Ethics in Human Services

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Deeply rooted in kindness, compassion, and concern for the well-being of mankind, the profession of Human Services is committed to improving the overall quality of life for individuals, as well as for the community. It is an altruistic intention to help others and an intrinsic goodness found within the heart of an individual that often leads to the pursuit of a career as a human service professional. The individual moral code within each helping professional can provide a strong foundation for their ethical conduct in the field of Human Services. However, emotions can occasionally cloud the judgment of the helping professional. In such challenging situations, one should refer to the profession’s official code of ethics, the Ethical Standards of Human Service Professionals, approved in 1995 by the National Organization for Human Service Education (Woodside & McClam, 2011). The Ethical Standards of Human Service Professionals provides an in-depth outline of the professional’s ethical responsibility to the client, to the community, to colleagues, to oneself, and to the profession as a whole. It is the understanding and adherence to this ethical code of conduct, in conjunction with the professional’s innate moral value system that gives the human service professional the power to focus their commitment on the development and enrichment of the client’s knowledge, self-sufficiency, and confidence for a fulfilling life. According to the Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals, the helping professional’s primary, ethical responsibility is to enhance the well-being of the client, through recognition of the individual’s strengths (Woodside & McClam, 2011). The professional focuses on helping the client realize their full potential and how to utilize their own strengths in order to achieve self-sufficiency, independence, and happiness. Through the utilization of

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