Reflective essay on social work

Analyze your ain personal and professional development in relation to the values of societal work.

Introduction

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Social workers are normally motivated either by personal experience, something that has happened in their lives, or by a desire to see that people receive the sort of aid that they need in times of crisis. I think that looking at these issues and seeking to analyze what motivates you and what helps you to develop professionally are critical issues in societal work preparation. This sort of scrutiny spills over into a person’s professional pattern because it helps the societal worker to take more attention when it comes to measuring a person’s demand. This class has helped me to analyze my ain personal values as they relate to values issues during the class and besides how this works out in my professional pattern. In some respects values and moralss are interchangeable in this paper, in others values represent the more personal facet and ethics the wider context. This demand to believe about my values and the values of societal work, is doing me into what Schon ( 1991 ) calls a brooding practician. Shon’s work demonstrates how of import it is for societal workers to be brooding, to believe about what they are making and to polish their ulterior actions. This contemplation is highly of import when it comes to values and how values impact on the manner you look at the universe and relate to other people.

This paper will look at my personal and professional development in relation to the values of societal work. There will be an appraisal of societal values as they are found in the literature that I have looked at during the class. Finally I will measure the countries where I would wish to develop both personally and professionally in relation to societal work values.

Personal and Professional Development and Values Issues

I think that this class has helped me to measure what my personal values are, non merely that they are inherited, but how they have become my ain. I believe that this procedure is priceless to my personal and professional development and to my apprehension of issues to make with values. During my clip on the class I have learned to believe more deeply about what I do and to analyze my ain personal values and see how far they might be comparable to the values issues I have been analyzing. I have besides learned that I invariably need to believe about what I am making and how far this agrees or struggles with my basic values and the values of societal work. Shon ( 1991 ) has argued that:

Professionals claim to lend to societal wellbeing, set their clients’ needs in front of their ain, and hold themselves accountable to criterions of competency and morality. But both popular and scholarly critics accuse the professions of functioning themselves at the disbursal of their clients, disregarding their duty to public service, and neglecting to patrol themselves efficaciously( Schon, 1991:11-12 ) .

The manner in which societal workers ‘police’ themselves is to believe critically about what they are making, why they are making it, and what moral deductions this may hold. Certainly societal work moralss does non take me to believe that the societal work profession should function itself, instead the demands of the client should be most of import. There should besides be an early establishing of clear relationship boundaries as to great a personal engagement with a client is contrary to what the BASW has to state about societal work moralss and values.

One of things that I have learned during the class is that in higher instruction attending ever has to be paid to the inquiry of cognition and what it is that makes cognition. Since the Enlightenment it has been said that cognition is drawn from discernible facts ( as in scientific discipline ) and this has meant that cognition based on experience is non so extremely thought of. The aim, scientific position of cognition has progressively been challenged as a narrow position that maintains there is a specific response to state of affairss that a practician can use and therefore work out a job. The Enlightenment position is one which tends to bury that people ( both societal workers and their clients ) are persons and so there is non one size that fits all, instead each state of affairs has to be responded to in a manner that best suits the state of affairs and the people involved. Schon ( 1991 ) maintains that this cognition is acquired through procedure or making. It is a cardinal portion of reflective pattern which recognises the importance of non-rational cognition. Arguably this type of cognition is priceless to societal workers because they deal with people and have to believe about their relationship with others on a day-to-day footing.

Social workers are frequently faced with a struggle of values, on the one manus there is a peculiar client and state of affairs and on the other there is an increasing demand to fulfill bureaucratism by treating a instance every bit rapidly as possible. In a state of affairs like this it is really easy to be governed by regulations and processs and peculiar theoretical attacks that may hold small footing in world. I am happening that good societal work pattern puts the demands of the client foremost and the regulations and processs 2nd, peculiarly where they might belie the values of societal work. Social work, it would look to me is based on a common sense of justness and on the basic worth of all human existences. Once this value is acknowledged and it is accepted that all human existences are valuable so the response has to be the 1 that best suits the state of affairs and the people involved.

I have been brought up to hold regard for myself and other people and to state the truth. I have found that if I try to understand my work from this footing which in the literature, is a human rights position, so non merely am I being true to the values of societal work, but I am being true to my ain values. Cemlyn and Briskman ( 2003 ) argue that societal workers who base their pattern on constructs of human rights and societal justness demand to be more cognizant of how the inequalities that they see in society might impact their pattern. Sometimes society and its regulations are non ever merely, society does non ever run in the best involvements of the single individual, moreover, the fact that societal attention is now based on how good it operates in the market, means that the legal model within which a societal worker has to move may besides ( nevertheless much it is unintended ) work against single rights. In these instances, Cemlyn and Briskman ( 2003 ) believe that the societal worker has a responsibility to be prepared to travel outside of the immediate context and be ready to run at a personal degree from an ethical sense and determination devising procedure that is informed by the valuing of the human individual and the construct of human rights. In a modern-day context the impression of human rights is all encompassing, nevertheless much the present Government might seek to curtail it in many instances. In societal work, it is arguably the instance that the values of human rights and societal justness are different from Enlightenment thoughts of human rights and justice.. They are more inclusive in that the construct refers to all people and in this sense they are more true. Such values, it has to be said, should non be at the clemency of a system which is more concerned with regulations that are governed by budgetary concerns. Ring ( 2001 ) explains this procedure when he says that:

The last two decennaries have seen an increasing accent on the public presentation of wellness and societal services. This is attributable partially to cardinal authorities ‘s concern to guarantee value for money and contain outgo, but fluctuations in the scope, quality, and costs of attention, and failures to protect vulnerable persons have besides been important concerns( Ringing, 2001:1 ) ..

Giving manner to this means that those who really need the societal services, for case the hapless, or kids at hazard, or those with physical and mental disablements, end up the also-rans and are pushed even further to the borders of society.

Reading and Valuess

Practical contemplation Ruch ( 2002 ) contends makes a practician more unfastened to new and different ways of get bying with clients and their state of affairss. Social workers besides have to be cognizant of the more rational and theoretical attacks that underpin their work. I have learned from my reading about societal values and societal work that these things do non run in isolation but are drawn together when I reflect critically on what I have read and what I am making. I hope that the critical contemplation which is a consequence of the above two procedures means that I will work for the good of whatever client I may be covering with and that I will be able to keep to the position that subjugation is incorrect. My reading on societal values has taught me that as a societal worker my pattern should work against subjugation. From an ethically informed perspective critical contemplation should be a necessary portion of societal work preparation and pattern because there is ever a demand to halt and believe when you are covering with people. In the same manner, an emancipatory and anti-oppressive attitude is a critical constituent of ethical societal work. When a practician is driven by mark orientated constructions so he/she does non hold the clip to believe about what they are making and to larn from the procedure. They can so, without intending it, be drawn into unethical pattern, or pattern that works against the demands of the client. In this manner they can stop up go againsting their professional codification of moralss if they are non careful. Social work pattern that is based on to a great extent prescribed regulations and actions is non equipped to cover with the complex nature of modern western society. In this manner such pattern is really contrary to societal work moralss as it neglects the fact that you are covering with each client and state of affairs on its on virtues.

Brooding pattern, on the other manus, acknowledges the singularity of each human being and each state of affairs that arguably makes it much more compatible with societal work moralss. Who a individual is, their life history their civilization, their race, and their gender all affect how they act and justice in a given state of affairs. When I reflect on my work it is a manner of detecting where and if I am biased about something and how this affects and influences my perceptual experience of a given individual or state of affairs. Keeping to my personal values and to the values of societal work means that I have to acquire to cognize myself good. Self-knowledge is, or should be a necessary constituent in a societal worker’s go oning development. Papell ( 1996 ) contends that:

Social work scholars must comprehend the human state of affairs which they confront in their pattern and recognize that their perceptual experiences are filtered through their ain thought and knowing procedures, through their emotions and feeling procedures and through the manner they themselves integrate and regulate their ain making and acting. Knowing the ego is more than cognizing how one feels. It is cognizing how one thinks and Acts of the Apostless( Papell, 1996:19 ) .

How far so, is a societal worker being guided by even general ethical rules and his/her ain societal values, allow entirely a specific codification of pattern. Ethical motives are moral rules on which our behavior is based and in that sense they are interchangeable with values such as stating the truth and valuing people. Ethical codifications on the other manus, while they may be based on moral rules, are non as generalisable in that they refer to peculiar professions and the manner in which professional behavior is governed. Butler ( 2000 ) maintains that such ethical codifications can non be said to be impersonal or value free because they have arisen in a peculiar context for a peculiar intent and as such are influenced by the political orientations held in that context. The ethical codification or codification of pattern as it is outlined by the British Association of Social Workers defines societal work and the values inherent within the profession in the undermentioned manner:

The societal work profession promotes societal alteration, job resolution in human relationships and the authorization and release of people to heighten wellbeing. Using theories of human behavior and societal systems, societal work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and societal justness are cardinal to societal work( BASW,2001) .[ 1 ]

The Association maintains that ethical pattern must be centred on the demands of service users Social workers of necessity intervene in people’s lives and have an influence on state of affairss, ethical determination devising is hence a critical constituent of societal work pattern ( Osmo and Landau, 2001 ) . The Association is at that place to give advice to societal workers on what constitutes ethical determination devising in different contexts. Decision devising has to be grounded in the values of moralss of societal work. Some of the issues that societal workers have to cover with and that involve them in ethical determination doing centre around equilibrating the rights of one person against others, around public public assistance and issues of institutional and structural subjugation. This can do life hard because the societal worker has so to place when establishments and constructions are being oppressive and how the values of societal work may be used to battle this.

Banks ( 2003 ) has argued that codifications of pattern and moralss are frequently idealistic that is to state that they are excessively far removed from the state of affairs. Human rights for illustration might intend guaranting that person has the right information to entree the aid they need, it is non ever about big graduated table maltreatment. Codes of moralss can besides promote a false sense of security as they may be seen as supplying a design for how a societal worker should move when it is impossible to pass for every state of affairs. Social workers need to be able to critically reflect on their ain pattern in order to move in an ethical mode in any given state of affairs. Ethical codifications are something that imposed from exterior. This means that they do non hold anything to state about a practician as a individual and whether, and in what ways their personal values agree with or differ from the values of societal work. It is here that contemplation on pattern is important. Without contemplation on old actions and how these might associate to the codification of moralss the societal worker could be at a considerable disadvantage in determination devising and could either go forth a kid unfastened to danger or conflict the rights of a perchance guiltless client.

Social work intercession if it is based on existent societal values can non be allowed to be aim goaded if it is to be genuinely ethical and based upon impressions of societal justness. In some respects organizational and managerial ethos does non ever fit good with the ideals of societal workers and their pattern and some councils are non so inclined to recognize the rights of service users. This can go forth societal workers with a quandary, do they run within a human rights model or don’t they? Moral battle with clients takes topographic point at a personal degree and Husband ( 1995 ) maintains that societal workers should non experience themselves limited by codifications that does non run within a model that is informed by human rights and societal justness. Ife ( 2001 ) argues that within the context of societal work pattern a model, and working position of human rights:

reinforces and validates the traditional apprehensions and patterns of societal work while in other instances it challenges some of the premises of the societal work profession( Ife, 2001:1 ) .

Social Work Values and Continuing Personal and Professional Development

While go oning professional development can be given to be outcome orientated in that the practician is trying to make a certain degree of professionalism. This does non intend to state that brooding pattern should be wholly forgotten and become wholly process orientated. Rather, Postle et Al. ( 2002 ) argue for a more inclusive attack of development where both results and procedure are of equal value in the practitioner’s go oning development. This inclusive attack is achieved by reflecting on personal values and how far these can be said to be the same as societal work values. I think my values are consistent with the values that underpin societal work. I think that possibly my apprehension of how these values govern my behavior and order how I deal with clients demands developing farther. I besides think that I need to pay more attending to what being brooding in my work truly means and how this can be achieved.

Decision

Clearly societal work values and societal work pattern have to be understood as two sides of the same coin. A societal worker, I believe, can non run efficaciously without recognizing how closely connected societal values and the concern of societal work are. How we interpret those values, peculiarly if they appear to conflict with what is regarded as right pattern, needs careful idea and contemplation. Our values may look to stay changeless but they do run otherwise in response to different contexts and this is an country which I think demands further development. Attachment to a specific codification of moralss and to societal work values tends to connote that myself, and others larning to be societal workers already possess a certain moral character and will therefore move in conformity with specific values that take into history concern for the public assistance of others whilst besides holding a concern for the ego. I would trust that finally this will genuinely be the instance. Until such clip, my values of truth and the worth of a individual are really much in line with what I have understood about values in the class and what is contained in the literature. I hope that my battle with societal values during the class will take me to develop into a more efficient, brooding, and ethically informed practician.

3000 words

Bibliography

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