WEEK 7 DISCUSSION
RESOLVING ETHICAL DILEMMAS
If there is a right and wrong answer, there is no ethical dilemma. An ethical dilemma occurs when one or more competing ethical principles must be considered and weighed against each other.
Social workers serve individuals, families, and communities who experience complex problems for which there are rarely simple solutions, or right or wrong answers. As such, social workers use the NASW Code of Ethics to identify the various ethical principles and standards that will guide ethical decision making.
In this Discussion, you apply social work ethics as you analyze an ethical dilemma.
Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources.
• Consider the ethical decision-making framework outlined in this week’s resources, including Figure 1.1 on page 439 of Kirst-Ashman and Hull.
• Select one of the following options, and then engage in the first few steps of the ethical decision-making process, including consultation with colleagues through your response posts.
• As technology advances, so do the ways that social workers can connect with clients. Is it acceptable to look at a client’s activities on social media or seek information through an internet search? Should a social worker allow clients to contact them by text or e-mail? How does a social worker’s personal social media presence influence the worker/client relationship?
• Consider the presence of dual relationships in social work practice. What are examples of nonharmful and harmful dual relationships between clients and workers? How do social workers determine if dual relationships are harmful to a client?
• Your Instructor will post a social work ethical dilemma related to a current event.
BY DAY 3
Post a response to the following:
• Describe a specific ethical dilemma based on one of the options above.
• Describe the ethical issues in the option chosen.
o Identify specific values or ethical standards that apply.
• Identify who is likely to be affected by the ethical dilemma.
• Describe potential courses of action.
• Examine reasons in favor of or opposed to the course of action.
Support your post with examples from the course text and any other resources used to respond to this Discussion. Demonstrate that you have completed the required readings, understand the material, and are able to apply the concepts. Include a full reference of resources at the bottom of the post.
BY DAY 6
Respond by providing consultation to at least two colleagues on the ethical dilemma they described by doing one of the following:
• Explain additional ethical standards and values that your colleague may need to consider in the case.
• Explain any previously unconsidered course of action and reasons in favor of or opposed to that course of action.
• Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2018). Empowerment series: Understanding generalist practice (8th ed.). CENGAGE Learning.
o Chapter 11, “Values, Ethics, and the Resolution of Ethical Dilemmas” (pp. 419–465)
• National Association of Social Workers. (2021). Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Links to an external site.https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English.aspx
• Reamer, F. G. (2014, June). Eye on ethics: The evolution of social work ethics. Links to an external site. Social Work Today. http://www.socialworktoday.com/news/eoe_061614.shtml
• Document: Social Media and Ethical Considerations Download Social Media and Ethical Considerations(PDF)