ETHC09002 2017 Professional Ethics in Social Work Practice
Contemporary social work has recognised social justice and professional ethics as core contributions to professional competency that have roots in the early history of the profession. Many international and national codes of ethics for social workers, including the Irish Association of Social Workers, contain social justice principles in their ethical statements. Social justice theory is also judged as a strong feature that influences good practice in the Social Work profession. Social work values and ethics have informed practice in the areas of professional decision making, ethical dilemmas and ethical risk management.
Consequently, this module aims to provide a general overview of approaches to social justice sources, which include normative ethical theories and moral reasoning (libertarian, utilitarian, contractual, egalitarian, and communitarian). Emphasis is given to the contemporary capabilities approach to articulate a framework for social justice practice, and to examine societal access to resources and inclusion in opportunities. Similarly, an ethic of care in contemporary society is articulated to evaluate and existing anti‑oppressive practices in social work, and appraise core ethical principles and standards. Lastly, International standards drawn from human rights law are examined to evaluate how law can further social work practice as an anti‑oppressive practice and for the promotion of societal equality. Interdisciplinary readings and personal stories from social work cases are accessed to translate social justice, and core ethical concepts into tangible social work practice.
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;
Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the profession's commitment to social justice, ethical standards, and human rights through completion of a detailed group presentation for workshop evaluation.
Critically analyse social work case studies during ongoing assessment to thereby contextualise core ethical principles in social work professional practice.
Analysis and critique contemporary theories of justice to demonstrate how it informs and provides a principled response to inequality and exclusion through social work practice.
Critically appraise normative ethical theories, and human rights-based approaches as an anti-oppressive practice for the promotion of societal equality.
Systematically review the theory of capabilities and an ethic of care in contemporary society to examine societal access to resources and inclusion in opportunities.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Participants of this module will participate in weekly online content, accessible through Adobe Connect and/or Panopto. Enhancing these virtual delivery modes, participants will be expected to attend a two-day intensive residency twice per semester.
Self-assessment is a key element in the learning strategy to develop a process of reflective practice while participants incrementally acquire skills to evaluate social justice issues. Therefore, all assessment elements will, as part of their weighting, require self-evaluation to detail participants learning.
Module Assessment Strategies
Module participants will be expected to successfully complete the following:
1. Production of screencast presentation ‑ broadcast to all module participants via Adobe Connect/Panopto ‑ [Maximum 10 minutes duration] on tutor(s) agreed policy case study/simulation topic that incorporates significant elements of Social Policy for Social Work (POL109003). This is a shared assessment.
2. Produce a Powerpoint presentation that is shared during the on‑campus residential study week that analysis and critique a social justice that inform ethical principles as applied to social work practice, and is available for group workshop discussion.
3. Write a brief article which evaluates the conceptual underpinnings of social work theory and practice by examining a contemporary theory of justice or ethical code of practice.
Included in all assessment elements 10% written self-evaluation that details learning.
Repeat requirements will be decided at Exam Boards but will be most likely consist of both oral and written submission.
LO 1. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the profession's commitment to social justice, ethical standards, and human rights through completion of a detailed group presentation for workshop evaluation.
Define social justice including its conceptual history, and various theoretical evaluations of justice, the principles of justice including global, distributive and restorative justice.
Evaluate and critique core ethical principles and ethical standards as developed nationally and internationally for social workers, and apply to ethical dilemmas.
LO 2. Critically analyse social work case studies during ongoing assessment to thereby contextualise core ethical principles in social work professional practice.
Demonstrate an advanced understanding of ethics and risk management in the social work setting, and the work of Ethics Committees, including misconduct, professional impairment, malpractice and liability risk, and negligence.
Evaluate and anticipate complex ethical issues involving potential and actual conflicts of interest, and boundary issues, communication with clients, and administrative challenges.
LO 3. Analysis and critique contemporary theories of justice to demonstrate how it informs and provides a principled response to inequality and exclusion through social work practice.
Evaluate formal and substantial equality, rights to access, participation and outcome and the value of empowerment in social work
LO 4. Critically appraise normative ethical theories, and human rights‑based approaches as an anti‑oppressive practice for the promotion of societal equality.
Critique and apply Human Rights based approach as a means to working towards an anti‑oppressive approach to social issues, and the promotion of societal equality.
LO 5. Systematically review the theory of capabilities and an ethic of care in contemporary society to examine societal access to resources and inclusion in opportunities.
Critically appraise the nature, value, and purposes of codes of ethics, including an ethics of care, and the role of emotions and capabilities in articulating social justice ideals in challenging ethical cases.
Coursework & Assessment Breakdown
|Title||Type||Form||Percent||Week||Learning Outcomes Assessed|
|1||Screencast Broadcast assessment||Continuous Assessment||Assessment||30 %||Week 6||2,3|
|2||Workshop Presentation||Project||Individual Project||20 %||Week 8||1,4|
|3||Article||Continuous Assessment||Essay||50 %||Week 12||1,5|
Full Time Mode Workload
|Workshop||Flat Classroom||On-site Campus porgramme||9||Twice Per Semester||1.20|
|Independent Learning||Not Specified||Independent Learning||4.5||Weekly||4.50|
Online Learning Mode Workload
Required & Recommended Book List
2006-04-18 Moral Philosophy: Theories and Issues Wadsworth Publishing
ISBN 0495007153 ISBN-13 9780495007159
New, ship fast, delivered in 5 days in UK. No PO Box.
2009-03-15 The Social Work Ethics Casebook: Cases and Commentary NASW Press
ISBN 0871013835 ISBN-13 9780871013835
2017-05-02 Values and Ethics in Social Work Sage Publications Ltd
ISBN 147397481X ISBN-13 9781473974814
Adams, R., Dominelli, L. & Payne (Eds) (2009). Social Work: Themes, Issues and Critical Debates 3rd Edition. London: MacMillan.
Barsky, A. E. (2010). Ethics and values in social work: An integrated approach for a comprehensive curriculum . Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
Barcalow, E. (2007).Moral philosophy: Theories and issues. 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Capeheart, L. and Milovanovic, D. (2007). Social Justice: Theories, Issues, and Movements. Dalrymple, J. & Burke, B. (2006) Anti‑Oppressive Practice ‑ social care and the law 2nd Edition. Bucks: Open University Press.
Hamilton, C. (2012). 'Irish Social Work and Social Care Law' 1st ed., Gill and Macmillan.
Cohen, A I., and Wellman, C.H. eds. (2014) Contemporary debates in applied ethics. 2d ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Lieberman, A. A. and Lester, C.B. (2004). Social Work Practice with a Difference: Stories, Essays, Cases, and Commentaries, McGraw‑Hill.
Reamer, F. G. (2009). The social work ethics casebook: Cases and commentary. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers Press.
Rothman, J. C.(2014). From the front lines: Student cases in social work ethics. 4th ed. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
IFSW (2010) Standards in Social Work Practice Meeting Human Rights http://ifsw.org/publications/standards-in-social-work-practice-meeting-human-rights/
International Federation of Social Work (IFSW) (2012) Statement of Ethical Principles.http://ifsw.org/policies/statement-of-ethical-principles/
Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics
Banks, S. (2012) Ethics and values in social work. 4th ed. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Corey, G., Schneider Corey, M., Corey, C. and Callanan, P. (2015) Issues and ethics in the helping professions. 9th ed. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Thomson Learning.
Chadwick, R., ed. (2012) Encyclopedia of applied ethics. 2d ed. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Dolgoff, R., Harrington, D. and Loewenberg, F. (2012) Ethical decisions for social work practice. 9th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.
Morgaine, K. and M. Capous‑Desyllas (2015) Anti‑oppressive social work practice: Putting theory into action. Intersections of social work and social justice. K. Morgaine and M. Capous‑Desyllas. Thousand Oaks, CA, SAGE: 1 ‑ 47.
Strom‑Gottfried, K. (2014) Straight talk about professional ethics. 2d ed. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.