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Cleveland State University Course Info

Cleveland, Ohio


Course Info

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SWK 501

Ethical Decision Making for Social Work Practice

This course provides students with a comprehensive exploration of values and ethical issues as they apply to social work theory, research, policy, and practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Although values and ethical issues pervade all social work studies, this stand-alone ethics course is intended to provide graduate level students with an opportunity to study these issues in greater depth and breadth than may be provided in other courses. In addition to applying ethical principles and fixed rules/standards to case situations, students are challenged to understand reasoning behind rules and standards, including the distinction and relationship between value and relational ethics. In contrast to ethical analysis at the level of general principles, emergent approaches to ethical decision-making more contextual in focus illustrate how case facts/circumstances nuance interpretation and application of ethical standards, principles, and rules. To encourage critical/creative thinking, the course utilizes case situations with ethical issues that are more complex and less predictable, a strategic framework for managing such issues, and debates about a representative set of controversial issues in social work ethics, values, and obligations.

Units: 3.0