Ethics in Professional Helping – SOWK 270
CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 12/12/2022
Ethics in Professional Helping is the study of values and principles of ethical decision making. Topics in the course are ethical dilemmas, critical thinking, professional code of ethics, and common morality. Each topic is evaluated through a biblical worldview.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
Professional helpers face ethical dilemmas on a regular basis. This course prepares students with foundational knowledge necessary for understanding the complexity and ambiguity of ethical dilemmas while exploring critical thinking and ethical decision-making. It reviews codes of ethics from a variety of helping professions including humans services, social work, and psychology.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will post one thread of at least 350 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned module: week for each Discussion prompt. The student must then post 2 replies of at least 200 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of the assigned module: week. For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least 1 scholarly citation in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include the textbook, the Bible, and other scholarly sources.
The student will write an analysis integrating various sources of knowledge – the textbook, the Bible, and the NASW Code of Ethics. This paper will be broken into two parts; the first part of this paper will address the student's initial gut reaction. The student will start by describing the ethical dilemma they chose from the approved list. They will describe their “gut” reaction to this problem.
- This paper must be 3-4 pages long.
- An abstract is not necessary; however, a correctly formatted title and reference page are required. The title and reference page are not included in the page length.
- This paper should be written in current APA format.
- The proper use of headings will help organize the student's paper.
The paper must align with the following guidelines:
- The student must describe the ethical dilemma:
- Describe the scenario in their own words. They should NOT copy and paste.
- Define the actual dilemma - This is the decision that the student must make.
- Whom does the dilemma impact (or whom could it potentially impact) and how? This is the ripple effect of the dilemma. The student must think deeply and broadly, and demonstrate that they understand the impact of the dilemma.
- Describe the competing values present in the dilemma from the list of 6 social work values in the NASW Code of Ethics. How are the values relevant in this the dilemma, and how do they compete with each other?
- The student must describe their first “gut” solution to the problem:
- This section should demonstrate not only an understanding of the NASW Code of Ethics, but also self-awareness and an understanding of how the student's own experiences have shaped how they make decisions. Simply stating the decision the student would make will not suffice. This section is where the student will discuss not only what they would do, but why.
For this second paper, the student will use the morality framework (from the course text) to evaluate their initial “gut reaction” solution to the ethical dilemma. Considering what the student wrote as their initial “gut” solution, they will apply that solution/decision to the framework presented in the textbook. After working through each step of the framework, the student will re-evaluate their initial “gut” solution, and develop at least two alternative solutions (at least one must be biblically principled). Additionally, the student will address the role that supervision and consultation would have within this dilemma.
- This paper must be at least 4 pages long.
- The title and reference page are not included in this page count.
- The student should include part one of the paper in this submission (Part one will not be graded for this part; it is included only for reference).
- This paper should be written in current APA formatting.
The paper must align with the following guidelines:
- The student must use the morality framework (Step 1, #1–10 and Step 2) on pages 41–46 to analyze the ethical dilemma. They must number the steps in their paper and use level two headings to organize their paper. The student should not write this portion in paragraph form.
- If any of the steps are not applicable to their situation, the student should note this in their paper. Simply leaving the steps out, or marking them N/A will result in a loss of points. The student needs to explain why the step is not applicable, in order to demonstrate their understanding of each particular step. Thoughtful analysis for each step should be applied here.
- The student must re-evaluate their initial “gut” solution.
- Now that they have worked through their initial solution utilizing the framework, the student must analyze their solution. This section should demonstrate an ability to see all sides of a dilemma, and make decisions that reflect social work values and a focus on the client. Simply stating, "I still agree with my initial reaction," will not suffice here.
- The student must describe at least two alternative solutions and provide a rationale for each. At least 1 of the solutions must reflect a biblical worldview, and the student must support this solution with scripture and biblical principles. This area should reflect the student's ability to conceptualize alternative actions, and how those actions will impact their client.
- The student must discuss how they could use supervision and consultation as a resource when evaluating the potential solutions.
- What would be the benefit in talking with the student's supervisor about this dilemma? How would the student approach their supervisor about this situation?
- Are there others who would be appropriate to consult about this particular situation? If so, who and how does the student think this could be of assistance to them?
- What additional resources could the studnet examine (e.g. agency policy, State or federal laws, etc.) to assist them in evaluating the potential solutions?
The Quiz: Midterm will cover the Learn material for the assigned modules. The quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 1 hour and 30 minute time limit.
The Quiz: Final will cover the Learn material for the assigned modules. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 1 hour and 30 minute time limit.
Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned module. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 5 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 20-minute time limit. Quizzes assess Competency 1 - Ethical and Professional Behavior (knowledge).