Social Work

Essay by archdukeUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, March 2008

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Part 1According to Loewenberg and Dolgoff, values and ethics are generally recognized as very similar to each other by the majority and are often used interchangeably. However, in truth, they are quite different. Values concern with what is good and desirable; on the other hand, ethics deal with what is right and correct.

Values have a major influence on Social Work practice, the personal values we have affect the way we act from birth through to old age, and our values can change as we develop, both personally and professionally and they can conflict with each other. When considering what part values play in social work practice, one of the first things to understand is what our values are. Thompson (2000) states that:One of the significant features of values is that we tend to become so accustomed to our own values and beliefs that we do not recognise that they are there or how they are influencing us.

An important step, then, is to be clear about what our values are. Thompson (2000, pp33)It is not easy to recognise your own values, as often they are unconscious ideas or views, which can only be challenged or changed, when brought to the conscious level. Personal, societal, political and cultural experiences influence the values that an individual develops, so it is important to become aware of these influences. The values people hold affect the way they act and treat other people, without an awareness of this people can unconsciously act in what may be perceived as an oppressive and discriminatory way.

The principles approach, where principles are seen as the foundation of ethics, is an approach characteristic of much modern moral philosophy whose influence on social work theory is particularly evident in relation to social work discourse on values and ethics. A...