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Instructor – Reyna Moore
Week 1
CheckPoint: Ethical Decision Reection
The first professional ethical decision I had to make came at a young age, 17. I was working at
Wal-Mart and had already worked my way up the "totem pole". I became friends with a cashier,
Lisa. Lisa was a mom of five children and she and her husband struggled to make ends meet. As
Christmas time approached Lisa talked to me about a plan to help get Christmas presents for her
family. Lisa's idea was to have a friend come through her checkout line and purchase toys for her
(Lisa's) children. Lisa would run each item over the scanner, but without the barcode facing the
machine. She would ring only a few of the many items, in turn stealing most of the items.
This was a horribly rough decision for me to make. I wanted the children to have a nice
Christmas but I knew that what she was suggesting was wrong and could get us both not only
fired, but could also send us to jail. I had to consider my future and what having a "record" could
prevent me from achieving. My parents had always talked to us about stealing and doing the
right thing, and I could not compromise my values to "help" this friend and her family. My
decision affected Lisa and her family, but we have remained friends and she understood my
decision. That Christmas I helped Lisa and her husband make several items for their children and
put her in touch with a local church that was offering assistance to families in need. What could
have been a very negative situation turned out to be a positive one.
CheckPoint: Legal Considerations
The Community Services Code of Ethics states that employees and volunteers must obey laws
regardless of their thoughts on the appropriateness of those laws. This instruction is necessary,
first, for legal purposes. If individuals are made aware of expectations, they cannot use lack of
knowledge as a defense if the laws are not upheld. Another reason that this statement is
necessary is that individuals all have differing values, ethics, and morals. Laws are, generally
clear and concise. Individual ethics are rarely black and white, and the gray area that is included
allows for misinterpretation of expectations. For example, a case worker cannot approve
assistance for someone because he or she makes five dollars over the income limits and the
worker believes that refusing benefits due to such a small amount of money is unfair. The limits
have to be drawn somewhere and if they are not followed for one person, other individuals will
come forth asking why rules and laws cannot be bent for them as well.
Legal moralism is what keeps communities, for the most part, moral and ethical. If an individual
steals, not only is it illegal but it is also unethical. Most laws are created to protect citizens of a
community. Why do individuals need laws? Not all people are ethical and moral, and some
perform criminal acts. Lawmakers then convene and decide that such actions are unethical; to
assure that such behavior does not continue, a law should be passed preventing such activity.

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Laws and ethics are intertwined and as long as decisions are made to protect groups as a whole
rather than specific individuals and everyone is held to the same standard, this system works.
Assignment: Ethics and Law Presentation
This assignment is found in the week 1 folder in the .zip file.
Week 2
DQ 1
It is my personal opinion that for-profit organizations are held to higher ethical standards than
those that are non-profit. When an organization is run for a profit, the first concern is making
money and the second is the individuals that the organization may be assisting. Because these
organizations need to make a profit to stay in business, their ethical integrity must be high.
Sponsors and donors are not going to give their hard-earned money away to those who are not
going to use that money in an ethical manner.
Please do not believe that my reply means that I believe non-profit organizations are not run
ethically, as this is not the case. I simply believe that when money is a motive, organizations
need to do everything in their power to retain clientele. Having high ethical and moral standards
within the organization assures that individuals will be pleased with their treatment by employees
of said organization.
DQ 2
How do the unique relationship between human service organizations and the populations
they serve impact ethical decisions?
The relationship between helping organizations and their clients is one that is more "public" than
other relationships. Many human services organizations' records are available to the public and
their actions are closely watched by the individuals they serve and others in the community.
What are some ethical dilemmas that occur in human service organizations?
Some of the ethical dilemmas I can think of are: making a decision to bend the rules for one
client and not another, accepting donations in return for favors, and using donations to the
organization as they were intended rather than how the worker would like those monies to be
Which do you think has the greatest power to solve or prevent these dilemmas:
organizational leaders, federal or state bodies, or society as a whole?
I believe that the greatest power lies in the hands of the government. Government officials can
determine rules and regulations for employee conduct and how problems should be handled.
Organizational leaders can be a great "first step" at correcting problems that may have come up,

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but when the situation cannot be resolved at that level then the government needs to use its
power to change how dilemmas are handled.
CheckPoint: Code of Ethics Analysis
Human service workers are faced with ethical dilemmas in their daily work. One of those
dilemmas may arise when a social worker needs to place a child with a foster family. I chose this
ethical dilemma because it is something that I have personally witnessed with my family. My
parents do foster care, and over the years they have become close friends with a social worker.
This worker would call my parents first when a child would need to be placed, not giving other
families a chance to have a child placed with them.
The NASW Code of Ethics does discuss conflict of interest but does not detail a situation such as
this specifically. Referring children to one family due to a friendship that had blossomed is
unethical and is a situation that needed to be discussed with a supervisor in the county's Social
Services agency. The social worker in this instance should have contacted her supervisor and
discussed agency policies to determine the steps that needed to be taken for placing a child into
foster care.
I do not believe that the Code needs to be amended as long as policies are in place to explain
placement procedure. Workers with a basic understanding of ethics would know that using only
one family would be similar to referring clients to only one other agency. This leaves feelings
hurt amongst those who are not being utilized and causes burnout in those who are being used
too often.
Week 3
CheckPoint: Leadership Styles Case Study
The members of management at Northwest Center for Families (NCF) decide to "lay down the
law" and state what is expected of its employees and their interactions with clients. This form of
management is known as transactional leadership. The leaders in the NCF have made a decision
on what actions are going to be taken within the organization to discourage dual relationships.
This type of leadership allows the managers to explain exactly what is expected employees know
who is in charge. Management is at the top of the chain of command and when individuals
accept a job within the NCF they are aware of this. This is a harsher form of management.
Leaders within the Southeast Social Services (SSS) take a different approach. After learning of
the harm that dual relationships can pose, management discusses change with the employees. In
doing this, the director of SSS allows his or her staff to focus on the goals of the team as a whole
rather than what is best for each individual. A personal relationship with a client may benefit one
worker, but will do more harm to others within the organization. This type of leadership (called
the transformational method) also makes employees aware of the importance of separating
personal and professional relationships.

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This is great! Exactly what I wanted.