Critically reflecting on the Australian association of social workers code of ethics: Learning from a social work field placement

Tejaswini Patil, Gretchen Marie Ennis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    When a student experienced a personally challenging situation during field placement, she and her field supervisor worked through the scenario together, using a process of critical reflection. Many ideas and assumptions were unsettled for both, and aspects of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) Code of Ethics were questioned. Using critical reflection as a pedagogical tool, we reflect on how discourses affect our practice. We demonstrate this by undertaking a political reading of the AASW Code of Ethics. Our analysis exposes tensions between the core social work value of ‘respect for persons’ and the practice responsibility of social workers to undertake culturally competent, safe and sensitive practice. We suggest that the Code of Ethics is predominantly embedded in Kantian philosophy and limits our ability to practise in culturally sensitive ways, as it denies the impact that knowledge and power have on our work with Indigenous communities specifically, and all non-Western peoples more broadly.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1370-1387
    Number of pages18
    JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
    Volume48
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

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