Social Justice And Social Work Practice

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Table of contents

  1. Ethical Perceptive
  2. Applying the Ethical Rules Screen
  3. Apply the Ethical Principles Screen
  4. Reference

Social workers can be put into a predicament within their professing if they do not know there responsibility for the client’s privacy and confidentiality. This paper will demonstrate how important privacy and confidentiality to the client’s we are serving. The exemplar I chose to use is “When does confidentiality end? Is this situation the Clinical Social Worker providing counseling for 2 years? The police are asking for information on the whereabouts of her client that she has not seen or heard of for 3 years. The clinical is faced with an ethical dilemma if she should provide this information to the police? According to the Code of Ethics a person’s right to privacy, for example a good and desirable thing is an important value of U.S. society. One of the social work ethical rules deduced from this value states, “Social workers should obtain clients’ informed consent before audio taping or videotaping clients or permitting observation of services to clients by a third party” (NASW, 2008, 1.03f) (Dolgott & Harrington. pg. 25). In this circumstance this is the police asking for this information. What are the similarities and differences between law and ethics? Law has an ethical dimension. Thus Albert (1986) insists that “it is altogether misleading to say that legal duties have nothing to do with moral duties” but there are differences. (Dolgott & Harrington, pg. 31). Yes there is a difference we are told that the confidentiality and privacy is the most important ethical principle we must practice through school and our agency. Now we are faced with the dilemma because we are also mandated reporters. This clinician as not seen this client for 3 years is she required to give the location and treatment data to the police? This paper will identify what is required from the clinicians.

There is no limit of time of privacy and confidentially with your clients. The Code of Ethics has been revised to reflect the Tarasoff decision (NASW Code, 2008, 1.07c); most social workers no longer think that they have to choose between professional ethics and law in the duty to warn. (Dolgott & Harrington, pg. 32). This again can develop a sense of confusion for the social worker; this law is stimulating that we must comply with the police officer looking for the client. Social workers have never been able to offer their clients unlimited confidentiality. However, in recent years they have seen their ability to protect confidentiality further diminished by increasing demands for accountability, widening access to information in records, mandated child abuse reporting, and expanding court involvement in professional decision making. Today, practitioners are constantly weighing their obligation to safeguard confidential information against legitimate individual, organizational, and community interests in obtaining that information. ( Kagle, JD, 1994), This is so confusion overall, do we protect their privacy or obey the law and help the police. Ethically I would let the officer know is last location because I am a mandated reporter and he did violate his probation but as far treatment I would need a release from the client or a subpoena from the court system. Honestly the more I read this research the more I am confused. Tarasoff and its progeny require practitioners to use discretion and follow accepted standards of practice: conducting a thorough assessment, documenting their findings; and, if warranted, taking action to protect third parties. Practitioners who properly perform their duties under Tarasoff find that the law converges with their professional ethics. They breach their clients' confidentiality only for compelling reasons. (Kagle, JD, 1994). Case studies state if the act of client was violate which the client was being treated for domestic violence than chances are the client will be violate again so that is how he can determine this outcome. Honestly this go against either we are taught through our schooling and at our place of employment.

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Ethical Perceptive

I am definitely the caring perceptive. Sometimes I care too much and find myself being burnt out overall. My personal value is that if I can show my client’s unconditional love and forgiveness. The client’s that we deal with as social workers are the people that have not been shown love from anyone overall. I believe if we provide an atmosphere of empathy, non judgment, and resources the change can transition within their lives. Trust can be established with this ethical perceptive. Honesty comes with developing a relationship with your client’s by living with integrity and not lying to them most of all. If you asked one of my clients what do you like about Lisa the most they all say the same thing she is honest with me and tells me the truth no matter what. I allow them to embrace the true beauty within and I do not shown any judgment for the character in life. I explain to them that they made a mistake but you are not mistake and their strongholds in life can help others face their struggles. I have them sign a declaration of War against their addiction or the mental illness.

The ethics of care (Barnes, 8) focuses on the responsibilities linked to care relationships and suggests that such relations develop and build everyone's morality. Not only frail people experience or need care: it is a founding component of life that includes both receiving and giving care, as shown, for example, in a parent–son relationship. (Pasini, A, 2016). I take all the issues and I begin to provide a caring atmosphere to developing their character within. We has social workers can encourage them through motivate the desire outcome through positive feedback. The ethics of care underlines the commitment to 'take to heart' (as Don Milani wished for, [25]) and to be involved even emotionally in situations of vulnerability. Social workers should recognize the resources of each individual and commit to an ethical exchange of actions to reach 'good' life improvement. These practices of care 'taking place both inside and outside, can help the family represent a 'strategic' moral resource' for society (Williams, [41], p. 20). The ethics of care invites social workers to use them consciously and intentionally to promote collective well-being and social justice (Koggel & Orme, [21]; Tronto, [38]).([Pasini, A 2016) I know for me personally I like to treat others with human dignity no matter what they did.

  • A. Guaranteeing the self determination, autonomy, and freedom of your client (5)
  • B. Assuring social justice for your client (2)
  • C. Ensuring that the decision you make creates the least harm (6)
  • D. Guaranteeing your client’s privacy and assuring the confidentiality of any information received from him (1)
  • E. Protecting your client’s life (3)
  • F. Assuring your client’s quality of life g. Making sure that all of your statements are truthful and provide full disclosure (4)

This assessment was difficult for me to prioritize the well being of the client and for myself. Ethically my perception when I first starting school has changed just because of my experience in this field. The negative side of a caring perceptive can lead the social worker putting other people needs before myself.

Applying the Ethical Rules Screen

The ethical dilemma is simple privacy and confidentiality but as social workers we need to protect the lives of our clients at all cost. I don’t think any decision here can be ethical justified in my opinion the social worker needs to evaluate what is best for the client’s live. Maclver wrote in 1992 is still important today is; Ethics cannot be summed up in a series of mandatory rules. ( ) Ethical relativist when it comes to identifying the targeted or beneficiary. The ethical decision needs to address the safety concerns of our client’s rights. Social workers are here to protect others and also protect them from themselves. The definition of ethical dilemma according Oxford Dictionary is an ethical dilemma is a decision making problem between two possible moral imperatives, neither of which is unambiguously acceptable or preferable. It's sometimes called an ethical paradox in moral philosophy. The Ethic Code protects the client and us to not use our own personal value system to make ethical decisions. The professional Code of Ethics and common sense provide them with sufficient guidance to cope with many of these dilemmas (Beyerstein, 1993). Social workers, however, do not always face simple choices between one good option and one bad option. (Dolgott & Harrington pg. 52)

The decision that we make in the social work field can damage the lives of others if we are not careful. The positive side of being a social worker we can save human beings lives daily.

Apply the Ethical Principles Screen

Ethical one appliers to this case for sure. The social worker is protection the lives of the client and the client’s sexual partner. There have been many case studies that have proven that he must identify what is most important which is always to protect of life. The perspective with which social workers view the world reflects their personal philosophy and value systems that derive from both their personal and their cultural history Indeed, recent research evidence indicates that there is no difference between social workers' professional and personal ethical hierarchies, even though they do not hold a universally accepted hierarchy of ethical principles and they tend to apply different ethical hierarchies in different situations (Landau & Osmo, [18]). Landau and Osmo's results indicate that, while social workers appear to attach great importance to the professional ethical principles, their personal values may play a great role in their ethical decision‐making processes. The preponderance of social workers' personal values on their decision‐making processes needs further analysis. (Osmo, R., & Landau, R. (2006). I would use the same principles for sure starting with principle one, two and four. These principles could save the lives of these clients.

Impartially is not taking the situation personal, making decision based on ethical principles, observing the situation on the outside looking not passing judgment. Generalizing is looking at the facts of the case, making decision not just for short term goals but also the effect of the long term goals. Justifiability making your decision based on your professional assessment, not making excuses for the client’s behavior in their situation.

In conclusion, we need to know ourselves within so we don’t inflict our personal values on others to determine how we value and treat human being. The Ethical rules are here to save our professional careers and protect the client’s against us that are serving them.


  1. Kagle JD, & Kopels S. (1994). Confidentiality after Tarasoff... social workers believe that they have a duty to warn. Health & Social Work, 19(3), 217–222. Retrieved from
  2. Pasini, A. (2016). How to make good choices? Ethical perspectives guiding social workers moral reasoning. Social Work Education, 35(4), 377–386.
  3. Osmo, R., & Landau, R. (2006). The Role of Ethical Theories in Decision Making by Social Workers. Social Work Education, 25(8), 863–876.
  4. Dolgoff, R., Harrington, D., Loewenberg, F. M. Brooks/Cole Empowerment Series: Ethical Decisions for Social Work Practice, 9e. [VitalSource Bookshelf]. Retrieved from
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