Ethical Self-Reflection

Practicum instructor evaluation of student’s overall self-assessment of learning this quarter________ and I have continued to review scenarios of how professional ethics can be applied and “translated” to the real practice of social work. I am always impressed with ________ observations, questions, and feedback regarding difficult or confusing situations. ________ makes great use of supervision and seeks it appropriately.

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I will be forever grateful for my foundational and advanced practicums. They began to develop my ethics skills, because in the classroom everything is simply a theory. In the real world, the codes of ethics do not always provide clear direction and in some cases, the tenets of the codes are in direct conflict with each other. One quickly learns this profession is full of gray areas. NASW code of ethics are deontological (absolutist) and unsuited for the real world. It is impossible to remove one’s character, conscience, personal philosophy, attitudes, and biases from the decisions making process- leaving many clinicians to utilize a utilitarian approach. I make sure all of my students and those provided clinical supervision understand that ethical issues do not exist in a vacuum, and they should not use values and ethics interchangeable. A value is a belief. While the codes of ethics serves to bring about great public confidence to the profession, and it helps the practitioner and the profession resist environmental pressures. Leaving them to:

  • Examine

  • Think

  • Hypothesize

  • Identify

  • Consult

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