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Professional integrity

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Professional integrity

  1. 1. Professional Integrity
  2. 2. • “It is difficult to explain ethics, values and principles of practice in a limited space”. (Cocks & Adams, 2012;169). • “Shardlow (2002) makes the important point that dealing with values is like trying to hold a slippery fish”.(Thompson, 2006:36). Warning! Abstract Values ahead!
  3. 3. Why do values matter? Attention to our values helps us; • Become more self-aware. • Make ethical decisions. • Develop credibility, • Understanding one's own core values is integral to becoming self-aware. Self-awareness helps us understand how people perceive us, it enables us to identify the personal qualities that we would like to change. • Values influence our choices, but our choices also influence our values.
  4. 4. Professional Boundaries • Codes of ethics promote certain types of professional behaviour, but also limit or constrain other types of behaviour. • When we think of ethical constraints, we may refer to these as ‘professional boundaries’. • Having clear professional boundaries requires self- awareness and being able to differentiate between the ‘personal self’ and the ‘professional self’. • This can be a demanding and complex process when working with families, as this role requires authenticity and intimacy and skill at developing relationships
  5. 5. CDWC Common Induction Standards (2010) requires; • Show how you promote the principles and values essential for work with children, young people and families • Understand the importance of promoting equality and diversity. • Understand different types of prejudice and discrimination and how anti-discriminatory • practice can contribute to the reduction of discrimination • Understand inclusion and inclusive practices
  6. 6. Principles and Values Principles and values from CWDC induction standards Consent and confidentiality Empowerment and ownership Accountability ImpartialityRespect
  7. 7. Trying to Locate codified values? • It is currently difficult to locate ethical codes of practice that apply to the general children’s workforce. • However, the historically established profession of ‘Social Work’ might help us locate ethical principles:
  8. 8. Foundation of professional values Biestek (1961) principles; Recognition of a unique qualities. Recognises the need for service users to freely express their true feelings. Sensitivity to feelings, and understanding of their meaning. Acceptance of the service user for who they are. Not to assign guilt/innocence or degrees of service users responsibility for issues. Freedom of choice in making decisions. Confidentiality
  9. 9. Anti-oppressive practice Is a social work practice theory. It seeks to acknowledge oppression in societies, economies, cultures & groups and aiming social work to remove or negate the influence of the oppression. Bronfenbrenner (1979) Ecological Theory Thompson (2006) PCS Analysis
  10. 10. Thompson (2006:36-9), Naïve Complacency – Practitioners were unaware of sociological/structural influences. Dogmatic Reductionism – ‘Political corrrectness gone mad’. Historically, collective professional awareness of oppression has swung between two extremes; represented as a pendulum:
  11. 11. Applied Ethics Addressing Ethical Dilemmas and Making Decisions in real life contexts.
  12. 12. What are applied ethics? • Applied ethics is distinguished from normative ethics, which concerns what people should believe to be right and wrong • Applied ethics require a decision to be made in a contentious context. • Require contexts to be realistic.
  13. 13. Applied Ethical Dilemma 1 • You and a friend are going out for a quiet drink and your local bar. A great conversation is taking place and you are really enjoying the night. After a while the waiter gets involved in your conversation and you discover that he is a really nice chap. • After about half an hour a young man of Arab heritage walks in, sits next to you and your mate, and asks the bartender for a beer. The bartender promptly refuses to serve the man based on his race and asks him to leave. • Do you say/do something? Why? Why not?
  14. 14. Applied Ethical Dilemma 2 • Your best friend has just told you that he is cheating on his fiancée. Both he and his fiancée have been friends of yours since high school. You are angry at your best friend for what he is doing and want to tell his fiancée but at the same time you promised him you wouldn’t. Would you tell her? Why? Why not?
  15. 15. Applied Ethical Dilemma 3 • You have been given £500 to donate to a starving family with four children with the condition that you have to donate 50% of the money to someone else who is going to buy drugs with your donation. Would you still donate?
  16. 16. These Ethical Dilemmas can be messy and confusing! Source, Dunk-West, (2013:103), How to be a social worker.
  17. 17. Breaking Down Ethical Dilemmas Source, Dunk-West, (2013:104), How to be a social worker
  18. 18. Maybe Adair’s (1985) 5 Stage Model of Decision Making can assist? Adapted from Thompson, (2009:237) People Skills
  19. 19. Recognise Options
  20. 20. Summary:  As each individual is unique, so is their value base they hold.  Values can be challenged, defended or changed  Just because you do not have a strong reaction to an issue does not mean you do not have a value base.  There may be conflict between personal and professional values and boundaries.  Ethics is the study of values.  Ethical dilemmas frequently occur in ‘real life’ and require choices to be made.  Statements of ethical principles; ‘codes of ethics’ (ie Biestek; BASW; CWDC) may guide practitioners in making consistent ethical decisions.  Most if not all decision making involves considering ‘options’.  Ultimately, one option is selected and other options are rejected, then acted upon.
  21. 21. Reference List • Adams, (2012), Working with children and families • Banks, S. (2006) Ethics, Accountability and the Social Professions. London: Palgrave. • Biestek, F. (1961) The Casework Relationship. • Cocks & Adams, (2012), in Adams, Working with children and families. • Dunk-West, (2013:104), How to be a social worker. • Thompson, (2006), Teaching and assessing values. • Thompson, (2009), People skills.