Social Work Values and Ethics: Reflections on the Profession's Odssey

Frederic G. Reamer

Abstract


Social workers' understanding of ethical issues has matured significantly. This article traces the evolution of the profession's approach to the values and ethics. During its history, social work has moved through four major periods-- the morality period, the values period, the ethical theories and decision-making period, and the ethical standards and risk-management (the prevention of ethics complaints and ethics related lawsuits) is diverting social workers from in-depth exploration of core professional and personal values, ethical dilemmas, and the nature of the profession's moral mission. The author encourages the profession to recalibrate its focus on values and ethics.

Keywords


ethics; values; risk managment; ethical dilemma; ethical decision-making

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