Monday, November 28, 2011

Human Services Ethics: Case Resolution 8; Case Debate 9; Case Study 10; Individual Ethical Cases; Reflections on Learning; - Written Assignment

Case Number 8 Resolution-A Policy Disagreement with Colleagues

In respect to Karen's right to privacy, as a case worker facing this case ethical dilemmas every social worker are to look at Karen and his two little boys and see if they qualify for DSS service as proposed. However, it is a responsibility of a social worker to strive for clients, in this case Karen, to have a decent and stable home and manage to build this family’s dream future. NOHSE code on human service workers responsibilities to clients statement 2, states that “Human service professionals respect the integrity and welfare of the client at all times. Each client is treated with respect, acceptance, and dignity”, (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 63). However, Karen ambitions to improve her future life as it is described by Linda K. Lopez, MSW in Rothman (2005), and as a good prospective candidate for a transitional housing program because of her high school diploma and completion of a one year of college can be considered as starting point in the program.


Also as a social worker I learn that she presents herself as a competent young woman who is alert, with good communication skills and able to maintain eye contact when we have conversation. Linda further that “she generally has a high level of interpersonal social functioning, all valuable skills for future employment.” 

As a social worker, and after carefully evaluating Karen and her boys, I learned that she is a talented, alert, oriented with good communication skills and can be count on for valuable skills for future employment. The ethical dilemma in this case come when Karen confession that she had contact with father of the boys who has criminal history, abusive to Karen and short tempers problems, so that he could see his children. However, Karen can meet with any one she wants to; social workers ought to respect that. For example, NOHSE code on human service workers responsibilities to clients statement 2, states that “Human service professionals respect the integrity and welfare of the client at all times. Each client is treated with respect, acceptance, and dignity”, (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 63).   Social worker explained to Karen that the incident of her meeting with the father of the boys, could harm the chances of getting DSS program. NOHSE code on human service workers responsibilities to clients statement 1, states that “Human service professionals negotiate with clients the purpose, goals, and nature of the helping relationship prior to its onset, as well as inform clients of the limitations of the proposed relationship” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 63).   Here limitations were Karen not to have any relationship with the father of the boys, due to his criminal history, as it is a policy for the agency that qualifies clients for DSS housing program.

However, Karen acknowledged that she was not supposed to meet with the father of the boys, and she asks the worker to please keep it a secret. For example, NOHSE code on human service workers responsibilities to clients Statement 3, states that “Human service professionals protect the client's right to privacy and confidentiality except when such confidentiality would cause harm to the client or others, when agency guidelines state otherwise, or under stated conditions (e.g. local, state, or federal laws) Professionals inform clients of the limits of confidentiality prior to the onset of the helping relationship” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 63). Also the dilemma arises when a social worker is responsible to see if Karen meeting with the father of the boys there is danger or not, or to keep the secrete/privacy or to be honest to the employer. For example,

However, I think it is appropriate and professional when the social worker said to Karen, that "I will do what I can to help you into transitional housing." (Linda K. Lopez, MSW in Rothman (2005)). NOHSE code on Human Service Professional's Responsibility to the Profession statement 28, states that “Human service professionals act with integrity, honesty, genuineness, and objectivity” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 71). This means social worker could chose to keep her privacy and develop therapy of helping to achieve her ambitions, though that she was aware that if she reveal about Karen's brief contact with the father of her two boys, the program director will immediately discontinue her from DSS program; or breach the privacy during the meeting as a way to implement statement 28. However, I believe and value the good example of social worker from the text book that state as follows, “social work is not mere technology, rather, it is value-based and value-inspire effort designed to help vulnerable people through the use of a sophisticated methods of intervention.” (Reamer, F. G. (2006), page 13)

I believe that it is ethical for a social worker to be empathetic and not sympathetic to Karen in order to develop a professional helping relationship. For example, NOHSE codes on Human Service Workers' Responsibility to Clients statement 9, states that “Human service professionals recognize and build on client's strengths” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 64). Empathizing with Karen will empower and strengthen her on important aspects of helping relationship, such as DDS program policy of not have any relationship with abusive boy’s father. This is to make her accountable of her actions and to learn that some of her actions have consequences that may implicate her to be considered to the DDS program. For example, NOHSE on the Human Service Professional's Responsibility to Self, Statement 35, that “Human service professionals strive to personify those characteristics typically associated with the profession (e.g. accountability, respect for others, genuineness, empathy, pragmatism.” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 75)

 

One will argue that DDS program is not fair and is limiting rights of its clients to chose who the want to have relationships. As social worker, Karen issue of meeting the father of the boys is raising ethical dilemma in the field. Because here a social worker has a window to see if can keep secret as confidential to Karen, For example, NOHSE code on human service workers responsibilities to clients Statement 3, states that “Human service professionals protect the client's right to privacy and confidentiality except when such confidentiality would cause harm to the client or others, when agency guidelines state otherwise, or under stated conditions (e.g. local, state, or federal laws) Professionals inform clients of the limits of confidentiality prior to the onset of the helping relationship” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 63). Or adhere employer’s policies and breach the client’s privacy, NOHSE codes on Human Service Professionals Responsibility to Employers statement 32, states that “Human service professionals adhere to commitments made to their employers” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 73).

However, NOHSE codes on Human Service Professionals Responsibility to Employers statement 34, states that “When a conflict arises between fulfilling the responsibility to the employer and the responsibility to the client, human service professionals advise both of the conflict and work conjointly with all involved to manage the conflict” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 73). I believe that in Karen’s case social worker should bring this in the meting but it won’t be helpful to Karen consideration on the DDS program. At the same time to adherer statement 33, as human service professionals in efforts to maintain employment conditions which are conducive to high-quality client services, Karen, won’t be satisfied if Karen don’t get DDS service. (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 73)

The decision meeting on Karen’ case addresses an ethical and value dilemma, because Linda K. Lopez, MSW in Rothman (2005), state that “In order to be placed in transitional housing, a client must be likely to achieve self-sufficiency, according to agency policy.” I believe that Karen won’t be with the father of the boys because she is now aware that in order to get the DSS housing assistance she has to obey agency’s policy. For her looking for agency housing is clear indication that she want to achieve self sufficiency and improve her life. The dilemma is what if a social worker keep the secrete to protect client’ confidentiality? NOHSE codes, statement 3 states; or breach this code of ethic and breach the secrete by telling the director by fulfilling the responsibility to the employer and the responsibility to the client, and advise both of the conflict and work conjointly with all involved to manage the conflict while in the decision meeting. (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 73)

NOHSE, on the Human Service Professional's Responsibility to Self, Statement 26 gives social workers’ profession a chance to use professional knowledge and offer service to clients. For example, this statement can leads social worker to give Karen the optimum chance to leave the shelter and have a decent living space based on the knowledge I have about her case by keeping confidentiality code. At the same time, this statement can help social worker to act with honesty integrity and adhere by employer and breach the confidentiality while in the meeting, something that can limit chances of Karen’s consideration to the DDS program.

Social worker can also believe that Karen is a good prospective candidate for a transitional housing program, DSS, because she has a high school diploma and has completed one year of college. At the same time she comes with a risk of trust because of her family background and involvement with father of the boy, in spite of her positive views of life and the need for help to explore the wings of opportunities. I believe that Karen need to leave shelter and have a decent living space that can allow her to plan her future life such as school, and working skills. Social worker can develop a health helping therapy with her because she has that desire and will to have a positive life. For example, Hamilton 1940 and Younghusband 1967 said that “social workers’ values influence the kind of relationships they have with clients, colleagues, and members of the broader society”. (Reamer, F. G. (2006), page 13)

Staff member in charge of the program has interpreted that Karen should not be involved in an objectionable relationships. This means even with the father of her two boys, because the boss believes that such relationships compromise her ability to become self-sufficient and that practicality and resources supports ruling out of her from the DSS program. For example, NOHSE, the Human Service Professional's Responsibility to employer, Statement 34 state that,When a conflict arises between fulfilling the responsibility to the employer and the responsibility to the client, human service professionals advise both of the conflict and work conjointly with all involved to manage the conflict.” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 73). At the same time lying to the employer by not tell on Karen’s secrete is unethical, ethical dilemma. If I reveal Karen's brief contact with the father, the program director will immediately exclude her from consideration to DSS program, and Karen won’t trust me anymore. My responsibilities to client, procession and employer are in jeopardy. I believe that I have to work for the best interest of the client. What if I throw away a life time chance to help her getting the care this family deserve and may be to become successful, then few days later I find out that Karen has been killed by the abusive, criminal and violent father of the boys? Will the lives of the boys be the same? Will Karen’s family be able to raise the boys as responsible guardian/family member? I don’t see any of these answers produce positive answer than helping Karen. I value life, I value to provide help where help is needed most, I value, to change young vulnerable lives and make it positive in order to cut the cycle, I value human rights that provides basic needs to all people and mostly those who need such help, and I believe that Karen and the boys are the right people for such programs.

Obviously employer and social worker can come up with two different results on evaluating this ethical dilemma case. This is due to Reamer, F. G. (2006), page 13, Hamilton 1940 and Younghusband 1967, illustrated that as a social worker, my values can influence the kind of relationships I have with clients, colleagues, and members of the broader society because I can become a role model to my clients, and my mission is to influence a possible and positive change by using my knowledge, skill, experience and talents that I acquired.

I believe that Karen is a good prospective candidate for a transitional housing program because she has a high school diploma and has completed one year of college. Also no record of child abuse, she presents credibility of strong sense of motherhood, though that she is coming from abusive family background. She presents herself as a capable young woman who is alert, communicative and able to maintain eye contact during interviews. In general she has a high level of interpersonal social functioning, she have showing all valuable skills for future employment and the will to overcome hardship to improve her life and the boys. She need some assistance to put herself togther and start new life. For example, Hamilton 1940 and Younghusband 1967 said that “social workers’ values influence the kind of relationships they have with clients, colleagues, and members of the broader society”. (Reamer, F. G. (2006), page 13)


As a social worker to Karen I will ask the agency and my colleagues to consider my professional judgment that my client Karen is a good candidate for DSS assistance. For example, NOHSE, the Human Service Professional's Responsibility to Self, Statement 35 states that “Human service professionals strive to personify those characteristics typically associated with the profession (e.g. accountability, respect for others, genuineness, empathy, pragmatism).” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 75). However I will challenge both my boss and Karen by breaching Karen’s privacy of her meeting with the father of the boys, and also the strict agency policy that limit Karen’s personal privacy. NOHSE codes of ethics on The Human Service Professionals Responsibility to Employers statement 34, states that “When a conflict arises between fulfilling the responsibility to the employer and the responsibility to the client, human service professionals advise both of the conflict and work conjointly with all involved to manage the conflict” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 73). I believe that Karen can meet the father of the boys, any times she wants to but, the program director can limit pr restrict the father of the boys not to come in the agency’s premises. This is due NOHSE codes of ethics on Human Service Workers' Responsibility to Clients Statement 2, states that “Human service professionals respect the integrity and welfare of the client at all times. Each client is treated with respect, acceptance, and dignity” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 63).


Bibliography:

1.                              Linda K. Lopez, MSW in Rothman (2005) From the front lines: Student cases in social work ethics. Boston: Allyn and Bacon
2.                              Kenyon, P. (1999). What would you do? : an ethical case workbook for human service professionals. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Pub.
3.                              Reamer, F. G. (2006). Social work values and ethics. New York: Columbia University Press

Case Debate 9 - Agency Efficiency v/s Confidentiality of Records:

As a member of the agency's policy committee, and newly hired Quality Assurance Director I strongly believe that NOHSE, Human Service Professional's Responsibility to the Profession Statement 29, state that “Human service professionals promote cooperation among related disciplines (e.g. psychology, social work, nursing, family and consumer services, medicine, education) to foster professional growth and interests within the various fields.” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 71) In this sense I would like to use my position to produce clear record keeping and accountability in the agency. This will bring implementation of management information system in this human services agency on keeping data. Information system is one of the contemporary recognize systems that keeps human service data by a computerization. Rapp and Poertner (1992, page 97-100), outlined that information system is divided into three types, each one with different purposes; such as housekeeping system, decision support system and performance guidance system.

House keeping systems, as automatic basic routine processing information that are used to increase efficiency and accuracy such as payrolls, clients demographic data and other information, evaluations, case status, follow ups and paying supplies. My organization conduct automated information for Medicare/Medicaid of individuals, individual well beings, incident reports, community outings/activities/recreations reports, and instant recorded criminal and traffic violations of employees from authorities, for consumers’ safety. Decision Support Systems system contains relevant databases, evidence based practices, program evaluation results, and it asses demographic data. Whereby performance guidance system performs instigation of actions, it provides data that staff can use to adjust their behavior, modify programs and plan new activities based on organizational goals, purposes and objectives. (Lewis, Lewis, Packard 2007 page 195). This procedure will maximize efficiency without any compromising client privacy and confidentiality. It will also easily provide access and availability of all necessary information with clear detection of modern technology that monitors and control all information with maximum security.

I believe that in order to increase the efficiency of this agency and utilize the staff to provide services, I will have to apply information system that will centralize and computerize valuable data for evaluation. I know every one think that by computerizing clients’ data and agency’ data in general will compromise privacy, but I assure you that the new technology is efficient and accurate. I will use the available three computer terminals to access clients’ data by every one have his/her own account to access his or her own clients and by using a password that will be only known by case worker and myself. That mean, if there is any leak of personalize data it will be me, Quality Assurance Director, or a case worker that has access to that particular client(s). I’m also abide by NOHSE, the Human Service Professional's Responsibility to clients, Statement 3, that “Human service professionals protect the client’s right to privacy and confidentiality except when such confidentiality would cause harm to client of others, when agency guidelines state otherwise, or under other stated conditions (e.g., local, state, or federal laws). Professionals inform clients of confidentiality prior to onset of the helping relationship.” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 63) However, I’m not directly involved in the direct care giving, but I’m indirectly involved by maximizing efficiency and quality of the clients’ service.


Information system, computerization of agency’s data system, will maximize efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery systems through computerization potentially increase the quality and quantity of services provided, as well as the number of clients that the agency can serve. This information system will require all case workers to keep all records such as individual therapists, listing of clients, diagnoses, treatment, Patient files record, demographic, diagnostic, listing of clients and therapeutic information as prescribed by a computerized centralized information from the agency data base. This will protect the right of clients’ privacy because every time a case worker, look up for clients’ information I will know time, date and who has opened the file(s). I believe that the current system of writing important clients’ information is jeopardizing their privacy rights and agency has no control or oversight to show if there is any missing or unlawfully shared information about our clients. For example, Lewis, J. A., T. R. Packard, et al. (2007), page 194 said that “accountability to the community is desired through needs assessments, strategic planning, and, in a most encompassing sense, a focus on the agency’s mission.” Also this system will prohibit workers who may be using the sloppy record keeping system to cover up poor work, and it makes maximum use of available funding after proper and accurate evaluation.


The ethical dilemma that I’m strongly concerned is the way current record keeping procedures are designed to pass an audit by insurance regulators. I believe that as human service professional I’m abide by the NOHSE principles, The Human Service Professionals Responsibility to Employers Statement 32, as it states that “Human service professionals adhere to commitments made to their employers.” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 73) Whereby I it is unethical to bridge clients’ privacy by providing their personal information to this insurance regulator. To handle this ethical dilemma, I’m planning to apply NHSE principles, Human Service Professional's Responsibility to the Profession Statement 27, as it state that “Human service professionals seek appropriate consultation and supervision to assist in decision making when there are legal, ethical, or other dilemmas.” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 71) I will seek appropriate consultation and supervision to assist such decision making has no dilemma, illegal or unethical complications that will bridge clients’ privacy. But, once again, I assure you that computerization of agency’s data system will not leak any information, rather simplify your work-load, trace errors and get evaluation immediately and make corrections where necessary. Evaluations that will be used by our funders, Medical Assistance will be impressive and attractive to some more donors. Also it will assist helping process and clients will be happy because our service will improve.

Bibliography:

1.                              A Computerized Record Keeping: Agency Efficiency v. Client Privacy
Abstracted from an unpublished paper by Aimee H. Mclain, MSW in Rothman (2005) From the front lines: Student cases in social work ethics. Boston: Allyn and Bacon
2.                              Kenyon, P. (1999). What would you do? : an ethical case workbook for human service professionals. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Pub.
3.                              Reamer, F. G. (2006). Social work values and ethics. New York: Columbia University Press
4.                              Lewis, J. A., T. R. Packard, et al. (2007). Management of human service programs. Belmont, CA, Thomson Higher Education/Brooks/Cole.
5.                              Rapp and Poertner (1992, page 97-100)
           
Case Study 10 Resolution -An Employee Assistance Counselor's Dilemma

As a social worker, in the case of Elena, I have a responsibility to find solution of her insecurity at home, at work and lack of self confidence; I have a responsibility of respecting her wishes, and behave professionally all the time. Using my values and ethical framework on Elena case, I will use empathy and not sympathy, honesty of the situation, and the best of my capabilities to her best interests.  For example NOHSE principles on the Human Service Professional's Responsibility to Self statement 35, state that “Human service professionals strive to personify those characteristics typically associated with the profession (e.g. accountability, respect for others, genuineness, empathy, pragmatism)”. (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 73)

Honestly, I will address Helena’s case by first address her emotional, loneliness, isolation, distrust feelings that she is going through. I believe that these factors can affect anybodies performance and infringe any relationship. In order to do so I will have to gain her trust first and get the whole picture and not bits of stories she chooses to say due to lack of trust that protect some information that might be key to problem solving. Believe that human needs as unique because we are all unique, and we all use or need a unique ways to solve our problems. But in solving Helena’s case I will use my professional values, as some are found in Kenyon, P. (1999), page 7, such as autonomy, gratitude, fidelity, beneficence, ordering, confidentiality, reparation, finality, justice, nonrmaleficence, publicity, and respect for person, universality, utility, and veracity. In this manner, I cannot allow Helena to become my friend, or have some sort of sympathy feelings because it is unprofessional and it will hinder my professional creativity. For example, the case statement says that “Because Elena's job appears to be in greater jeopardy since the involvement of her supervisor, the worker feels responsible.”(Student cases in social work ethics. Boston: Allyn and Bacon p.125). The worker should not have such sympathy, rather empathy that will make her more responsible and professional to clients all the time. It is difficult thing to do because we are human, but in order to serve best interest of our clients, it is the right thing to do.

As a social worker my responsibility to Helena is primarily about solving ethical dilemmas or making decisions when "right strives with right" or "wrong with wrong." In this matter, it seems like ethical dilemma is coming where Helena performance is observed by her supervisor as not goo, and she having some personal issues that led her to feel emotional, isolated, disliked, not confident, distrusting, suppressed and some depression. As Helena’s social workers I ought to make decisions involves identifying and weighing alternate means for reaching desired ends. (Lewis, Lewis, Packard 2007). That is to see stable, charm, confident and successful Helena. I will negotiate a helping therapy with Helena, and lay out my responsibilities, positions, and my agency’s position; also I will clearly tell her about the importance of honest and confidentiality. For example, NOHSE code on Human Service Workers' Responsibility to Clients Statement 1, state that “Human service professionals negotiate with clients the purpose, goals, and nature of the helping relationship prior to its onset, as well as inform clients of the limitations of the proposed relationship.” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 63)  I also approve what the worker, in the case, to help Elena on the broad spectrum of her depression and emotional problems by exploring other treatment options and by continuing counseling. (Allyn and Bacon p.125)

However, I believe that it is my responsibility to serve Helena and all clients with mannerism that will clearly overcome ethical dilemma while involving decision making. For example, Kenyon page 8 says that social workers must have ethical values such as “Finality-the duty to take action that may override the demands of law and social customs; respect for person- the duty to honor others, their rights and their responsibilities; universality – the duty to take actions that holds for every one, regardless of time, place, or people involved; confidentiality – the duty to respect privacy of information; and fidelity - the duty to keep one’s promise or word.”

Nevertheless, as Helena’s social worker and employee of my agency, that I have obligation to Helena as client and to my employer while working on Helena’s case. For example, NOHSE codes on the Human Service Professionals Responsibility to Employers Statement 32, state that “Human service professionals adhere to commitments made to their employers.” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 73) My worry is the obligation of Helena’s boss to her employer is what Allyn and Bacon page 125, said is “to support and maintain best job performance for employees, which in this case might mean terminating Elena.” The conflict arises to my attention no is case worker obligation which is my obligation also is to keep Helena in a stable job situation and become self-sufficient without conflicts, worries or emotions.

However, I’m committed to help Helena, and I’m obligated to protect Elena's best interest. In this manner, I will continue to try to resolve Elena's work situation by involving the supervisor, after carefully evaluating Helena’s performance status and Supervisor’s clarity to Helena’s tasks. This is to instigate if there is hidden hard feelings from Helena’s, supervisor such as sexism, racism, and so on; or Helena’s personal problem such as separation from her husband is affecting her personally and her work performance. The dilemma is if Helena’s emotions and personal problems are at the state that affecting her job performance as her supervisor stated, then I will put effort on Helena to attend counseling therapy, and negotiate with Helena’s supervisor the possibilities of keeping her job and wait to see improvement in the next evaluation. But if the supervisor resists doing so, from what I observed from the last Helena’s informal evaluation Helena can get fired. If there is evidence that the supervisor is not rating Helena’s performance unfairly, even after I urged the supervisor to use perspective measures that clarifies Helena’s tasks, then I will consult my supervisor and show the evidence about the supervisor, and then follow EEO procedure of investigating her. For example, NOHSE codes on Human Service Professional's Responsibility to the Profession Statement 27, states that “Human service professionals seek appropriate consultation and supervision to assist in decision making when there are legal, ethical, or other dilemmas.” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 71)   Also NOHSE codes on Responsibilities to Community and Society Statement 17, states that “Human service professionals provide services without discrimination or preference based on age, ethnicity, culture, race, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status.” (Kenyon, P. (1999), page 67) I believe that everybody needs to be treated equal, so as Helena and her supervisor.

Nevertheless, this case has touched a lot of angles that human service ethical dilemmas occurs, such as employer of a client, client, client’s family, human service professional and human service employer as well. My plan for Helena is to continuer with counseling, to avoid her personal issues get in the way with job related tasks, and to stay health without worrying too much. The plan for Helen’s supervisor is develop a way to assist Helen’s task with clarity and revaluate Helen after some times to see progress. However, I will still seeking more and genuine information from both Helena and her supervisor as time goes, because it take some times for me to gain their trust and confidence, something that can lead to tell more about the situations and their feelings. Personal advice to Helena, is coming from Reverend/Pastor Joel Osteen, that when someone is down, stressed, negative, defeated, sad, and so on, try to get out there and do some volunteers in the hospitals, community service, nursing homes, shelter, or people who are in need most. To have a chance to meet people in need most will put you high and refresh your thoughts on what you are going through when you see that there are some are going worse than you. Believe me it works, I have done so and it gives a courage, confidence, morale, optimism, and energy to do things better with a refreshing mind and plans day after day. To stay in the close doors and do the same thing every day expecting changes it will be what Benjamin Franklin school of thoughts called “insanity”.

Bibliography:

6.                              Kenyon, P. (1999). What would you do? : an ethical case workbook for human service professionals. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Pub.
7.                              Reamer, F. G. (2006). Social work values and ethics. New York: Columbia University Press
8.                              Abstracted from an unpublished paper by Mel Hall-Crawford in Rothman (2005) From the front lines: Student cases in social work ethics. Boston: Allyn and Bacon p.125

Individual Ethical Cases:


I believe that the ethical issue in the human service field is if I were faced with a helping situation where it appeared that there was a conflict between ethical and legal courses to follow, I would be conflicted if I should always choose the legal path first and foremost; or I should strive to do what I believe to be ethical even if it meant challenging a law.

America is a great country, in the world, yet the world’s super power. America is made up multiple cultures by immigrants from almost all over the world. America is diversified, exercises true democracy, and rule of law makes it greater than any nation on the earth. However, an illegal immigrant in the US is a growing concern to the US security, economic factors, and social affiliations. Since 9/11 incident America has changed when come to security, economic and social factors both at home and overseas. There is a fear that terrorists can us borders to cross and harm America at home, the fear that illegal immigrants are taking our jobs, and the fear that other people don’t like American in general. DHS estimates that about 12 million illegal immigrants were living in the US by the end of 2006.  http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ill_pe_2006.pdf

My biggest concern about this case is the ethical issue in the human service field while helping illegal immigrants who are in need and follow the laws at the same time. “Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, “Improper Entry” by Alien, any citizen of any country other than the United States,  who enters to the United States at any time through place other than as designated by immigration officers; or gets away from examination or inspection by immigration officers; or attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.” http://www.americanpatrol.com/REFERENCE/isacrime.html.

The NOHSE standards are relevant to ethical decisions affecting communities and society. Statement 16, state that “Human service professionals advocate for the rights of all members of society, particularly those who are members of minorities and groups at which discriminatory practices have historically been directed.” Also statement 17 state that “Human service professionals provide services without discrimination or preference based on age, ethnicity, culture, race, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status” (Kenyon, 1999, page 66-67). This is because “the principle aim is to help the hungry, homeless, jobless, and destitute (and in some instances, the Godless) to master their internal resources to lead more productive lives”, (Reamer 2006, page 18). Most illegal immigrants comes to the US are looking for better life, running from atrocities like wars, torture, discrimination, ethnic cleansing and so on; because of foundations of this great country on the earth, US constitution, that was made out of fore fathers, immigrants, are democracy, individual liberty, freedom, human rights and pursuit of happiness.

UNHCR – United Nations High Commission for Refugees has named the United States of America the by far largest single recipient of asylum claims in the world for centuries now. This is American spirit, my experience is that American people are well acceptance of immigrants than any other people on the earth; I have been in Europe, Asia, Europe, and now America. The level of immigrants in this great nation can tell by itself, immigrants, legal and illegal comes here and enjoy the same values American people stand for since this nation was established. For example, during the first six months of 2008 “An estimated 25,400 individuals submitted an application, some 2,900 more than during the second semester of 2007, but 1,600 less than during the first semester of 2007 (27,000)” (http://www.unhcr.org/statistics/STATISTICS/48f742792.pdf). The same spirit is shown on the NOHSE codes, statements 3, 16, and 17, which gives social worker to serve clients, including illegal immigrants or people with different sexual orientation than us. Also NSWA Codes of ethics core values are such as value to integrity, value to service, value to dignity and worth of the person, value to competence, value to social justice, and value to importance of human relationships, (Reamer 2006, page 26-27).

However, the statements from the NOHSE code are relevant to human service workers responsibilities to clients; whereby statement 3 states that “Human service professionals protect the client's right to privacy and confidentiality except when such confidentiality would cause harm to the client or others, when agency guidelines state otherwise, or under stated conditions (e.g. local, state, or federal laws) Professionals inform clients of the limits of confidentiality prior to the onset of the helping relationship” (Kenyon, 1999, page 63). In this case statement 3 conflicts with statement 4 because by reporting the status of illegal immigrants to the local, state or federal authorities may result in breaching the confidentiality with clients. Also some clients who are here because of wars, or massacre or torture that is taking place in their countries can face life threatening if deported, and these are not values of human service at all.

Contrary to statement 10, states that “Human service professionals are aware of local, state, and federal laws. They advocate for change in regulations and statutes when such legislation conflicts with ethical guidelines and/or client rights. Where laws are harmful to individuals, groups, or communities, human service professionals consider the conflict between the value of obeying the law and the values of serving people and may decide to initiate social action.” (Kenyon, 1999, page 66). The aim is to keep security and enforce the laws and orders because some illegal immigrants have criminal backgrounds, and or are terrorists, that is why don’t want to be documented.  My opinion as a holder of International Relations and Diplomacy diploma, is that US is well known as champion of democracy, free society, individual liberty, pursue of happiness and rule of law in the world, and it is imperative to practice and enforce these values at home as it strives to promote them abroad.

However, the statements from the NOHSE code are relevant to human service workers responsibilities to clients; whereby statement 4 states that “If it is suspected that danger or harm may occur to the client or to others as a result of the client's behavior, the human service worker acts in an appropriate and professional manner to protect the safety of those individuals. This may involve seeking consultation, supervision, and/or breaking the confidentiality of the relationship”, (Kenyon, 1999, page 63). Regarding the facts of the case of illegal immigrants, statement 4 is conflicting with statement 3. Because social workers are required by law to report to the local, state or federal authorities whenever come across clients who have committed crimes.

The NOHSE codes relevant to the Human Service Professional's Responsibility to the Profession statement 26, states that “Human service workers know the limit and scope of their professional knowledge and offer services only within their knowledge and skill base” (Kenyon, 1999, page 67). If I come across an illegal immigrant that would like to resolve their legal status here I will advise them to see immigration lawyers. In this manner Illegal immigrants have committed a federal crime by overstaying illegally or enter in the US by illegal ways. At the same time, when a social worker has to serve the best interests of the clients; if clients are illegal immigrants and (for some) if are involved in the gangs and or terrorism, these clients as illegal immigrants are not the vulnerable groups that deserve social workers’ values rather are criminals that deserve to be processed by the rule of law. Victims here are the community members and society by been targeted by anti civilization group of people. For example, NASW code of ethics states that “social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and group of people” (Reamer 2006, page 26). Also, it is important for a social worker to distinct these terrorists and gang members from the society, community, ethnicity, race, place of origin or religion they belong to avoid generalization that by social standards it will be “stereotyping”. 

Moreover, when I was reading Reamer 2006, I came across something that refreshed my thoughts of codes of ethics and frame work theories as I thought it is. Reamer 2006, page 47, stated that “of course, it would be unreasonable to expect a code of ethics to provide explicit guidance in every instance in which professional duties clash and create an ethical dilemma, (Corey, Corey, and Callanan 2002 Jamal and Bowie 1995)”. I couldn’t agree with Reamer 2006 any more, because I find out that NOHSE codes of ethics as statements to guide human service professional on dilemmas on ethics and values, they alls have some mixed message that create ambiguity.


Robert Longley, December 2004, wrote that among the key finding of the California State report the state is already struggling K-12 education system spends approximately $7.7 billion a year to school the children of illegal aliens who now constitute 15 percent of the student body. Another $1.4 billion of the taxpayers' money goes in the direction of providing health care to illegal aliens and their families, the same amount that is spent incarcerating illegal aliens criminals. Robert quoted Dan Stein, President of FAIR who stated that “California's addiction to 'cheap' illegal alien labor is bankrupting the state and posing enormous burdens on the state's shrinking middle class tax base". He further that most Californians have seen their taxes increase whereby public services are deteriorating; they know the impact of mass illegal immigration on their communities, and be shocked to learn just how much of a bleeding dry illegal immigration has become. My question of ethical values and laws, why does California State adopt and enforce immigration laws against the immigrants who are criminal and involved in the gangs?

There some instances that illegal immigrants from Mexico are known been involved in the gangs and other criminal activities, but state send them to jail and let them back in the streets again, when they do crime, they deport them to Mexico, yet they cross border again and come to commit crimes, sometimes innocent family members are victims of loss to their love one. For example, my wife, she is African American, her two cousins have been killed in the past three years by Mexican gangs in two separate incidents. Her aunt, the mother of the victims, told her that the killers of her sons were illegal immigrants from Mexico and authority knew their criminal activities and one of them was deported after his jail time. She said that her lawyer told her that Mexican gangs killed more than 300+ since mid 1990s. Also War of a Different Color, By ANNETTE STARK, states that “
Latino gang members killed Anthony Prudhomme, Cheryl Greene, and a number of other Angelenos because they were black. Many now say it’s a racial campaign spearheaded by the Mexican Mafia” (http://www.streetgangs.com/topics/2007/030807racial.html).

However, can social worker se intervene and raise awareness of innocent Californians, gang killing victims v/s politicians and special interests that closed eyes on these preventable crimes? For example, NOHSE codes on Human Service Professional's Responsibility to the Profession statement 30, states that “Human service professionals promote the continuing development of their profession. They encourage membership in professional associations, support research endeavors, foster educational advancement, advocate for appropriate legislative action, and participate in other related professional activities” (Kenyon, 1999, page 71). Or they should leave these vulnerable families and politician alone because it is not in there profession? NOHSE codes on Human Service Professional's Responsibility to the Profession Statement 26, states that “Human service workers know the limit and scope of their professional knowledge and offer services only within their knowledge and skill base” (Kenyon, 1999, page 71).

In determining values, I do value life because it is precious, I value rule of law that brings us civility, and I value my Christian faith because it straighten me in the universal manners and wisdom, most of all I value my family and I want them to be secured and safe all the time. I believe that every one should respect the rule of law and laws should be enforced to keep all peoples safe. For illegal immigrants who are in the gangs, criminals and terrorists should be not at once be covered, or blanketed because of special interests. Also we should act as one, without discriminations, that way we will be able to achieve our goals serving the people we love as human service/social work professionals.

Bibliography:
1.                                                      Kenyon, P. (1999). What would you do? : an ethical case workbook for human service professionals. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Pub.
2.                                                      Reamer, F. G. (2006). Social work values and ethics. New York: Columbia University Press
3.                                                      Lewis, J. A., T. R. Packard, et al. (2007). Management of human service programs. Belmont, CA, Thomson Higher Education/Brooks/Cole.
4.                                                      http://www.unhcr.org/statistics/STATISTICS/48f742792.pdf
5.                                                      http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/immigrationnaturalizatio/a/caillegals.htm
6.                                                      http://www.streetgangs.com/topics/2007/030807racial.html

Reflections on Learning:

What is one thing you will reflect upon from this class in the midst of direct services to your clients?

I will have clear picture of reflection on ethical decision making while practicing human service/social work, based on Reamer, F. G. (2006), page 26, NASW codes of ethics (1999), and Kenyon, P. (1999), page 60 to 75, NOHSE codes of ethics statement 1 to 37. These codes of ethics are the guidelines for a social worker to follow to avoid or to resolve ethical dilemma.  Most of these codes of ethics are directly or partially correlated with some of our core values and ethical frameworks.

What is one thing you will reflect upon from this class as you live and work in community settings?

While working in the community I will always reflect upon social work as a value based and value inspired effort designed to help vulnerable people through the use of sophisticated methods of intervention (Timms 1983). (Reamer, F. G. (2006), page 13)

What is one reflection you have on issues of working with diverse populations?

Learn different cultures as possible, ask question about things that matter to the client so that you can get them right, remember that what is not valuable to you can be considered valuable to another person, avoid comments on case sensitive such as religions, faith, traditions, sexual orientation and so on because can spark conflict.

What is one reflection you have on human service professionals’ responsibilities to the broader society?

That it is important to recognized society as communities that are made up of complex values, complex ethics, complex laws and orders, and complex people, diversified society. This will help me serve clients from different background comfortably; also serving clients in the community is to serve the society at large.

What do you think will be the most serious ethical dilemmas you are likely to face in human service practice?

Serving the best interest of the client and obeying the laws whereby some laws can be on the way while serving the best interest of the client.

Is there anything you would like me (the professor) to address that hasn't been covered?

I found out that value base of social work profession, ethical dilemmas in social work, ethical decision making in social work and ethics risk management are very important.
 
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, this was really useful. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, this was really useful. thanks!

Anonymous said...

very interesting article! I will follow your themes.
Can I subscribe to your posts on Twitter or on your Facebook profile?

Fatherhood Blogger said...

I'm glad that you all are finding it interesting. I did finding it interesting analyzing this case study. It is about balancing the rights, ethical and legal matters and at the same time to better serve the best interest of clients and or the most vulnerable i.e. elderly, children, disabled, sick and some times women.

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