Social Work Ethical Dilemmas

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Being a social worker is a tough profession. The profession is not always respected and some social workers face quite a bit of hate or anger. Social workers also have to face a number of rough situations and must make difficult decisions that not everyone may agree with. Some of these decisions are known as ethical dilemmas. In the lecture, The History of Social Work, an ethical dilemma is described as existing when there are conflicts between the two or more of the core social work values (class lecture, September 21, 2015). A common ethical dilemma that social workers face is with clients who are suicidal and/or harm themselves. For the purpose of this essay, I am going to pretend that I am a social worker for a youth who used to harm herself.…show more content…
As we are talking she tells me that she isn’t doing as well as she led her parents to believe and that she has relapsed. She also tells me she has had in-depth thoughts about committing suicide. She asks me not to say anything because she doesn’t want to be sent back to the hospital. She appears to be in an extremely low place and I become worried that she may go as far as to take her own life. In this essay, I am going to outline how I will try to work out this ethical dilemma and come to a solution that is in the best interest of my client. In the Hick’s Social Work in Canada textbook, there is an outline of a five-step process for dealing with ethical dilemmas. I am going to use these steps to help me come up with a solution to my ethical dilemma. Hick (2001) outlines the first step as “identify the key ethical…show more content…
85). The textbook also outlines five questions to ask during the acknowledgement of your emotions and values (Hick 2001, p. 85). These questions are: “1. What are my feelings and intuition telling me to do? 2. How can my values inform my decision? Will they hinder or help? 3. How will other people be affected by my decision? 4. How would I feel if this decision was made public? 5. What decision would best define who I am as a person?” (Hicks 2001, p. 85). My feelings and intuitions are telling me that I should report the self-harm so that this youth can get the help she needs. I feel like she is trying to reach out in the only way she knows how and I need to do something to help her. My values can inform my decision because I value life and happiness and safety. My values will inform my decision because I want this girl to feel happy and safe and live a good life. The only way I know how to do this is by getting her proper help. The people that will be affected by my decision is the youth I am working with and her family members. This young girl will be affected by my decision due to the fact that essentially, I am the one who decides whether or not she is taken back to the hospital. If I tell her family what she told me, she will definitely be sent back. Her family will be affected by my decision since I could be throwing their life into chaos. If I don’t report

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