I believe that the NASW code of ethics is an adequate starter guide for new social workers. It covers all of the basic ethical dilemmas that happen more often in the field of human services. I feel that a great deal of the code is common sense and it is helpful to see what is expected of you and you colleagues while on the job. The dilemma is a disagreement with a co-worker over how to approach one of my own client’s dilemma. Let’s say I went to the co-worker and asked their advice on how to handle a problem with a foster family. I felt the child was mistreated in their current foster home and needed to be placed somewhere else. My co-worker feels they should stay put for the time being and I feel they should be moved. There are not many options for this child because of the huge need for foster parents in the area and the child has already been moved around four times. According to Susan Schilssler Manning Ethical Leadership in Human Services: A Multi-Dimensional Approach (2003), it is the primary responsibility of a social worker to promote the well-being of clients and to make their interest primary, however the social services workers’ responsibility can be limited due to larger society or specific legal obligations. In this case the child is in danger and according to the code of ethics it is my job to protect the client and remove them from the home. There is a helpful list of questions on the NASW website that provides tips for resolving ethical dilemmas. In this circumstance there could be more guidance concerning children and those under the age of eighteen.
NASW National Association of Social Workers. (2001). Retrieved from http://www.naswma.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=120
Susan Schilssler Manning. (2003). Ethical Leadership in Human Services: A Multi-Dimensional Approach. Retrieved from Susan Schilssler Manning, HSM 220 website