The Evolution Of Ethics In Social Work

1541 Words 6 Pages
Ethics has been the cornerstone of social work practice since it’s inception. However it was not until 1960 that the National Association of Social Workers, or NASW, codified the ideas of ethical practice into a set of standards. This single page document is known as the Code of Ethics. The motivation for this was to develop a code by which the profession could define and assess the boundaries of ethical practice. Ethics in the field of social work, like other areas of ethics, evolve as societal and cultural norms change over time. Given this, there is a clear need for such a framework; it is necessary to have a set of fixed points against which to compare the changes in our collective ethical views. Unfortunately, this evolution can often …show more content…
CSWE pursues this mission in higher education by setting and maintaining national accreditation standards for baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in social work, by promoting faculty development, by engaging in international collaborations, and by advocating for social work education and research.” (CITE)

Additionally, the CSWE established a framework for assessing professional competence via curriculum and accreditation standards called the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). In 1996, in response to the evolution of healthcare and information, the ethics and professional practice of social work was further defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA, Title II). HIPAA set forth new standards in the handling of protected health care information. The Act specifically addresses electronic healthcare information, privacy, security, breach notification, compliance and enforcement and patient safety. (CITE Last name,
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I outlined my concern that we were facilitating a known sexual predator’s access to minor children, which violated his parole conditions and my own personal values. The director of the center’s response was that the Court referred the matter and they were “surely aware” of the conditions and directed me to conduct the mediation. Aware or not, I felt that facilitating this mediation was a violation of my own morals and ethics and the law. The Court ordered the matter to mediation, however this did not bind me as an individual to conduct the mediation. I had no standing to bring my concerns to the attention of the Court. Further, there was an issue of confidentiality. I decided to contact a co-worker who was a licensed MSW to discuss ethical implications of the situation. After a lengthy discussion we came up with a plan of action. I would refuse the mediation assignment citing my inability to maintain a neutral unbiased third facilitator. Also, as a mandated reporter I would file the mandatory 3200 Report of Suspected Abuse or Neglect, unfortunately it was against the mother for failure to protect. Additional follow up with the Court administrator revealed that the court was unaware of the nature of the father’s conviction or probation conditions prior to the referral to mediation. All child related disputes were referred for mediation as a matter of the court’s

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