Code of Ethics of Social Workers

Subject: Psychology
Type: Reflective Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 550
Topics: Ethics, Social Issues, Social Work, Suicide

Indicators of Suicide

Depression and signs of physical afflictions are some of the warning signs to consider as a social worker. In addition to this, a student spending most time alone or one with a history of family issues or substance abuse is more at risk of attempting suicide. Therefore, a look into these aspects of a student’s life would shed light on the student’s overall wellbeing and thus their likelihood to attempt suicide. The most appropriate response to the above indicators is to get the student to communicate with me by scheduling a number of sessions which would afford time to look into the case more critically (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). An additional step would involve referring serious cases to other more qualified personnel, contacting family and friends to find out more about the situation and also maintain a close relationship with the student to make it easier for them to open up. Some questions I could ask include; Have you ever had any suicidal thoughts? What do you think the problem is? What do you think, is the most effective means of sorting this problem? Such questions provide insight into the student’s likelihood to attempt suicide, give an idea on the factors affecting the student to a great extent and provide information which I could use in designing the most effective way of handling the situation.

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Systems Perspective and Social Change

Humans are social beings, it is no doubt therefore that (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016) note that family, society and other forms of systems around a person are responsible for the state/behavior a person depicts. In Lester’s case, the approach would include reaching out to the children and relatives and informing them of the significance of their individual roles in the overall wellbeing of Lester. A further step would be to provide guidance on how each of these members can effectively contribute to the final outcome. Being in need of medical and possibly legal advocacy, it would be imperative for me to work closely with Lester’s brother to ensure that any decisions made are for Lester’s maximum benefit. As a social worker, for any case assigned to me, I would look at not just the client but rather the people around him (friends, family) to establish their contribution to the client’s condition.

Drug Policies and Ethics

According to the policies, Joe is unable to receive payments due to the fact that he was arrested and served time behind bars. This is ironic considering most of those arrested for such crimes are most often addicted to substance abuse and are, therefore, the most in need of support to cover their expenses for medication and general support. The policy however contradicts itself in admitting that the work of a social worker is to help those in need yet discriminating against people in Joe’s situation (National Association of Social Workers, 2017). Since the code of ethics states that my loyalty is to my client and that I should maintain the information on clients confidentially, I would take up Joe’s case and advocate for him on these lines. Given that the access to benefits does not pose a risk to Joe or society and is on the contrary meant for the benefit of the client, I would advocate for him to receive the benefits.

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  1. National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.
  2. Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). SESSIONS: Case Histories. Columbia: Laureate International Universities Publishing, Inc.
  3. Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Empowerment Series: Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment (10th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.
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