Ethicaland Value Conflict in Management and Administration
Ethicaland Value Conflict in Management and Administration
Professionalismcomes with a cost of high ethics and value systems guided by the byNational Association of Social Workers (NASW). The NAWS provides amission, vision, and values that define the social worker. However,these values are currently threatened by the administration of theinstitutions the social workers work in. This is in a process to besolved by returning the primary goal of social working, which isproviding the client with the best services possible regardless ofexisting and expected limitations. In the paper, I summarize twoarticles that discuss how the situation at work of social workerscause them to have a conflict, specifically, professional ethicsconflict with the administration requirements. The articles give twostudy examples first, of social workers at a specific geographicallocation and the second, of psychologists working in prison underthe correctional administration department.
Inthe first study done by Nancy Gallina in 2010, the problem startedwhen the government privatized its services, so as to be moreproductive to its citizens. This resulted to the government beingvigilant about resource expenditure, to a point where social workersare loaded with paperwork, hindering them from providing the citizenwith the services. Social workers are directed by administration toonly account for those able to afford the fee or those thatpotentially add value to the institutions. With the increasedpopulation of those struggling with substance abuse issues andchronically illness, social workers are forced by the organization tominimize service delivery (Gallina, 2010).
Expectationsfrom social workers as professionals and expectations from theemployees mostly conflict regarding financial issues this has led tochoosing patients with an ability to pay the stated fee, additionalrecorded statistics, treatment prolonging and termination of clientsdue to their inability to adequately pay for the services (Gallina,2010). Gallina (2010) view the conflicts as inevitable leading to tworecommendations first, for a social worker to change their view onsuch situations and second, the social worker’s decision toeffectively reduce the occurrence of such situations. The latter ispredicted to be more peaceful whereas the former will go against mostprofessional ethics.
TheRole of a Psychologist as a Mental Health Profession in aCorrectional Facility
Inthe second study was conducted by Linda E. Weinberger and ShobaSreenivasan in 1994. The role of a psychologist as a mental healthprofessional in a correctional facility is undermined by theadministration whose main goal is security and custody issues ratherthan correcting the prisoners’ characters. Therefore, psychologistsare forced to put the institutions needs first and that of theinmates follows this goes against their professional ethics but inline with the administration requirements (Linda, 1994). In 1986, theFederal Bureau of Prisons in the united states made a cause ofdilemma to psychologists at Glynco Correctional Center, where theymade inmates deliberately ignore therapists, and tagged along withother correctional employee who put custodial concerns first.
Aftera few study cases, the recommendation reached was that clinicalleadership should be part of the correctional institutionadministration, so that correctional institutions may develop theirtherapeutic environments and ensure that the quality of therapy isboth to the satisfaction of security, custodial concerns and theprofessional ethics of a psychologist. Moreover, the staff too wasable to benefit from this recommendations, as they were able toaccess the highly esteemed services (Linda, 1994).
MyExperience at The Youth Shelter
Inmy case, dealing with teenagers can also cause dilemmas atworkstations. Teenage life can be very challenging to deal with. As asocial worker am expected as a professional to “establish theenvironment guidelines necessary for the effective social workpractice, policies, and procedures” (“Code of Ethics,” 1996).
Theadministration of the institution I work with should provide anenvironment where the professional ethics are met in helping theteenagers. Some of the things that make this environment includeoperational procedures and policies to deal with specific issues suchas treatment of substance abuse, assault of the persons, parentalabuse and treatment of HIV and STIs, accorded adequate staff with thecompetence to provide the aforementioned services. Moreover, itincludes a protective workstation which protect staff from violentyouth and their parents, and also protects the teenager from theirprevious life, through provision of effective programs and theirevaluation in good time frames.
Ona daily basis, teenager sort help regarding school truancy andfailure, low self-esteem, impulsive behavior, running away from home,social isolation and sexuality. I was supposed to professionallyadmit these teenagers to the youth shelter, and provide them with thehelp and conditions they needed. However, some of them lacked aninsurance cover, thus, incurring more cost for the help they need atthe shelter. Also, the resources provided by the community and thegovernment are not enough to support the population of teenagersreceived at the shelter. The social workers available, I includedwere buried in a load of paperwork and if not, so were caught in adilemma of whether to admit the teenagers who come and terminatetheir stay, or those who could no longer afford to pay for theservices offered at the youth center, or most humanly, be true to ourprofessional ethics and help all those who need our help primarilythen sort payment issues later after they have received the necessaryhelp.
Someof the conflicts have been addressed professionally, however, the newpolicies are still not as effective even in the current situation.According to NASW Code of Ethics, social workers need to be attentiveso as to evade possible conflicts of interest. It is theresponsibility of social workers to alert clients when a conflict ofinterest arises, and try to solve the problem, with the client’sinterest being principle (“Code of Ethics,” 1996). A clause onthe section where the clients’ needs triumph the rules of theadministrations of every institution, should be included in thegoverning guidelines. This way, conflicts and dilemmas will beavoided in social work center, such as a youth shelter
Someof the ways we help the teenagers includes assessing the teenager’sfamily strengths and needs, enlighten the teenager of their financialissues, resources and legal issues, assessing if the teenagers needany referrals to any program and service or counselling services, andalso provide them with a comprehensive list of other youth shelters,if they are not comfortable with the conditions we provide. Theseservices come with a lot of competence, values, and knowledgeexpected by National Association of Social Workers.
Someof these policies are now trumped by the rules and regulations of theinstitutions. For instance, in the youth shelter I deal with, mostteenagers are not working class and are dependent on parents, fostercare, or the state to support their stay in the shelter if ateenager lack any of this support, as cheap as the fee may seem, theyhave no source of income, therefore, cannot access the services atthe center. The institution depends on grants and the community as asource of survival, with our clients to paying up to $50 per week.According to NASW Social Work Code of Ethics, social workers need toensure a reasonable, fair, and commensurate fee in relation to thework performed moreover, a client’s ability to pay for theservices need to be considered (“Code of Ethics,” 1996).
Teenagersshould be exempted from paying fees to the shelter as this clausegives them a leeway. It’s a great dilemma when one has to terminatethe stay of a very needy teenager, homeless in that case, for theinstitutional benefits. The unique breadth and perspectives of thepractice of social work providea continuous connections between thesocial issues affecting the teenager and the social work profession(“Code of Ethics,” 1996). Meeting the needs of the teenagersadequately, means having functional social work systems. Change andreduction of the dilemmas and conflict can only be defeated throughthe collaboration of an understanding community, ensuring that theadministration of such centers have a primary goal of helpingteenagers and not the survival of the center.
Code of Ethics. (1996). Retrieved from National Association of Social Workers: http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/default.asp
Gallina, N. (2010). Conflict Between Professional and Practice Demands: Social Workers` Perception. Journal of Social Values, Works, and Ethics, 7(2).
Linda, E. W., Sreenivasan, S. (1994). Ethical and Professional Conflicts in Correctional Psychology. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 25(2), 161-167.