Socialinis darbas

patirtis ir metodai

Ethical competence of social worker and possibilities for its development in practice


Many sociologists put different names on contemporary societies: "knowledge" or "consuming human life", and majority of them talk about destruction of human relations that should be based on the main values of human rights. In such circumstances social work profession faces big challenges and need for a new identity. During conceptualization of social work profession all authors articulate importance of morale and values as a part of professional competence. Having knowledge, skills and values does not mean that in practice social workers are behaving ethically. Many authors discussing about professional competences do not articulate ethical or moral competence, but others in the conceptualization of professional competence articulate moral or ethical competence very strongly.
The aim of the article is to bring out the notion of ethical competence and explore possibilities of development of this competence in every day practice of social workers in child care institutions.
The notion of ethical competence is based on M. Arbouche (2008), S. Arduino (2006), N. Cadieux N. and R. Laflamme (2009), L. Langlois (2005) and H. Whitton's (2007) sources. The possibilities presented are based on the results of the qualitative research done in Kaunas in 2010. Eight social workers with MSW degree working in the child care homes expressed necessary need for the postgraduate training about ethics in practice and suggested to organize seminars, supervision, group discussions, team work and changes in the organizational climate. More strict requirements based on evaluation of person's character for the admission to social work education and work places were recommended.


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