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Title: Statutory social work, the voluntary sector and social action settings : a comparison of ethics
Author: Pullen Sansfacon, Annie Marie
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2007
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For decades, ethical issues have been seen as a problem throughout the social work profession, not just in the UK but also internationally. In the English context, the Care Standards Act 2000, which led to the establishment of the General Social Care Council, aimed to protect service users, employers and social workers/social care practitioners through the publication of codes of practice. As Strom-Gottfried and 0'Aprix (2006) have noted, however, the plethora of codes of ethics and codes of conduct have failed to address explicitly the issues faced by those regulated by them. Consequently, the actual situation in England remains the same: practitioners work in difficult situations that frequently result in ethical dilemmas, yet the guidance fails to address the actual complexity of the situations in which practitioners find themselves. The aim of this research was to investigate the expenences of practitioners In England working for statutory social services in comparison with those of practitioners from social action organisations and who work for the voluntary sector, in relation to their conduct, ethics and professional values. The methodological framework was based on Grounded Theory. The data were collected VIa focus groups, semi-structured interviews, semi-structured questionnaires and vignette-based interviews. Constant comparisons were made between sectors during the data analysis. The research was validated by intertriangulation and by communicative validation. The concept of power remained the sole category of the Grounded Theory process once the research had reached saturation. The key conclusion was that, by adopting a Foucaultian perspective, the "organisational context of work" is an expression of the power relationships that influence the ethical decision-making of social workers and social care practitioners. The concept of virtue ethics was introduced in the discussion of the data to counteract the effect of power felt by social workers and social care practitioners. The research concluded by proposing ways of incorporating the findings into the teaching of social work at the higher educational level and among qualified practitioners, emphasising the concept of practical reasoning (MacIntyre 1999) at the collective level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: 361.301