Ethics and Conduct in Self-directed Groupwork: Some Lessons for the Development of a More Ethical Social Work Practice
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethics and Social Welfare 5 (4):361-379 (2011)
This paper compares and contrasts the impact and the interface of different sets of values held by social care practitioners in their decision-making process with regard to ethical dilemmas. Specifically, it explores some of the fundamental distinctions between self-directed groupworkers and other qualified social workers practising in both statutory and voluntary sectors. The methodology is qualitative and draws upon a Grounded Theory process. In contrasting the contribution of different sets of values in decision making, we found that participants, regardless of their approach to work, showed an overall fit between their personal and professional values. However, when we explored the influence of participants? agencies on their decision-making processes, participants tended to prioritise organisational values, whereas for participants practising in the self-directed approach, the impact was less marked. Reflections on the role of values in increasing social workers? resistance to organisational constraints, and discussion of some implications for social work education, conclude the article
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