1st Edition

Practising Social Work Ethics Around the World Cases and Commentaries

Edited By Sarah Banks, Kirsten Nøhr Copyright 2012
    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    Ethics is an increasingly important theme in social work practice. Worldwide, social workers experience common ethical challenges (how to be fair, whether to break a rule, how to act in politically tense situations) in very different contexts – from disaster relief in China to child protection work in Palestine.

    This book takes as its starting point real life cases featuring ethical problems in the areas of: negotiating roles and boundaries, respecting rights, being fair, challenging and developing organisations and working with policy and politics. Each case opens with a brief introduction, is followed by two commentaries and ends with questions for reflection. The commentaries, written by authors from different countries, refer to relevant theories, concepts, practical matters, alternative courses of action and their implications. Features within the book include:

    • An introductory chapter covering issues of global ethics
    • Cases and commentaries drawn from across the world – from Peru to Finland
    • Cases based on real life situations and chapter introductions from leading authorities in social work and ethical theory
    • Questions and practical exercises to aid teaching and professional development

    This book is a unique and accessible resource for stimulating ethical reflection, expanding ethical horizons and developing ethical and intercultural sensitivity. It is designed for use by undergraduate and postgraduate students and professionals in the fields of social work, social education/pedagogy, social care work, international social work, community development, community organisation, youth work and related fields.

    1. Global ethics for social work? A case-based approach. Sarah Banks; 2. Negotiating roles and boundaries; Introduction, Frank Philippart; Case 2.1: Doing harm with a good heart: volunteer social work in a post- disaster situation in China; Case 2.2: ‘When the tables turned’: a social work intern’s moral dilemma in a Botswana police station; Case 2.3: When is it right to accept a gift? A Lithuanian social work student‘s dilemma; Case 2.4: ‘Why should I have to reveal anything about my personal life?’ a dilemma for a lesbian student in Britain; 3. Respecting rights. Introduction: Linda Briskman and María Jesús Úriz Pemán; Case 3.1: Issues of choice and coercion: working in a psychiatric hospital in the USA; Case 3.2: The reluctant vegan: the case of an older man in a Swedish care home; Case 3.3: Social work in Vietnam: a Dutch student’s perspective; Case 3.4: Ethical issues in international social work research: a case from India; 4. Being fair. Introduction: Frederic Reamer; Case 4.1: Dilemmas in working with an illegal migrant: a case from Japan. Case 4.2.: A young man waiting for a transplant: dilemmas for a hospital-based social worker; Case 4.3.: Dilemmas in working with a gypsy family: a story from a Portuguese social educator; Case 4.4: A gay applicant who wants to adopt a child: a case from Turkey 5. Challenging and developing organizations. Introduction: Donna McAuliffe; Case 5.1: Establishing the facts: issues for organizations working with young women in Iran; Case 5.2: Deciding on the right to health care insurance: a case from Peru; Case 5.3: The vicious cycle: issues for a church-based social worker in Australia; Case 5.4: Bending the Law? A case about reporting child abuse in Denmark; 6. Working with policy and politics; Introduction: Derek Clifford; Case 6.2: Maintaining organizational integrity in an area of conflict: a women’s NGO in Pakistan; Case 6.3: The shrinking welfare state: caring for older people in Finland; Case 6.4: Maintaining professional integrity in an area of conflict: working with a sexually abused girl in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; 7. Working with cases and commentaries; Introduction: Kirsten Nøhr; Case 7.1: Taking money from a dubious source: a dilemma for a social worker in China; Case 7.2: Maintaining professional secrecy: a French ethical situation Case 7.3: Institutional pressures and social work ethics: a case from Jamaica; Case 7.4: Between education and punishment: dilemmas for a Malaysian youth worker; Case 7.5: Maintaining the rules: a dilemma about a homeless person in Spain; Case 7.6: Balancing a girl’s need with a mother’s decision: a dilemma for a youth worker in Finland; Using cases and commentaries in teaching and learning: Sarah Banks and Kirsten Nøhr; Exercises


    Sarah Banks is Professor in the School of Applied Sciences, Durham University, UK. She teaches and researches in community, youth and social work and is co-director of the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action. She is co-editor of the journal Ethics and Social Welfare, and author of several books on ethics for the social professions.

    Kirsten Nøhr is a qualified social educator, MA in Higher Education, currently working at Hogeschool van Amsterdam (University of Applied Sciences) in the Netherlands. She was a senior lecturer for social educators in Denmark for many years and co-editor of the journal, Dansk Pædagogisk Tidsskrift (Danish Journal of Education).

    "Editor Banks et al. presents this book focusing on global ethics in social work. The academic and practicing contributors present case studies and commentary relating to various ethics themes in social work. Each chapter also contains three discussion questions. The volume is intended as a versatile study aide providing ethics guidance with each section serving as a stand-alone reference. This material is intended for students and practitioners of international social work and professional ethics."—Book News

    "This book provides a valuable commentary on this debate which it illustrates by including accounts of real-life cases from around the world life." - Richard Martin, Probation Journal 2012

    "The editors have certainly done us a favour by bringing together so much rich material in one place. I confess that I have already used one of the cases in my teaching (to good effect I think) and I will be plundering the book for more inspiration in the future. I will also be recommending it to students – particularly those on post-qualifying courses… I also think that many will welcome the light that the cases and the commentaries throw on the difficult worlds that they work in." - Practice: Social Work in Action, June 2013