If there is a right and wrong answer, there is no ethical dilemma. An ethical dilemma occurs when one or more competing ethical principles must be considered and weighed against each other.1

RESOLVING ETHICAL DILEMMAS
If there is a right and wrong answer, there is no ethical dilemma. An ethical dilemma occurs when one or more competing ethical principles must be considered and weighed against each other.
Social workers serve individuals, families, and communities who experience complex problems for which there are rarely simple solutions, or right or wrong answers. As such, social workers use the NASW Code of Ethics to identify the various ethical principles and standards that will guide ethical decision making.
In this Discussion, you apply social work ethics as you analyze an ethical dilemma.
RESOURCES

Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources. 

WEEKLY RESOURCES

TO PREPARE
· Consider the ethical decision-making framework outlined in this week’s resources, including Figure 1.1 on page 439 of Kirst-Ashman and Hull. 
· Select one of the following options, and then engage in the first few steps of the ethical decision-making process, including consultation with colleagues through your response posts.

Option 1

· As technology advances, so do the ways that social workers can connect with clients. Is it acceptable to look at a client’s activities on social media or seek information through an internet search? Should a social worker allow clients to contact them by text or e-mail? How does a social worker’s personal social media presence influence the worker/client relationship?

Option 2

· Consider the presence of dual relationships in social work practice. What are examples of nonharmful and harmful dual relationships between clients and workers? How do social workers determine if dual relationships are harmful to a client?

Option 3

· Your Instructor will post a social work ethical dilemma related to a current event.
BY DAY 3

Post a response to the following:

· Describe a specific ethical dilemma based on one of the options above.
· Describe the ethical issues in the option chosen.
· Identify specific values or ethical standards that apply.
· Identify who is likely to be affected by the ethical dilemma.
· Describe potential courses of action.
· Examine reasons in favor of or opposed to the course of action.

Support your post with examples from the course text and any other resources used to respond to this Discussion. Demonstrate that you have completed the required readings, understand the material, and are able to apply the concepts. Include a full reference of resources at the bottom of the post.

BY DAY 6

Respond by providing consultation to at least two colleagues on the ethical dilemma they described by doing one of the following:

· Explain additional ethical standards and values that your colleague may need to consider in the case.
OR
· Explain any previously unconsidered course of action and reasons in favor of or opposed to that course of action.

REFERENCES

Social Media and Ethical Considerations

Walden’s MSW Social Media Policy

A student’s presence on and use of social media reflects on the MSW program and the social

work profession; therefore, behavior on social media will be held to the same professional

standards and student code of conduct expectations. Social Work professionals, including

students, are expected to adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics related to virtual communications.

Students should use social work values and principles, as well as specific agency policy, to guide

their social media interactions.

Students need to consider the ethical consequences of their own social media use, as well as use

of social media in practice. Be aware of and follow agency policies regarding the use of social

media. Before using social media communication tools on behalf of a field agency, students

must seek agency approval of any messages or posts.

Walden MSW students are expected to adhere to the ethical standards outlined in the NASW

Code of Ethics. Common ethical issues that social workers need to understand and manage when

utilizing social media include, but are not limited to, privacy and confidentiality (Section 1.07),

conflicts of interest and dual relationships (Section 1.06), and informed consent (Section 1.03).

There is significant risk of unintentionally sharing protected information when using social

media. Be cautious when posting information about an agency. Never post confidential or

private information about clients or colleagues, even using pseudonyms.

Students need to remain aware of professional boundaries even when participating in social

media in their personal time. Managing “friend” requests and maintaining privacy settings is

critical regardless of whether a student uses social media for personal or professional reasons.

According to the Code of Ethics, “social workers should not engage in dual or multiple

relationships…in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the client…and social

workers…are responsible for setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries”

(1.06c). The Code of Ethics further clarifies use of technology as related to 1.06 Conflicts of

Interest:

(e) Social workers should avoid communication with clients using technology (such as

social networking sites, online chat, e-mail, text messages, telephone, and video) for

personal or non-work-related purposes.

(f) Social workers should be aware that posting personal information on professional

Web sites or other media might cause boundary confusion, inappropriate dual

relationships, or harm to clients.

(g) Social workers should be aware that personal affiliations may increase the likelihood

that clients may discover the social worker’s presence on Web sites, social media, and

other forms of technology. Social workers should be aware that involvement in electronic

communication with groups based on raceThis website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use our site, you accept our
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Ethics  >  
Code of Ethics  >  
Code of Ethics: English
Read the Code of Ethics
The NASW Code of Ethics is a set of standards that guide the professional conduct of social workers. The 2021 update includes language that addresses the importance of professional self-care. Moreover, revisions to Cultural Competence standard provide more explicit guidance to social workers. All social workers should review the new text and affirm their commitment to abide by the Code of Ethics. Also available in Spanish.

The first Section, “Preamble,” summarizes the social work profession’s mission and core values. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use our site, you accept our
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Governance

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Chapters

Ethics

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Staff

NASW Press

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NASW Assurance Services, Inc.

Practice

Aging

Behavioral Health

Child Welfare

Clinical Social Work

Ethnicity & Race

Health

LGBTQIA2S+

School Social Work

Research Materials

Careers

Continuing Education

Credentials

NASW Career Center

Specialty Practice Sections

CE Approval Program

Advocacy

Policy Issues

Sign-On Letters & Statements

Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE)

Policy Updates

Legislative Alerts

Social Justice

Congressional Briefings

News

Social Work Advocates

NASW News Archives

News Releases

Social Work Talks Podcast

Social Work Month

1000 Experts

Facts

Research & Data

NASW Blogs

Events

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NASW Events Calendar

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+About

Governance

Delegate Assembly

Chapters

Ethics

Legal

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Staff

NASW Press

NASW Foundation

NASW Assurance Services, Inc.

+Practice

Aging

Behavioral Health

Child Welfare

Clinical Social Work

Ethnicity & Race

Health

LGBTQIA2S+

School Social Work

Research Materials

+Careers

Continuing Education

Credentials

NASW Career Center

Specialty Practice Sections

CE Approval Program

+Advocacy

Policy Issues

Sign-On Letters & Statements

Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE)

Policy Updates

Legislative Alerts

Social Justice

Congressional Briefings

+News

Social Work Advocates

NASW News Archives

News Releases

Social Work Talks Podcast

Social Work Month

1000 Experts

Facts

Research & Data

NASW Blogs

+Events

NASW Conferences

National Awards

Celebrations

National Campaigns

NASW Events Calendar

+Membership

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>  

About

  >  
Ethics  >  
Code of Ethics  >  
Code of Ethics: English
Read the Code of Ethics
The NASW Code of Ethics is a set of standards that guide the professional conduct of social workers. The 2021 update includes language that addresses the importance of professional self-care. Moreover, revisions to Cultural Competence standard provide more explicit guidance to social workers. All social workers should review the new text and affirm their commitment to abide by the Code of Ethics. Also available in Spanish.

The first Section, “Preamble,” summarizes the social work profession’s mission and core values. RESPONSE 1

Denise Mae Freeman

YesterdayLocal: Jan 10 at 8:33pm
Course: Jan 10 at 9:33pm

Manage Discussion Entry

                                                                       Resolving Ethical Dilemmas

                                                                                               Option 2

Option 2 addresses an ethical dilemma involving dual relationships in social work. The NASW Code of Ethics contains standards that regulate the conduct of social workers. For instance, social workers must avoid conflicts of interest with their clients. Such conflicts may interfere with a social worker’s professional conduct and judgment. Social workers are prohibited from having dual relationships with clients (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018). Precisely, these individuals should avoid dual or multiple relationships that may cause harm or exploitation to a client. Social workers should protect clients in situations where such relationships are unavoidable. Such relationships are common in social work due to clients’ vulnerability and the nature of work.
Dual relationships represent any relationship a social worker may have with a client beyond professional boundaries. Engaging in such relationships is risky for social workers. Therefore, social workers should avoid crossing professional boundaries to avoid conflict of interest. Dual relationships may include nonsexual and legitimate engagements. Such interactions may be unplanned but have ethical ramifications for social workers. Besides, these relationships may harm the client or the social practice (Reamer, 2014). A sexual relationship with a client is an example of a harmful dual relationship. Social workers are prohibited from engaging in such relationships with clients, their clients’ family members, or partners.
Social workers can engage in interactions that benefit their practice and clients. For instance, a social worker can attend a client’s formal ceremony, such as a wedding or graduation. Such an individual must document the potential benefits and consequences of such an interaction before it occurs. Also, such an interaction should only be initiated if the client has given his consent (Reamer, 2014). A social worker can determine whether a dual relationship is likely to harm the client or practice. For instance, such an individual can conclude that a relationship will be harmful if it lacks objectivity. A social worker should also avoid an interaction if there is no clear boundary between roles. A relationship that does not provide guidelines on when therapy will end is likely to harm a client.

                                                                                                     References

Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2018). 
Empowerment series: Understanding generalist practice (8th ed.). CENGAGE Learning.

National Association of Social Workers. (2021). Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Lin




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