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NCJ Number: 228865 Find in a Library
Title: Values and Ethics in Child and Youth Care Practice
Journal: Child & Youth Services  Volume:30  Issue:3/4  Dated:December 2008  Pages:185-209
Author(s): Kiaras Gharabaghi
Date Published: December 2008
Page Count: 25
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the implications of child and youth care practitioners’ personal values for their professional practice.
Abstract: Personal value systems are formed by a person’s past (heritage, experiences, trauma, and memories); present (identity issues, performance anxiety, and relationship quandaries); and future (fear and anxiety, expectations and hope, and connections to the present and past). Since the experiences that mold personal values differ from individual to individual, personal values will be distinctive for each individual, although they will be similar for individuals from similar cultures or socioeconomic backgrounds. Inevitably, personal values will be reflected in how youth and child care professionals interact with their clients. This means that values and biases will influence professional judgments. Although values and belief systems cannot and should not be abandoned in professional interventions, practitioners must be aware of their personal values and biases, as well as how they are being played out in the dynamics of professional interventions with children, youth, and their families. Of particular importance is the dynamics of how personal values may impede or serve the implementation of professional ethics. Professional ethics involve protecting the rights of children and youth; acting with knowledge and understanding of good practice; prioritizing the well-being of children and youth over personal loyalties to colleagues and other adults; and empowering children, youth, and families through the development of self-determination, identity formation, privacy, and personal autonomy. It is important that child and youth care practitioners not impose their personal values on clients who may have personal values different from the practitioners. Personal values are self-centered; whereas professional ethics are client-centered. Critical reflection is an essential tool in mitigating those situations in which personal values threaten to undermine professional ethics. 18 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile (Under 18)
Index Term(s): Child protection services; Moral development; Professional conduct and ethics; Social worker casework; Social workers
Note: For related articles in this issue, see NCJ-228864, and NCJ-228866-71.
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