SW 772 Values and Ethics for Social Work Practice and Service Delivery

This final course in the policy sequence focuses on the ethics of professional social work in its organizational context.  It draws on foundational skills and knowledge from social welfare policy, HBSE, research and practice courses, as well as field experience and integrative seminar reflections.

In this first part of this course, students reflect upon how social welfare organizations are vehicles for implementing policy to correct or eliminate social problems. They learn that social welfare organizations operate in environments that contain laws, policies, ethics, scarce resources and diverse vulnerable groups who have been unfairly treated; they learn how all of these elements are reflected in program design, grant-making, program evaluation, and strategic planning of social welfare interventions.  Recognizing the evolving organizational context of social work practice, students will be exposed to the basics of organizational structure, strategic planning and program logic models, and fundraising/grant development.  Relying on theories about human behavior and within an empirical framework, students learn that leadership, administrative supervision and personnel administration coordinate, direct and evaluate the energy of staff to solve and correct social problems and promote fairness.  Students apply the principles learned about organizations, management and evaluation to their field instruction or employment settings, or to propose new programs to fill an organizational gap and meet an existing need.

The second part of the course builds upon students’ capacity to apply ethical frameworks to a range of complex ethical dilemmas encountered in social welfare organizations in particular fields of practice including child welfare, gerontology, mental health, school social work, medical, and criminal justice services. Students will strengthen their knowledge of the National Association of Social Worker’s Code of Ethics, and examine conflicting and congruent personal, professional, and cross-cultural values. Students will examine and analyze more fully concepts such as confidentiality, conflict of interest, professional boundaries, and informed consent. In this course students will also become informed of the legal parameters of clinical social work practice, and become familiar with laws, regulations, and procedures in various areas of social work practice, and understand relevant legal principles, concepts and terms in relation to clinical social work practice.