Presented by Debra Minsky Kelly, MSW, LCSW - 4 Ethics & Boundaries CEH's
Social Work Ethics and Boundaries: A Critical Examination
Workshop summary: The social work profession has undergone transformational changes since its inception in the late 1800s. The original commitment of the profession was to serve the poor and other marginalized groups and to bring the public’s attention to large-scale macro-level social problems. With increasing numbers of social workers entering the private sector and focusing on individually-based micro struggles, the Code of Ethics has evolved to accommodate and address the intricacies of individually-focused models of care. This workshop will examine these changes and ask critical questions about our identity as a profession. In what ways do our current professional values and ethical mandates create conflicts with our profession’s historical commitments to be agents of social change? The current epidemic of loneliness, combined with our historical and political context, will serve as a backdrop for the urgent need for a strong and values-driven reexamination of our identity as a profession.
After attending this workshop, attendees will:
- Understand the history of the NASW Code of Ethics and how this has evolved over time.
- Critically examine the professional shift from a macro to micro emphasis and how this has been reflected in our ethical code.
- Critique this shift in practice focus as the evidence mounts that a toxic culture (as opposed to individual pathology) is primarily driving the current mental health crisis in which we live.
- Recognize the impact of social isolation and loneliness as a primary social ill that calls for our attention as a helping profession.
- Discuss the role of technology and other media influences on our collective wellbeing.
- Consider the ways in which some social work ethical standards further reinforce individualism as a dominant Western value.
- Examine the contradictions within SW values, ethical principles, and ethical standards.
- Discuss the ethical mandate and effective strategies for reconnecting those we serve to communitybased, culturally-relevant, natural support systems.
Member - $85
Member who is a Student or Retired - $60
Non-Member - $115