Social Work Values

2418 Words10 Pages
Values are considered a primary function of social work practice; they are intangible in that they cannot be tasted, smelt, seen, heard or felt, and yet, we can be positively or negatively touched by them. This essay will begin with descriptions of personal and professional values, in particular, those significant to social work. This will be followed by explanations of two philosophical concepts that have highly influenced social work values, along with key factors that have activated significant developments within the value-systems of social work. The conclusion will focus upon how social work values are expressed in the Care Council for Wales’ Code of Practice for Social Care Workers. The term value has multiple meanings dependent upon the context applied. Various notions are applied to the word, for example, ‘intrinsic worth or goodness’; something that represents usefulness;’ reference to light or shade’; financial rate of value; as well as, ‘moral principles or standards’ (Chambers Dictionary, 1998). In relation to personal values a broad definition is: ‘A person’s principles or standards of behaviour: one’s judgement about what is important in life (New Oxford Dictionary of English, Revised Edition, 2001, cited in Beckett & Maynard, 2006, p6). Good. Things that are important to an individual are determined by their internal fundamental beliefs and principles that establish their code of morality, which is formed by socialisation as well as cultural and personal life experiences. The value-system of a particular culture refers to the organisation of beliefs that represent things considered meaningful and important within the culture when choices arise (Beckett & Maynard, 2006, p6). A recent demonstration of this in Wales was the vote to enable the Welsh Government direct law-making powers in relation to laws that affect only Wales, which was
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