7:30 section, 744
Self-determination is one of the important codes of ethics in the field of social work profession. Although it became a common knowledge, it has taken me almost three years to accept a little bit of the concept (If I may say so). The reason why it is hard to be accepted is power inequality and cultural differences. Social workers have been taught that we are professionals in helping people; we have commitment to our clients; we work with them and also have an equal position with them.
However, power differentia between social workers and clients is everywhere in practice work, especially when a practitioner has the right to decide who deserve the limited sources (That might be called need assessment.), or when an institution take away a welfare service from a client who may has difficulty in changing his/her life style or not qualify to the institution’s expectation. Unlike other professions such as psychological therapy and consulting, the service users in the social welfare system have less power to reject to cooperate with their social works.
Nevertheless, Americans’ value has a great influence on
Popple, P.R. & Leighninger, L., 2000, The Policy-Based Profession.