Social Work Ethics : Politics, Principles and Practice, Paperback

Social Work Ethics : Politics, Principles and Practice Paperback


Social workers and others in the social care field hold positions of responsibility and trust for the welfare of vulnerable and disempowered people; they also apply support and control to individuals who act in self-damaging or socially unacceptable ways.

Whether in the state or independent sectors, professionals carry responsibilities on behalf of society as a whole. Professional ethics therefore have a political, as well as a moral, basis. This book develops an innovatory exploration and critique of standard social work ethics. It begins by reviewing the established body of literature and practice wisdom on social work values, focusing particularly on eight key rules of social work ethics. It then goes on to explore the complex relationship between social work practice, public policy, professional legitimacy and the law, drawing on salient debates from ethical and political theory. Clark argues that the purpose of social work is to promote the realisation of ordinary life and he links this to the idea of welfare citizenship. He concludes by identifying four cardinal principles of ethical practice - respect, justice, citizenship and discipline - which he applies to a range of topics in professional practice. Key theories in moral and political philosophy are given boxed summaries for ease of reference and the book contains frequent practice examples throughout, including a number of in-depth case studies.

This will be a central text for social work students and professionals alike at a time when new systems of regulation are being developed to correct past failures of accountability.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240 pages, references
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Ethics & moral philosophy
  • ISBN: 9780333719343



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