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Ethical dilemma in relation to the ethical standards of human service professionals

Professionals are able to offer assistance to their clients within their own unique context of their communities and environments. Those who consider themselves professionals in this field are expected to uphold the integrity and ethics specific to the profession, promote client and community well-being, and enhance their own professional growth. The Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals includes a responsibility to clients, the public and society, colleagues, employers, the profession, self, and students, and is broken down into 44 sub-categories within these aspects.

  • They share that information with clients, groups and community as part of their work;
  • We have studied specific scenarios that would be ethically questionable, in which my colleagues and I further discussed;
  • Some even report having difficulty with intimacy as a result of their reported pain;
  • Characterized particularly by an appreciation of human beings in all of their diversity, human services offers assistance to its clients within the context of their community and environment;
  • Standard number two would rightfully be considered of high importance as well, as it refers to the consent of each client;
  • However, in some communities and situations it may not be feasible to avoid social or other nonprofessional contact with clients.

This code is necessary to ensure that professionals consistently lie by the fundamental values of the human services field with every decision they make. These values include respecting the dignity and welfare of all people, promoting self-determination, honoring cultural diversity, advocating for social justice, and acting with honesty, integrity, genuineness and objectivity.

It is expected that ethical decision making processes are employed even in times where conflict may exist between this code and laws, workplace policies, cultural practices, credentialing boards, and personal beliefs. Those who are members of the National Organization for Human Services NOHSstudents in relevant academic degree programs, faculty in these programs, researchers, administrators, and professionals in community agency which identify with the human services profession should be expected to live by this code.

That being said, the 44 ethical standards are organized into sections around these persons to whom the ethical practice should be applied. The Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals is extremely useful, and completely necessary to consider, when making important decisions within the field. While ethical standards are useful when working in any and all professional fields, it is of extreme importance to have a guide regarding questionable ethical circumstances in such a field that is so broad yet has such a wide variety of specific situations which keeps professionals on their toes.

I have personally worked within the field for almost three years. While I have worked at the same company and have not yet experienced the broad spectrum of the human services profession, I have already encountered countless ethical dilemmas. These instances do not happen regularly where I currently work, and are actually quite uncommon, but can be very challenging when they do occur.

  1. In my opinion, based on the code of ethics, I believe it would be best to confront the colleague and address their unethical actions. In some instances, it may be a labor relations matter, or a training or coaching issue between the worker and supervisor.
  2. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 15 2 , 1-24. What would be the best way to handle this scenario?
  3. STATEMENT 16 Human service professionals advocate for the rights of all members of society, particularly those who are members of minorities and groups at which discriminatory practices have historically been directed.
  4. Although ethical codes are not legal documents, they may be used to assist in the adjudication of issues related to ethical human service behavior. This conversation merits discussion among our peers and other related professionals.

Based on my personal experiences thus far and the education I have received; I would consider certain standards within the code of ethics to be of the most importance to remember. First, since the work that we do as professionals is done for the benefit of our clients, it is of utmost importance that we recognize and build upon client and community strengths.

Personally, as my primary interest lies within the area of counseling, this concept would be considered on a daily basis. When counseling a client, the professional must consistently emphasize the strengths of the client in order to promote healing.

I believe that this aspect is mentioned as standard number one for a reason. Standard number two would rightfully be considered of high importance as well, as it refers to the consent of each client.

It is always the choice of the client to consent to the services provided by professionals, except in any case in which is court ordered. Those who are unable to provide consent must be assisted by someone who is legally able to give consent for them and review an informed consent statement, along with providing appropriate consent.

In order for a client to affectively receive help, it is necessary that they feel the comfort provided by an assured sense of confidentiality, aside from any given exceptions. Standard number eight could also be tied into this, as it states that human services professionals protect the integrity, safety, and security of client records.

How I got here and where I plan to go

Standard number nine is also somewhat similar, stating that when providing services through the use of technology, human service professionals take precautions to ensure and maintain confidentiality and comply with all rules and requirements regarding the usage of this data.

It is necessary that all personal beliefs and biases are set aside when it comes to providing assistance for the needs of the community. That being said, as standards number thirteen and fourteen imply, professionals must stay informed about all currently social and political issues that may affect clients and communities.

By doing so, as standard number seventeen says, professionals are effectively able to represent their qualifications and the profession as a whole to the public. It is also absolutely necessary, as defined by standard number twelve, that professionals are at all times aware of local, state, and federal law.

However, we as professionals should not need to know the entire code of ethics in order to remember that they must act properly in accordance to the law. One must also consider their responsibility to their colleagues and employers. While this holds true in all professions, it is still always important to remember that when having a conflict with the colleague, one must first seek out the colleague in an attempt to manage problem, and then seek the assistance of supervisors or other professionals as clarified by standard number twenty.

Client Relationships and Ethical Boundaries for Social Workers in Child Welfare

It is also noteworthy to emphasize that human services professionals must respond appropriately to the unethical and problematic behavior of other colleagues at all times. This aspect, discussed in standard number twenty-one, is extremely important, as I have already encountered this issue multiple times throughout my own personal experiences.

The final ethical code that I feel is necessary to mention is discussed within standard number twenty-four, as it states that professionals must participate in efforts to establish and maintain employment conditions which are conducive to high quality client services, which could also indirectly be considered as a responsibility to the client. While all standards are clearly important to the profession, I feel that these specific standards would be considered of most importance in that they would frequently be necessary to remember.

Overall, the Ethical Standards for Human Services Professionals falls mainly in line with my own personal values and beliefs. However, these standards are rather general, and when applied to specific circumstances within the field, could at times become controversial.

For example, based on my personal values, I do not advocate for nor believe in the act of abortion. I do believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I do not think it is fair to end the life of a human being that has no say over whether or not they live or die. No matter how early the pregnancy, I feel as though every fetus is a human in the making, and therefore should be given just as many rights as any other human being.

If I were to apply this to a possible scenario while working in the field, I could place myself in the shoes of a caseworker faced with an ethical dilemma. Suppose I, as a caseworker, was assigned to take over case in which a colleague of mine had been working on. Say that this case involved working with a troubled teenage girl who was living in poverty.

  • They share that information with clients, groups and community as part of their work;
  • STATEMENT 16 Human service professionals advocate for the rights of all members of society, particularly those who are members of minorities and groups at which discriminatory practices have historically been directed;
  • Based on what we have discussed in this course thus far, the theme does fall in line with these ethical standards;
  • Fortunately, ethics training for social workers must be taken in accordance with state licensure standards;
  • STATEMENT 50 Human service educators recognize and acknowledge the contributions of students to their work, for example in case material, workshops, research, publications;
  • This code is necessary to ensure that professionals consistently lie by the fundamental values of the human services field with every decision they make.

The girl, who we will call Diana, had been involved in multiple instances of theft and other minor charges. Recently, she found out she was pregnant and currently in her first trimester. She had no interest of keeping the child, did not wish to deal with the troubles of pregnancy, but was under the impression that she would never be able afford an abortion and that her insurance would not cover this type of operation. However, after discussing it with your colleague, she reveals to you that after looking into it, she was able to find a way that she could receive the operation without having to pay.

However, being that the colleague held similar views such as my own that abortion is wrongshe chose to tell the client that there was no way she could have an abortion and that she would have to carry out the pregnancy.

What would be the best way to handle this scenario? In my opinion, based on the code of ethics, I believe it would be best to confront the colleague and address their unethical actions. I would tell her that, in the future, she must carry out her actions in compliance with ethical standards instead of personal beliefs. In addition, since I would be taking over this case from this point, it would be best to inform her of all possible options.

Based on what we have discussed in this course thus far, the theme does fall in line with these ethical standards. We have studied specific scenarios that would be ethically questionable, in which my colleagues and I further discussed.

Ethical Standards of Human Service Professionals (1996)

I feel as though our class as a whole has effectively worked out how to manage each given scenario in a variety of methods. It seems as though every scenario we have discussed has been rightfully deemed as unethical, and after discussion, we were able to come up with alternate decision-making processes which could be considered ethical. In addition, the concepts in which we have discussed regarding that of Catholic Social Teaching also generally align with the Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals.

Overall, these standards protect the life and dignity for all humans involved within the services provided by this field. In addition, the call to family, community, an participation is highly prominent within the human services field in general. It also calls that we maintain dignity of work and the rights of all workers. In reference to the community and the common good, both CST and the human services code of ethics focus on how we organize our society in economics and politics, in law and politics directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow within the community.

These standards cover all areas in which professionals may find difficulty, and effectively provide reference to all workers on how to handle challenging situations.