Ethical Values in Social Work
What are values, ethics, ethical dilemmas and a code of ethics?
Values relate to principles and attitudes that provide direction to everyday living. Values also refer to beliefs or standards considered desirable by a culture, group or individual (AASW). Similar to values, but slightly different, ethics means a system of beliefs held about what constitutes moral judgement and right conduct, they are moral principles (rules, guides) (AASW). So an ethical dilemma is then when a person is faced with a choice between two equally conflicting moral principles and it is not clear cut which choice will be the right one (AASW). Finally, ‘a code of ethics’ is an explicit statement of the values, …show more content…
Thirdly, it is important for social workers to take time to reflect on their practice and own values. This is a vital point because although guides and frameworks can be developed (as above) to offer social workers a logical approach to the decision making process, to some extent, the use of discretionary judgements is evitable (Mattison, 2000). The value system and preferences of the decision maker (social worker) shape the process of working through dilemmas and so it is important for social