Ethical Education of a Social Worker
The ethical education of a social worker is an integral part of his professional training. It includes the development of ethical skills and the morality of a specialist, since in practical work he will often come across situations that are not stipulated in the legislation. And only here his own sense of moral responsibility, the ability to see facts and problems objectively, the ability to take into account the interests and needs of the client, his social environment and the whole society can contribute to making ethically correct decisions.The ethical education of a social worker involves not only the assimilation of ethical knowledge, moral norms and rules, but also the formation of moral conviction and moral needs as the basis of his personality (Figure 7.1).
The ethical education of a social worker goes in four main directions.
1. The study of the theoretical foundations of the profession as an applied humanistic theory.
Fig. 7.1. The process of ethical education
2. The development of high sensitivity (sensitivity) to moral factors.
3. Deep study of the essence of ethical norms and codes.
4. Development of skills for ethical evaluation of decisions.
Modern society is inconceivable without the institution of social work, designed to provide all-round assistance to the most socially vulnerable individuals and strata of society. The theory of social work teaches future specialists to approach the solution of the problems of man and society from the point of view of realizing their needs, which for various reasons and circumstances can be temporarily or permanently limited. Social work teaches us to treat a person not from the point of view of market utilitarianism, which rejects economically useless and weak members of society, but from the point of view of humanistic ideals that speak about the value of each individual for society, regardless of its economic opportunities. Even the most vulnerable, weak individual is useful to society already in that it makes it possible for the strongest to demonstrate their purely human qualities - mercy, kindness, morality, ie, remain a man in the high sense of the word. Comprehension, and not memorizing the foundations of humanism in the course of studying the theory of social work allows us to imbue this worldview and bring its ideals into its practical activities.
For the knowledge of the theoretical foundations of professional ethics to be manifested in everyday social practice, it is necessary to develop an ethical susceptibility or, as they say, ethical sensitivity ( sensitivity ). This kind of sensitivity is not the same for different people. Practice shows, however, that it can be substantially developed by involving practical social workers (or future specialists in the field of social protection of the population) in discussing the moral and ethical problems of their practical activity, by focusing on the moral and ethical side of professional action. Humanism in social work should not only be a theoretical basis, but also a practical content of activity; the future professional on concrete examples, with the help of analogies, with the help of knowledge and acquired views received in the process of teaching and upbringing, must constantly develop the habit of constant moral evaluation of phenomena and actions.
With studying the ethics of social work one automatic memorization of the basic ethical standards for the future professional is not enough. Morality and morality should become the basis of his personality. In this case, the ethical code should provide the basic principles of moral behavior, according to which the social worker builds up his activities. The professional needs to be able not only to recognize the ethical side of the problem to be solved, but also to choose from the set of principles and norms included in the code of ethics, precisely those that should be guided in solving a particular problem. The complexity of this task is that the moral or ethical code is not a collection of ethical prescriptions for all cases of life, therefore it is so important for the social worker to be able to navigate his positions in order to succeed. Understanding the essence of ethical norms of the code, identifying them in practical situations arising in the course of activities, will help the social worker to compare their actions with the provisions of the code.
Once again, we note that social work in its nature is always closely related to problems of an ethical nature. In any decision that a social worker takes in connection with the need to resolve a client's problem situation, it is possible to single out various aspects - social, medical, household and others, depending on the problem and the goal. Of no less importance is the ethical aspect of the decision, which is present, regardless of the nature of the problem and the way it is resolved. A social worker in his day-to-day activities often faces the need to make a choice, to outline a number of actions, to make a decision in the situation of potential or actual conflicts arising between:
• the regulatory and legal framework governing activities in the field of social protection of the population and related areas;
• actions of representatives of various professions with whom the social worker interacts, if necessary,
• the principles, norms and habits that normally govern the behavior of a social worker.
And then the decision that the social worker ultimately takes is not only to be effective, i.e. leading the shortest path and with the least cost to the intended goal, but also to comply with ethical principles and norms.
The ethical education of both the current and future social workers was first considered at the global level. Evidence of this is the new in the history of social education document - Global educational standards for training specialists in social work. Adopted in 2004 at the joint General Assembly of the International Association of Schools of Social Work and the International Federation of Social Workers, this document proclaims the ethical education of future specialists among the priorities of education in the field of social work. The ethical aspects of the education and upbringing of future specialists are considered in the Global Standards as one of the paradigms of the profession and are included in almost every section of the document: the key provisions of the curriculum, the activities of teachers, students and administration of educational institutions. A separate section is devoted directly to the values and ethical norms of the profession and their implementation in the educational process.
The formation of a social worker as a moral moral personality should be accompanied by the creation of an appropriate atmosphere in social services, educational institutions of a social profile, and in society as a whole. The society is also the sphere of activity of the social worker. To bring high moral ideals to society, spread the basic principles of mutual assistance, compassion and kindness among the clients, their relatives, in the microsocial environment is one of the most important functions of the social worker. In the ethical impact, one of the most important tasks of the institution of social work in society and the professional role of the social worker representing this institution are realized.
E. I. Holostov among the important personal qualities of social workers distinguishes the following:
• humanistic orientation of the personality;
• personal and social responsibility;
• kindness and justice;
• self-esteem and respect for the dignity of others;
• Readiness to understand others and come to their aid.
Social work places high demands on the personal qualities of a social worker. His professional activities are multifaceted:
• The social worker is studying the personal characteristics of his clients, the conditions in which they live. This makes it possible to carry out a so-called social diagnosis;
• predicts the behavior of clients, events that may occur;
• conducts events of different focus (psychological, legal, etc.), so that clients can avoid undesirable social, psychological, etc. problems;
• provides various types of counseling, promotes social adaptation and rehabilitation of clients;
• revealing the interests of clients in various activities, provides them with psychological, pedagogical and organizational assistance in the realization of their interests;
• facilitates the provision of material assistance to various categories of customers;
• Participates in the organization of social protection services, involving various institutions and organizations.
The behavior style of a social worker, which is formed under the influence of his personal qualities, professional and individual values and interests, has a great influence on all aspects of his multifaceted activities.
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