Friday, November 25, 2011

Human Services Ethics; Lum's Principles

Some Social Work Guidelines Should Included In Lum's Principles: Written Assignment

According to, Social work is a discipline involving the application of social theory and research methods to study and improve the lives of people, groups, and societies. It improves human condition and positively change society's response to chronic problems it faces. Social work is a profession committed to the pursuit of social justice. It supports the quality of life and the development of the full potential of each individual, group and community in society. Also it seeks to simultaneously address and resolve social issues at every level of society and economic status, particularly among the poor and sick. Values of social workers are to be concerned with social problems, their causes, their solutions and their impacts human welfare.

Lum’s social work guidelines as per this course are very important and almost the same as social workers principles, but lums seems to be more inclusive in the cultural competence and diversity. He is addressing the understanding of different cultures, and education on social diversity and oppression regarding race, ethnicity, national of origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, gender, political belief, mental or physical disability, and religion or spiritual belief; Lum 2004, page 77.

After carefully reread Lum’s values, I came to the conclusion that some Lum’s (2004) values should be included in the codes of ethics because they touch inclusiveness of all peoples from all backgrounds. For example, “Lum (2004) reminds us that most, if not all, of the values and practice principles we have been exploring are based in the western rational tradition, mostly first espoused by white males of northern European background. This is especially true of the emphasis on individual self-determination, sometimes without consideration of extended family or community contexts.”

 However, in some of these values, Lum (2004) points out that many other cultures have quite different values, some members of multiple different ethnic groups value collective values, family interdependence, and obligation, harmony in nature/religion, ethnic group identity, honesty and loyalty. He reminds that social work/human service to embrace the value of developing culturally experienced practice. He further put forward that these multicultural values should be integrated into the NASW Code of Ethics 199 (Kenyon p.4-7) in order to serve more diversified population that we have in this century. For example, one of his value is healthy application of a religious and spiritual beliefs to sustain unity harmony and wholesome. I believe this would enlighten a lot of people about cultures and spiritual beliefs they don’t know about, and educate all peoples, wholesome, that cultural and spiritual belief brings about harmony when there is tolerance among societies. If these values will be included, people will learn about difference between Muslim and Arab, Christianity in Africa, Americas, Europe and Asia, and so on.

I chose two of Lum’s values to be added in the social work values. "Social work values family unification, parental leadership, respect for the elderly, and collective family decision making." Lum 2004. Here Lum is more specific and inclusive than NOHSE that is generalizing urging professionals to understand the complex interaction between individuals, their families, and the communities. Lum touches the very foundation institution of all institutions, as very primary institution of our society; family is the primary source to address society’s problems. This specific value with all its parties will give parents and family leaders a leadership and decision making.

Here Lum seems to address core source of all problems that lingers society today. “Social work encourages the healthy application of religious and spiritual beliefs and practices which join the individual to collective institutions and cosmic forces in the universe, resulting in harmony, unity, and wholeness.” Our society has multiple spiritual beliefs, it is imperative for all people to be aware of one another’s belief in a collective way in order to attain harmony, unity and wholesome.

Hence, this value will avoid the assumption of notion that one spiritual belief is biased, or favored by institution than another, also for all peoples to be aware of this value will eradicate stereotype and generalization, that seems to be a core source of conflicts. For example, the major human crises in the world that are costing innocent lives are religion/faith based conflict. This is due to lack of understanding one another beliefs and lead to intolerance, and then crisis. E.g. Palestine and Israel conflict, Rwanda Genocide, Chechnya, Catholic and Lutheran in Ireland, Nigeria civil unrest, Sunnis and Shies in the Middle East, Chinese in Myanmar, Blacks and Arabs in Sudan-Dafoe genocide and many more.

3.                  Kenyon, P. (1999). What would you do? : an ethical case workbook for human service professionals. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Pub.
4.                  Reamer, F. G. (2006). Social work values and ethics. New York: Columbia University Press.

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