Managing Ethics Challenges in Social Work Organizations

A Comprehensive Strategy


  • Frederic G. Reamer Rhode Island College



ethics, ethical dilemmas, ethics committees, ethics consultations, ethics rounds


Social workers are keenly aware of ethical challenges in professional practice. Formal ethics education strives to acquaint social workers with common ethical dilemmas in practice and decision-making protocols and frameworks. However, the social work literature includes relatively little information about practical resources promoted in allied professions that can be useful to social workers who encounter ethics challenges. This article discusses the role of four principal resources: informal ethics conversations among social workers and other colleagues (“curbside consults”), formal ethics consultations, agency-based ethics committees, and ethics rounds. The author includes illustrative examples demonstrating social workers’ use of these resources to manage ethics challenges skillfully.


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