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EthicsContemporary challenges in health and social care$
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Audrey Leathard and Susan McLaren

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347558

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347558.001.0001

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Ethics and social care: political, organisational and interagency dimensions

Ethics and social care: political, organisational and interagency dimensions

(p.82) (p.83) Six Ethics and social care: political, organisational and interagency dimensions

Colin Whittington

Margaret Whittington

Policy Press

This chapter describes examples of the values and ethical codes that aim to inform and govern practice in the overlapping domains of social care and social work in the UK. The provenance of these codes is considered. The history and nature of three broad streams of values that influence social care and social work are then described: ‘traditional’, ‘emancipator’, and ‘governance’ values. The twin discussions of provenance and different value streams are used to argue that the codes manifest political and organisational dimensions as well as professional ones. The chapter then turns to a further dimension – interorganisational – and to a critical context for implementing values in social work and social care, namely interagency relationships. The three ethical themes of confidentiality, autonomy, and justice, together with related practice issues, are then illustrated in the context of interagency relationships.

Keywords:   values, ethical codes, social work, confidentiality, autonomy, justice, interagency relationships

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