning duty, whether true or false; rules of practice in respect to a single class of human actions; as, political or social ethics; medical ethics. http://www. brainyquote. com/words/et/ethics161764. html#ixzz1LEwZbcwe Dictionary. om defines ethics as: A theory or a system of moral values: “An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain”; the rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession; Ethics of principled conviction asserts that intent is the most important factor. If you have good principles, then you will act ethically. http://changingminds. org/explanations//values/values_morals_ethics. htm Ethics can be explained in many different ways there are many philosophers who have developed ethics or had ethics developed around their views and ideas, such as Emmanuel Kant, Aristotle and Jeremy Bentham and many more.
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Deontological According to http://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/158162/deontological-ethics; deontological ethics, in philosophy, ethical theories that place special emphasis on the relationship between duty and the morality of human actions. Deontology (Greek deon, “duty,” and logos, “science”) consequently focuses on logic and ethics. No attempt is made in such theories to explicate specific moral obligations. This form of ethics is mostly affiliated with Emmanuel Kant. Virtue Approach to ethics that takes the notion of virtue (often conceived as excellence) as fundamental.
Virtue ethics is primarily concerned with traits of character that are essential to human flourishing, not with the enumeration of duties. It falls somewhat outside the traditional dichotomy between deontological ethics and consequentialism: It agrees with consequentialism that the criterion of an action’s being morally right or wrong lies in its relation to an end that has intrinsic value, but more closely resembles deontological ethics in its view that morally right actions are constitutive of the end itself and not mere instrumental means to the end. http://www. britannica. om/EBchecked/topic/1162994/virtue-ethics Utilitarianism Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy, generally operating on the principle that the utility (happiness or satisfaction) of different people can not only be measured but also meaningfully summed over people and that utility comparisons between people are meaningful. That makes it possible to achieve a well-defined societal optimum in allocations, production, and other decisions, and achieve the goal utilitarian British philosopher Jeremy Bentham described as “the greatest good for the greatest number. ” http://economics. about. om/od/economicsglossary/g/utilitarian. htm Values: Values are the rules by which we make decisions about right and wrong, should and shouldn’t, good and bad. They also tell us which are more or less important, which is useful when we have to trade off meeting one value over another. http://changingminds. org/explanations//values/values_morals_ethics. htm Important and enduring beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or desirable and what is not. Values exert major influence on the behaviour of an individual and serve as broad guidelines in all situations. ttp://www. businessdictionary. com/definition/values. html Domestic abuse According to http;//www. helpguide. rog/mental/domestic violence abuse types signs causes effects. htm; Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair. Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you. The Hampton Trust supports the Home Office definition of domestic abuse which states: “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. ” This includes issues of concern to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities such as so called ‘honour killings’. ttp://www. hamptontrust. org. uk/what_we_do/da_services/da_services_index. html What is an ethical dilemma? An ethical dilemma in its narrowest definition is “a choice between two equally unwelcome alternatives relating to human welfare” (Banks, 1995). However, ethically problematic situations are inherent in social work practice, irrespective of whether they are always acknowledged. http://bura. brunel. ac. uk/bitstream/2438/4197/3/THE%20MEANING%20OF%20ETHICS%20AND%20ETHICAL%20DILEMMAS%20IN%20SOCIAL%20WORK%20PR. pdf. txt
Ethical dilemmas of social workers can be resolved in consultation with social work organization’s ethical committee or a regulatory body or a legal counsel. However, the most accepted method for dealing with ethical dilemmas is to develop and implement a professional code of ethics. http://www. utexas. edu/ssw/dl/files/academic-programs/other/nasw-code-of-ethics. pdf Background: Ethics and Values History Morality Period In the late 19th Century, social work was primarily concerned with the morality of the poor ( Reamer FG. The evolution of social work ethics. Soc Work. 1998;43(6):488-501).
Charitable organisation of relief was mainly directed towards pauperism and attempts to move the poor away from their “shiftless” and “wayward” attitudes. The general idea was that poverty impacted personality. In the early 20th Century, the ideology began to distance itself from the aforementioned idea and towards causative environmental factors. As a result the ethical duty of social work was to promote social justice. Values Period The Flexner Report (1915), maintained that social needed a code of ethics in order to become a profession, in 1920 Mary Richmond had begun to create a code of ethics for use by caseworkers.
In the mid-20th Century social work journals began publishing articles regarding the subject of ethics and core values respecting and valuing and individual’s ability to change, self determination, empowerment, social justice and individual worth and dignity. This began an age of focusing on the clients values as opposed to earlier periods which mainly focused on the practitioners’ values. Period of Ethical Theory and Decision Making A new field of applied and professional ethics come into vie in the 1970’s, these had a highly dominate role in medical ethics. In the 1980’s social workers had begun examining their profession’s values.
Social work literature had begun to focus highly on ethical decision making and ethical theories and the difficulties of everyday practice, this was mainly based on the ideas from philosophy and the new fields of applied ethics. The role of social workers in domestic violence According to Glasgow City Council Social Work Services the role of social work within domestic violence cases ranges from; supporting and developing services for women and their children experiencing domestic abuse to support women and to assist them to feel safe; ensuring that social work staff do not make judgements about women experiencing domestic abuse.
Recognising that women experiencing abuse come from all social classes, ethnic groups, occupations and economic groups; recognising the impact domestic abuse has on children and young people and supporting them to express their views and ensuring women are informed of action we take on their behalf and what happens as a result also ensuring confidentiality wherever possible. Glasgow council also link up with other Council Services and other organisations to make sure that women experiencing domestic abuse can obtain all the services they need as easily as possible.
Glasgow council say that they offer; if you are experiencing domestic abuse, you may need help while still in an abusive relationship, while you are planning to leave or once you have left. We can offer you the chance to talk about your situation and can give information on possible options along with information and advice on; finance and welfare benefits, support services for children and young people, local counselling services and projects, housing and community support services. http://www. glasgow. gov. uk/en/Residents/Care_Support/Homelessness/DomesticAbuse/
Method: Due lack of sufficient time to conduct a full investigation this study will use secondary research as the data for ethics and values and domestic violence statistics. Quantitive Method: The main method of obtaining data will be through the use of secondary research. Due to a limited time frame gathering adequate information would be too time-consuming for the project leader. Qualatitive Method: The use of qualatitive research will be from various sources which gather information with regards to reported domestic abuse cases.
Legislation in impacting social work with regards to domestic abuse Offences Against a Person Act 1861, There are over 80 incidents that are covered under this law. Family Law Act 1996 (Part IV), this covers family homes and domestic violence. Underlying theory of Ethics and values The underlying theory surrounding Ethics and Values in social work is to establish a basis of rules and idea on which people can rely upon when face with an ethical dilemma that is neither covered by legislation or governing bodies’ rules.
Results: Discussion: Definition History Legislation Method The method in which I used to complete this study has disadvantaged the depth of investigation and the amount of information attainable. Due to the early required finish time the report could only ever be okay and does not have the substantial detail that could be achieved, if there was more time to complete primary research activities and compare them with various secondary research in order to get an accurate view of the current situation. Results Report
The study relied too heavily on the use of the internet which is a good source of information but the information can be developed incorrectly and therefore provide false information. The use of books combined with the primary research needs to be employed more to gather necessary information. Although time was limited the ability to gather information from various sources has enabled a report sufficient enough to pass course requirements although for greater educational purposes more information would need to be gathered surrounding the subject area. Conclusion: Recommendation: References Bibliography