Ethical Decision Making: Maryams Case Scenario Assessment Answer
The author has chosen Maryam’s case scenario for this case file. AASW code of ethics guidelines will be used to study the case scenario of Maryam from the perspective of the author. Also, it is important to maintain a case file or folio for future reference purposes.
Case Scenario: In this case my client Maryam who is a 21-year old Iranian student is finding difficulty to balance between her life and studies and reports that her headache and stomach ache are affecting her functionalities. Maryam performed well in her academics and also became friends with other Iranian students and socialising with them. However, currently she has dropped-out from studying because she is unwell because of the stomach and headaches, as they are withholding her from studying anymore. However, extensive medical investigation by her doctors have failed find any physical health issues and as a result Maryam was referred to the social services because of possible mood or anxiety disorder.
Basic Details: Maryam was referred by her doctor because they suspect possible anxiety disorder. Maryam was driven by her parents to the RMHS (Refugee and Migrant Mental Health Service). During the initial meeting Maryam, Maryam’s parents, me and an interpreter was present.
Notes based on observation: According to Cousins & Toussaint (2004), it is important to ensure that the ethical compliances or guidelines suggested by the AASW or Australian Association of Social Workers are being adhered to by the social workers practising in Australia. Maryam’s father was not fluent in English and in order to ensure effective communication an interpreter was brought in order to avert this communication barrier. Hence, inter-agency information sharing guidelines can be applied. Because Cousins & Toussaint (2004) stated that inter-agency information sharing is common practice, however, requires formal documentation in order to adhere to the legal guidelines. Hence, while cultural competence is necessary, ethical compliance adherence is also important in this case. Though, during the meeting Maryam’s father became adamant and claimed that he should be present during the interview between Maryam and me, to which I informed him about the New Zealand law which states it is up to Maryam to decide whether she wants her parents present or not.
Scenario Identification: The case scenario is that Maryam who is a 21-year old Iranian student who performed well in her academics however currently she has dropped-out from studying because she is unwell because of the stomach and headaches. Doctors suspects no physical problem and referred to social services for anxiety disorders.
Hi Maryam, today I will assess your situation. Before assessing your situation, I have some points to made clear to you though at first you need to tell about yourself. I will try to comfort you as much as possible during the assessment.
I would like to tell you that all your information will be confidential as it is important for us to maintain confidentiality of our clients. However, based on certain situation or unavoidable circumstances, I might need to share your information with my co-workers. I am assuring you that your information will be shared only and only with my co-workers and that is also with your consent. However, in situations where I believe there is a need to discuss your case with my co-workers, I might not ask for permission and directly discuss the same with my colleges.
I would also like to tell you that if I found something disturbing especially anything that is harmful for you, I will need to share your information with my supervisors and seniors. If you disclose health and safety issues that is risky for your health and safety, I might need to share your information with the concerned authorities as part of inter-agency working for social working practices.
I would also like to mention that during the assessment, I would write some notes on your situation. The notes can be made use of by other agencies as part of inter-agency working where the notes can also be used as evidence against your oppressor or someone from whom you have health and safety issues. I would also like to let you know that the case notes will become a property of the concerned agencies once it is transferred for file auditing and further probing by the inter-agencies on your case.
Client and Family Name: Maryam
Genogram: As Maryam has reported to me that she is being forced by her father to involve herself into household chores and not allowing her to socialise with her friends, controlling Genogram is applicable to Maryam’s case.
Illustration of Genogram
(Created by Author)
Referral Information: Maryam was referred social services by her physicians as their assessment suggested mood or anxiety disorder.
Family Background: Maryam has both mother and father as her parents and residing in New Zealand.
Current Issues: According to Briggs (2016), due to recent certain political unrest in certain regions, the issue of refugees fleeing their country and entering countries such as Australia and New Zealand has increased the need for social workers. Based on the case notes, Maryam is also entering New Zealand and she belongs to Iranian background. Therefore, as Maryam belongs to a different cultural background, my social work practice needs to ensure cultural competence for the effective assessment of the issue is being faced by my client Maryam. This is because social workers help with the evaluation of the wellbeing of these people. Briggs (2016) however argued that as these refugees belong to different cultures and societies, the healthcare and wellbeing services provided by the social workers are required to be culturally competent. This argument is validated by Di Rosa (2017), as they have also stated that cross-cultural social work needs to be culturally competent in order to develop a confident and sound relationship between the clients and social workers. Moreover, Briggs (2016) also identified that the non-English speaking population also becomes a massive barrier for social workers or practitioners in Australia. Therefore, according to me these arguments have established the fact that individual situations such as gender, social class, ethnicity or cultural background play an essential role in the facilitation of effective social work. Edwards (2016) as a result has stated that in order to provide an effective social work service, the social work practitioner’s needs to possess or develop a knowledge base as well as skillset applicable in order to provide service based on the client's beliefs, values and lifestyle. Similar argument is also applicable for my social work practice with Maryam in order to assess the challenges being faced by her. On the other hand, Kattari et al. (2017) have stressed that gender roles and relations also impact or influence the social work practitioners as well. Kattari et al. (2017) state that according to AASW ethical compliances social workers are required to provide equal service to everyone regardless of their gender, ethnicity, race or any background aspects. Therefore, AASW promotes anti-discriminatory practices in Australia. According to Hicks (2015), social work theory acknowledges the oppression and discrimination as a challenge. Hicks (2015) has stated gender as the fundamental dimension within the human experience as Hicks (2015) argues that gender differences are an integral part of the society and which also influences the social work practices as a result. As a result, my compliance with the ethical standards in the social working environment will allow the facilitation of anti-discriminatory practices. Individuals such as my client Maryam accessing the social work services, as a result, should not face any issue because of their gender, ethnicity or any background or individual information.
Risk Factors: Kattari et al. (2017) have argued that there is evidence which suggests that social workers or social work practitioners have undertaken discriminatory practices. According to me such practices harms the core notion of social working as addressing the necessity of everyone regardless of their background should be essential for every social worker. Kattari et al. (2017) stated that there are attempts in the domain of social work to perceive how gender, race or ethnicity relates to the intent to provide help to others. From the finding I understood that individual perception or moral values of the social workers is a crucial issue in the establishment of all-inclusive social work practice. This, as a result, justifies the development of ethical practice guidelines by the AASW in Australia as it minimises the probability of occurrence of any issues related to gender, race or ethnicity which can jeopardise the objectives of social work. Therefore, assessment of my client Maryam’s current situation and issues related to her cultural differences and gender needs to ensure there is no discriminatory practice involved. Furthermore, her father’s forcing about being included in the meeting between me and Maryam also suggests gender oppression issue is being faced by her as well. Because Briggs (2016) has argued that social work is an essential remedy which ensures social wellbeing. Hence, social working needs to overcome these barriers or issues in order to facilitate effective services to individuals.
Strengths: The AASW guidelines has provided with the necessary framework for me to work effectively by averting the barriers being compliant with the legislative guidelines.
Summary: Maryam who is a 21-year old Iranian student who performed well in her academics however currently she has dropped-out from studying because she is unwell because of the stomach and headaches. Doctors suspects no physical problem and referred to social services for anxiety disorders.
Goals: The goal is to provide Maryam with necessary support to provide her mental stability and ensure she is enrolled in her studies again.
Ethical Decision Making
Case Scenario: According to Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2005), different cultures perceive different issues or phenomena differently and as a result, the activities related to the issues differ. In this case my client Maryam belongs to a different cultural group, it is important for me to focus on the application of inclusive models while undertaking decision making for the issue faced by my client Maryam. Maryam is seeking my help because she wishes to return to her studies and enrol in university, however, she is only willing to do so if she gets more control over her life. The issue faced by my client Maryam demonstrates that there is a requirement for competent practice. Tran, Nguyen & Chan (2016) has stated that western perspective and eastern perspectives are different because of the cultural differences and as a result, any cross-cultural social work practices need to become competent with the cultural differentiations management. In a similar manner, the management of the issue being faced by Maryam requires me to focus on the cultural differences and undertake decision making based on the culturally inclusive model.
Ethical Dilemma: In the words of Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2005), from the western cultural perception, the issue being faced by Maryam is a mood disorder issue which requires psychological evaluation and intervention from me. As in western culture, adults are legally allowed to undertake decisions, Maryam's father faced an acceptance problem with the fact that it is up to Maryam to allow him during the interview with me, where she talks about her issues. Furthermore, there was a language barrier issue which also acted as a critical barrier between me and Maryam's parents. Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2005) argues that ethical decision making is a core part of social working as it helps practitioners to manage dilemmas related to their duties as well as management of privacy and confidentiality. The ethical dilemma in this case will be related to the involvement if Maryam’s father as he insisting to include him within the interview session. Therefore, in order to ensure such functional decision making which adheres to the ethical compliances, I will be required to undertake a pragmatic approach to managing the issue of Maryam. Implementation of this model will help both Maryam and me to overcome the ethical dilemma related to her father’s involvement in the meeting and also about her independent decision-making issue. On the other hand, Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2005) has also stated that cultural approaches to healing provide the source for the renewal of possibilities. Therefore, enhancements in cultural competencies of the social workers ensure more effective social work practice. According to Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2005), while the majority of the social work practitioners are comfortable with working from a strength perspective, cultural competency focused social working the contemporary social working, where more refugees or migrating people are involved becomes easier to handle.
Decision Making using Chenoweth & McAuliffe’s Model: In this case, my client Maryam is also a refugee or migrating individual who belongs to an Iranian background. Therefore, based on the argument established by Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2005), my involvement with Maryam will also be required to undertake a practice which ensures the application of inclusive models where cultural gaps are bridged in order enhance the effectiveness of the social support. In a similar notion, Adams (2011) has also stressed on the cultural competency development among the social work domain, because the requirement of cultural competence has increased considerably in the social working. Adams (2011) as a result argued that this practice requires the social worker to study and recognise the cultural value-based differences in order to understand the requirements they would need. Such individual involvement, as a result, helps with the development of the effective and enhanced relationship between the social worker and client and such robust relation also allows social workers to undertake ethical decisions necessary or essential for their client. Hence, I think that the overall application of an inclusive model which minimises cultural gaps while ensuring ethical decision making as well.
Topic Sentence: According to the Code of Ethics by the AASW, the ethical guidelines need to be adhered by the social workers religiously. This is because failure to comply with the ethical guidelines has legal ramifications. There are various legislative acts involved in order to ensure that I am compliant with the ethical social work practices.
Support: Privacy Act in Australia ensures that the social work practise is adhering to the privacy guidelines in the AASW Code of Ethics. As the previous discussion suggested, the client and social worker relationship depends on a trust which ensures that the client is confident and sharing information with the social workers. Therefore, social workers need to respect this confidence factor and need to adhere to ethical responsibilities related to client information by ensuring their privacy.
Evidence: Care and Protection Act 1998, on the other hand, focuses on the protection of the client's information in child care. This legislation ensures that proper consent is being issued in the children's social welfare and based on which child protection is ensured legally in Australia. Hence, social worker practitioners are required to adhere to the Care and Protection Act 1998 as well.