The Meandering Social Worker

wandering : wondering : learning

Ethics & Values – a book review

REVIEW: Ethics and Values in Social Work – Practical Social Work – 4th Edition

Sarah Banks.  Palgrave MacMillan.  ISBN 978-0-230-30017-0. Paperback: £18.99 (www.palgrave.com)

Bank’s distils the thoughts and theories from various origins within philosophy in an easy style that makes this classic text ideal for students and busy practitioners alike.

Starting with the definitions and descriptions of values and ethics as taken from philosophy and how these have impacted on professional social work, both historically and today, the book bridges the gap between theories and actual practice.

An international perspective, using case studies from different cultures, highlighting differences in how values and ethics can be interpreted, challenges the assumptions that the Westernised view is the correct one.

Taking into consideration the challenges presented by legislation, media, politics, employer requirements, and even societal values, valuable sections consider the conflicts and dilemmas that can arise between the standards of the profession, personal values, and duties to employers, all amply illustrated with useful case studies..

In acknowledging the validity of difference approaches, it is apparent there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to values and ethics, no simple answers, only some commonly accepted principles, tenets and guidelines.  As societies develop and change, as our understanding of human development and scientific knowledge of the world around us increases, the need arises to re-evaluate our views and values.  In this fourth edition Banks has taken account of recent developments and brought Ethics and Values up to date for the modern professional.

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