The Values and Ethics of Social Work are grounded in interpersonal relationships. These values emphasize the importance of communication, empathy, and mutual respect in social interactions. The Ethics of Social Work also highlight the importance of being honest and transparent in all dealings with others.
“Relative worth, usefulness, or importance” is how Merriam Webster describes values. Values are ideas or beliefs that are valued by someone. I believe that many people base their personal decisions on the influence of values, and these choices can become challenging in a therapeutic relationship. Personal ideals may have an unintended impact on clients’ well-being by inadvertently influencing professionals.
It is essential that social workers be aware of their personal values and how these may impact their clients. In order to establish and maintain successful helping relationships, it is important to develop empathy and rapport with clients. Interpersonal relationships are a key part of the social work profession, and friendships often develop between client and social worker. While these relationships can be beneficial, it is important to maintain professional boundaries in order to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
Ethics are defined as “moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior”. Social workers are bound by a code of ethics set forth by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). This code includes six core values: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. These values guide social workers in their professional conduct and decision-making.
When working with clients, it is important for social workers to be aware of their own personal values and how these may influence their work. Additionally, social workers must maintain professional boundaries in order to avoid any potential conflict of interest. By understanding the impact of personal values and adhering to the NASW code of ethics, social workers can provide effective and ethical services to their clients.
When working in a therapeutic relationship, helpers must be aware of the influence of their personal beliefs on their interactions and distinguish between imposing versus revealing these values (Schneider and Corey, 2010). This essay will look at a personal value, an issue linked to it, and how I resolved it in order to help me better understand my own values.
I grew up in the Philippines and my parents always taught me the importance of helping others. As a result, I have always been very interested in helping people, particularly those who are vulnerable or marginalized. When I started my social work studies, I was excited to learn more about how I could help others as a professional.
One of my personal values is friendship. I believe that friendships are built on trust, mutual respect, and shared values. However, I have found that it can be difficult to maintain friendships when you are also working with someone professionally. This is because there can be a power difference between you and the person you are trying to be friends with. For example, if you are a social worker and you become friends with a client, there may be a conflict of interest.
One way to resolve this conflict is to set boundaries with your friends. For example, you might want to avoid discussing work-related topics outside of work hours. You can also let your friends know that you are happy to help them if they need it, but that you may not be able to do everything they ask. By setting these boundaries, you can maintain healthy friendships while still respecting the professional relationship.
My parents divorced when I was an adolescent, and my mother became my main caregiver. Effective parenting, particularly by a mother, has become a personal value for me. Subsequently, I do not respect people who take a pass on their child’s responsibilities or parental duties. This belief has caused me to have a problem with a personal friendship.
My close friend, Bob, and I met in college and have been friends for over 10 years. We are very different people. I am an only child who was raised primarily by my mother while Bob has four siblings and was raised primarily by his father. Despite our different upbringings, we share many common interests and have always been able to have insightful conversations about a variety of topics. However, there is one significant area where we differ – parenting philosophies.
I strongly believe that it is a parent’s responsibility to be intimately involved in their children’s lives – to know their friends, activities, school progress, etc. In contrast, Bob takes a more hands-off approach with his children. He believes that it is their responsibility to come to him with information and problems. While I respect his parenting style, I do not agree with it.
Recently, Bob’s teenage daughter got into some trouble at school. When he told me about the situation, I was surprised that he did not know more details. I asked him how he found out and he said that his daughter had told him what happened. I then asked why she felt comfortable coming to him and not her mother. He explained that his wife works long hours and is often tired when she comes home. Additionally, she is not as patient as he is and often gets angry when his daughter talks back or does something wrong.
I could understand his wife’s perspective but I still felt that it was Bob’s responsibility to be more involved. I told him that if he was not going to talk to his daughter’s teachers or administrators, then he should at least be talking to her mother. He said that he would think about it.
A few weeks later, Bob’s daughter got into trouble again. This time, she was caught with drugs at school. Bob told me that he had talked to his wife and they had decided that it was best for him to handle the situation. I was surprised and disappointed by their decision.
I told Bob that I thought he was making a mistake by not being more involved. I said that his daughter needed both her parents to be there for her. He said that he appreciated my opinion but that he and his wife had decided what was best for their family.
While I respect Bob’s decision, it has caused some tension in our friendship. I believe that he is not being as involved as he should be and I do not think that his daughter is getting the support she needs. On the other hand, Bob believes that he is doing what is best for his family. We have been able to continue our friendship by agreeing to disagree on this issue.