Your first foundation assignment is a paper that begins your journey of critical thinking in the context of ethical social work practice. After reading Tavris, C. & Aronson, E. (2007). Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Inc. and the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers, approved by the 1996 NASW Delegate Assembly and revised by the 2008 NASW Delegate Assembly (http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/code.asp), and the Case Vignette (at the end of these instructions), please respond to the questions below in a short paper following these guidelines (make sure you follow the instructions):
Two (2) pages maximum
Identify your paper with your name at the top of each page “ in the header
Page numbers inserted in top right hand corner in the header
Title centered at top of page 1 (give your paper a title and be creative)
Single space, with paragraphs separated by an extra line
Standard 1-inch margins
12 point font, Times New Roman or Georgia type
Citations in APA-style in the text, and include a reference list if including citations
Although it will not be graded, faculty will read and return the paper to you with comments or questions. As such, the paper should be a polished piece of writing, checked for rules of spelling and grammar, and following the instructions outlined above. A cover page is not necessary.
Your answers to these questions should demonstrate understanding and application of concepts covered in Mistakes Were Made and the NASW Code of Ethics. Please be specific and include quotation marks and page numbers if you are using direct quotations from either source. (Avoid use of block quotations as much as possibleparaphrasing and citing are important skills to learn.) You may use other sources as well; be certain to reference them using APA format.
1. While reading the Case Vignette on the next page, identify one or two specific points made in Mistakes Were Made and covered in the Code of Ethics that you believe apply to the case vignette. Pay particular attention to how agencies, clients, and social workers might react when encountering information that conflicts with personal beliefs that are held to be œright for sure, even in the face of contradictory information.
2. Accountability is essential to ethical social work practice. How have these two sources (Mistakes Were Made and the Code of Ethics) impacted your thinking about rationalizing and justifying your actions, in particular when it comes to ethical behavior and ethical social work practice? What would you do if you were either of the social workers in this situation (case vignette)?
Case Vignette: It Takes a Village Community Program
It Takes a Village Community Program is a small agency founded three years ago by two long-time residents of the community. Their staff of ten includes two licensed master social workers (LMSWs). The program provides services to the community, including day care, after school activities, a senior citizen day care, and a food pantry. They operate primarily on funds raised in the community and have some small supportive grants from the city and local school district.
Recently the two directors have learned of a funding opportunity for agencies who are working primarily with Hispanic populations. Although It Takes a Village is surrounded by Hispanic neighborhoods, to date they have had limited Hispanic participation in the agency™s program. The agency has no Spanish-speaking staff available, and there have not been any efforts to reach out to the Hispanic community. Some Hispanic families have sought out services from the agency and later dropped out. No formal follow-up occurred to identify any potential problems that might have occurred.
The directors have asked the two social workers to play an active part in developing the grant proposal. They have suggested that it would be acceptable to lead the funders to believe that the agency has a strong and solid connection with the Hispanic community. The directors have even urged all program staff to knowingly reflect some percentage of Hispanic clients in all aspects of the program. In particular, the directors want the focus to be on the number of clients served without any reference to whether or not clients maintained adherence to any of the program services.
One of the directors has a longstanding friendship with a Hispanic City Council Member who has expressed a willingness to write a letter of endorsement for the funding, as she has been assured that the program has a solid presence in the Hispanic community. One of the social workers has started the process of working with program staff to reflect services to Hispanic families as requested, as this social worker believes this is a step in the right direction to attract more Hispanic clients, and also because the social worker is concerned about job security. The other social worker is quite troubled by the directors™ requests and believes this is misleading and even deceptive. After hearing these concerns, the directors have assured the social workers that this strategy is undertaken routinely by many social service agencies. In addition, they emphasize that what they are trying to do will eventually help the many Hispanic families in their surrounding neighborhoods and will ultimately strengthen the program so it can continue to serve the community.