Personal Statement : Professional Practice Essay

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Integrity in Professional Practice
Honesty in interpersonal communication is one belief or attitude that demonstrates the social work value of integrity. Hepworth et al. (2013) states that we must “encourage ethical practices in [our] own agencies” (p. 80). Social work is a profession that functions in different contexts with a variety of participants in different situations and each may possess different cultures, ideas and viewpoints. These different aspects of social work result from a due to a number of access to resources, professional protocols, social problems, theoretical frameworks, legislature and funding sources.
Social work is also affected by the organizational context in which it takes place. As social workers, we may work in private practice or in not-for-profit agencies that have their own policies and procedures, mandates and mission statements that we are expected to adhere to. Fook (2002) states that many within the social work field feel that “work and employment contexts are so restricted that they do not allow us to practice in empowering ways” (p. 1) and that the adherence to agency policies take precedence over assisting our clients with their problems. Funding sources often dictate frameworks that are not supportive of advocating on behalf of clients or in the self-determination of our clients. I have found myself in this position before when an agency practice followed the letter of the law in regards to youth having the legal right to refuse…

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