Relation of Key Learnings to the Code of Ethics
Through the topic of legal and professional responsibility, I learned the need of acting as per the law along with the organizational directives. However, there may be situations where legal responsibilities conflict with the moral obligations, and this is the point where a social worker needs to apply the ethical principles to take appropriate decisions. I also learned that the professional responsibilities of a social worker differ as per the scenario or the situation making it necessary for the professional to follow an ethical approach while taking care of legal responsibilities, justice principles and organizational policies. These learning are related to the Code of Ethics as it considers social work profession being contextual in nature where several factors influence the decisions of the professionals. The code also requires the social worker to seek guidance from competent professionals and AASW Ethics Consultation Service whenever a conflicting situation arises.
The topic of diagnostic and classification systems made me understand the reasons of stigma associated with mental disorders and the proper way of clarifying such illness ensuring appropriate course of treatment. It helped me to learn the reasons of behavioural differences among patients and reasons of classification in the form of anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, dementia, mood disorders and eating disorders. This is related to the code of ethics as it expects social workers to be having maximum of relevant information before taking any decisions related to consumers. It also expects social workers to provide reasoning behind every decision while following principles of justice, code of ethics, best practices of the profession, laws and organizational policies.
Further, the topic of recovery-oriented practice made me understand that engaging consumers in recovery ensures quick and better responses focused on a strength-based person-centred care plan. This is associated with the code of ethics by enabling consumers to make informed decisions on their own behalf. The code of ethics require social workers to discuss with client their rights and responsibilities and allow them to understand any potential risk and benefits of the proposed program. The recovery-oriented practice made me learn that it is necessary to empower individuals to recognize that they are the centre of the care, allow them to take positive risks and supporting them to develop hope about their future life, sharing relevant information with them to allow clear communication and involving realistic and positive ways to help individual and their carers helping them identify their goals. These learning are related to the code where social workers are expected to encourage self-determination and assisting them in attaining all possible levels of autonomy.
From the topic of partnering with consumers, families and carers, I learned that a coordinated approach towards treatment and rehabilitation helps in paying attention to clinical as well as social needs of the patient. It ensures and optimum management of medication where patient and the family can provide regular reviews about the medication and the side effects. This approach is necessary to treat families and carers as equal partners and meeting their expectations while planning and moving towards achievement of the treatment program. This ensures that the program is realistic and suitable to the individual while helping families to manage the episodes of emotional stress and conflicts. In this relation, the Code of Ethics expects the social workers to be committed to social justice and human rights by empowering families, individuals, groups and societies to acquire equity of rights in accessibility and attaining self-determination and self-management. As per the code, the families and communities should be valued along with the individuals and carers as a foundation to a strong society ensuring people’s well being.