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Human services are developed in anticipation and response of human needs. The profession is characterized by positive reception of human needs taking into account all of their diversity. In context of community and environment, Human services professionals offer assistance to their clients and serve their particular needs. Need of ethics in human services profession is of substantial importance (Sinclair et al., 1987).
Ethics are guidelines which represents set of standards of conduct that is considered ethical by professionals and educators. Ethics although not legal document but help to assist in settlement of problems and issues related to ethical issues in human services profession.
A brief overview of Ethical Standards for human services professionals:
Human service professionals are key players in Human services sector. In this highly customized profession, human service professional interacts frequently with families, individuals and groups etc, all these are their clients. Human services professionals are case managers, they are caregiver, teacher, doctor, consultant, lawyer, and psychologists etc. in the following section, some ethical standards are defined for human services professionals.
My ethical statement:
"As a ethical human services professional, I will endeaver to meet or exceed the statement below in day to day practices of my professional life."
My code of ethics as a Human service professional:
As a Human service professional I would like to talk with the clients the goals, purpose, and nature of helping relationship before onset of relationship and also inform the clients about limitations of relationship.
In my opinion, clients should be treated with respect, dignity and trust.
As a Human service professional I will take care for protection of customer rights and confidentiality. Except some special cases, when this confidentiality can be harmful for customer.
As Human services professional I will try to take integrity, security and safety of client records.
I would like to have prior written consent by customer when there is need to share client information with other professionals.
As a Human services professional, I will try protect the self-determination right of clients.
I would like to be well aware of legal, federal, local and state laws related to human services.
I will keep myself informed about current social issues that can affect community and clients.
I will act as advocates that help to address the unmet needs of society and individuals.
As a Human service professional I would like take it as my responsibility to disclose my qualifications accurately.
As a Human service professional, I will work with the aim of helping people and for accomplishment of goals of human service organizations. My basic goal in human services will be to help people in living more satisfied life, more productive and autonomous life, by utilizing the resources and knowledge of society and technological innovation.
These ethics are core values of human services professionals:
Above mentioned set of ethical practices serves as set of core values of ethics in human services profession, every professional who selects human service as profession must have strong passion to serve society and individuals. As this profession is all about humans, the main concern of this profession is providing individual's solution of their personal and social problems. When dealing with and serving humans, ethics become more important (Sinclair et al., 1987).
A human services professional can deliver its services in better way if he is well aware of importance of ethics in his profession. Code of ethics in human services profession helps to promote trust, confidentiality, recognition and negotiation of client's right of self-determination and informed consent. Healthcare professionals and other people involved in human services process should respect right of privacy of their clients. In human service, clients are sharing their very confidential information and problems with professionals, because they want from professionals to solve their problems. It becomes ultimate responsibility of these professionals to develop the relationship of trust and integrity with clients and keep their information confidential, and do not share it with others regardless some exceptional situations when need to discuss it with their team or other professional in order to solve out the problem of their client. Even in this case, information should not be shared without written consent of client.
To make the individual a productive part of society, is also an ultimate goals of human services professionals. Sometimes, clients don't know the real issue he/she is facing, this may be a psychological or health related issue, in this situation, human services professionals first find the real cause and then goes for its solution.
Each state and country has some legal framework and laws for society, these laws are made for members of society which are human beings, so the awareness and knowledge of local and federal laws of state or country is critical for human service professionals as their profession is all about humans. The professionals need to be ethical ideals, while respecting for all cultures, beliefs and relationships (Seitz, & O'Neill, 1996).
Ethical standards for human service workers require passion and dedication by professionals and workers as well. Integrity, following the laws, compliance with policies and rules, maintaining the client records and case files etc. all include professional ethics requirements. Apart from their direct service to clients, human service professionals also have responsibility to protest against social injustice and community empowerment.
If the code of ethics is not employed and practiced in human services profession, it will bring destruction to society. There will be no relation of trust and integrity can be developed among professionals and society. People will feel reluctant to share their problems with their consultants as they will have no surety that their information will be kept confidential. As a result, society will suffer at large as people will live lives full of problems and worries because human services works with aim of better lives of their clients and to make all the members of society productive and active part of society (Seitz & O'Neill, 1996). Without ethical practices and commitment of professionals to follow these practices, mission of human services cannot be achieved. Admitting the importance on ethical practices, every human services organization has code of ethics all members are encouraged to follow. So if we develop and practice our personal code of ethics to excel in our profession, it will be a good strategy to follow that will pave the way for success in future.