Journal Article

Critical Commentary: Social Work Ethics

Sarah Banks

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 38, issue 6, pages 1238-1249
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Critical Commentary: Social Work Ethics

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This short article explores the expanding and contested terrain of social work ethics, considering the form and content of future areas for development. It charts the broadening of the field beyond a focus on professional codes of ethics, principle-based theories, difficult cases and decision-making models towards more embedded and situated approaches to ethics in professional life. The potential for further empirical research into ethical issues in social work, including how practitioners conceptualize and handle ethical difficulties, is noted, alongside the scope for focused studies and monographs drawing on moral, political and religious philosophy to examine particular theoretical approaches (such as virtue ethics or the ethics of care) or to develop new ways of approaching ethics in social work, drawing on its radical, critical and transformatory traditions.

Keywords: Social work ethics; professional ethics; moral philosophy

Journal Article.  4334 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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