Ethical practice in the contemporary human services

Lonne, Robert L., McDonald, Catherine, & Fox, Tricia A. (2004) Ethical practice in the contemporary human services. Journal of Social Work, 4(3), pp. 345-367.

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This paper examines the findings of an exploratory study of emerging ethical issues and practices reported by a sample of human service managers and practitioners in public and non-profit agencies in Queensland, Australia.----------

Findings: The contemporary context in which human services are delivered in Western societies is characterized by increased marketization, contractualism and managerialist practices, all of which entail different ethical values from those traditionally embraced by the social work profession. Utilizing qualitative and quantitative methodologies, this research identifies current and emerging challenges to ethical practice and existing organizational responses to it. Widespread concern about the negative aspects of changed structural arrangements on ethical practice in the contemporary human services is highlighted. Differences in the ways in which organizations and practitioners are responding to these changes are examined. The limitations of existing approaches and ethics codes are noted.----------

Applications: Implications for organizations, practitioners and educators are explored, and more pro-active management and training strategies are advocated. Further research is required to identify the often-understated negative effects on ethical practice of the market-based reforms of human service structures and processes.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 18437
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Ethical practice, Human services, Managerialism, Marketization, Social work
DOI: 10.1177/1468017304048059
ISSN: 1468-0173
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Professional Ethics (incl. police and research ethics) (220107)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Sage Publications Ltd
Deposited On: 01 Jun 2009 21:25
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:18

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