Examples Of Ethical Considerations For Human Service Worker

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Ethical Considerations for a Human Services Worker

The National Organization of Human Services (n.d.) defines the profession as being unique in the way that it approached the needs of humans. This definition states that human services professionals “focus on prevention as well as remediation of problems, as well as committing to improving the overall quality of life (NOHS, n.d.).” While focusing on remediation of problems for clients, human services workers will face ethical decisions that will need to be considered. These decisions are based on codes of ethics, but also on the human service worker themselves. Lord and Cowen (2011) state “ethical behavior is based on knowing the difference between what is legal and what is moral.” Human
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This goes hand in hand with giving the client respect, and ensuring the client’s dignity. Feaster et al (1998) conducted a study on confidentiality in social work, and one recommendation that stuck out was discussing the limits of confidentiality with each client. While it may seem common sense to shut the door while a client is in the office, avoid discussing clients where those not covered by confidentiality agreements can hear, and to not discuss clients outside of the agency or organization, the ethical dilemma comes when human service workers do not discuss the limits to confidentiality with their clients. For instance, the client who has a managed care insurance plan may need an explanation of what may be shared with their insurance. It is also important to be sure the worker makes clear to the client what information can and cannot be shared with other staff members within the agency. Human service workers will need to be sure the informed consent forms cover these limits as …show more content…
While the framework is there, it is up to the individual to determine if an ethical dilemma exists and what type of dilemma they are dealing with (Allen, n.d.). In order to identify if the consideration to be made is an ethical one there are a few things a human services worker can do. First, the human services worker can check the code of ethics for the organization they are a member of as well as the policies of the agency they work for. Second, the human services worker can bring the concern to colleagues or their supervisor in order to get another’s perspective on what they are experiencing. Lastly, the worker can examine the situation themselves and determine what exactly the consideration is. When working with ethics, the major ethical consideration to follow is do no harm. Human services workers need to examine each situation with the client and determine if what they are doing will help or harm their client. In order to be effective, each interaction with the client should be a helping one with the emphasis on the client, not the human services

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