Personal, Professional and Organisational values in social work are not always in harmony. Using examples from professional (sources and practice) and personal experience, evaluate the implications of this statement for practice that challenges oppression at personal, cultural and structural level.
For the purpose of this assignment I shall evaluate the statement that personal, professional and organisational values in social work practice are not always in harmony. Drawing on examples from professional sources and practice, I shall evaluate this statement in regards for practice that challenges oppression at the personal, cultural and structural levels.
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These all affect our relationships whether they be personal, family community or on structural levels. They are each one interlinked and they shape and determine society. Within these social structures there is level of power, (which is often used and abused) and this power can have negative effects on individuals either directly or indirectly therefore links with social work. (Adams et al 2002:Page 229)
Before elaborating on my experiences with a service user from the travelling community during placement, I feel it is important to provide an introduction to the following topics: personal and professional values, oppression, and social work models that promote anti oppressive practice.
Thompson (2001) defines oppression as “inhuman or degrading treatment of individuals or groups: It often involves disregarding the rights of individuals or group and thus is a denial of citizenship”. To gain a better understanding of how oppression occurs in the every-day lives of service users I consulted Thompson (2001) P.C.S model of oppression, this identifies three different levels within society, operating on a personal, cultural and structural level. The advantage of using the P.C.S analysis model is that it takes a holistic approach to oppression and discrimination which feature in the social circumstances service users. This will be explored further throughout this essay.
Mullaly (2010) also recognises the P.C.S. level of oppression, but takes it a step further outlining the privilege experienced by individuals and highlights the need for social workers to understand their own experience of privilege. Mullaly asserts, “Social workers generally are members of privileged groups. This is not to say that many have not experienced oppression, however by virtue of their race, job education, professional status and so on, they often control resources that the service user needs and have decision making power over certain aspects of a service users life” (Mullaly 2010:309)
Personal values are an intrinsic set of beliefs and moral principles that are important and worthwhile to live by. These beliefs and moral principles may change over time and are formed through socialisation, life experiences, and are influenced by things such as gender, occupation, peers, religion and politics. (Parrott, 2006). Collectively they form our value system that informs our decisions, our actions, and how we judge our own and others. (Beckett & Maynard 2005) it is vital to be aware as this could potentially prevent or promote effective intervention with service users.
My values have been drawn from a number of areas within my life such as family, friends, the wider community and also my educational background. Having grown up in a society surrounded by disadvantage and pain and trauma from the past, I have to take into consideration how being born into the Troubles as a Catholic has affected my socialisation. It has instilled in me...