Just like everyhuman being I have personal bias because of where I came from. This can impactmy practice if I do not understand and consider the importance of professional ethicsand values. These could be found in the Code of Ethics for social workers (BASW,2012). I will be using the Guidance on conduct and ethics for students (HCPC, 2016), some Legislation, theory andapproach if needed. I will be also using the term individual or other groups torefer to people who use social work services. The term bias isused by, Fiske et al.
(2010, p.1084) to”encompass a range of inter group orientations, including beliefs about thetraits and characteristics of groups, or individuals by virtue of their groupmembership, as well as unfair evaluative, affective or behavioural responses togroup and their members”. In addition, Fiske (2010)and her team relate these types of bias to “stereotypes, prejudice anddiscrimination”. Keene (2011, pp. 1-2) stated that, stereotypes, prejudice anddiscrimination are all somewhat “similar”. However, they are also very different,as they “performed each with a different focus”.
Forexample, sometimes people may behave in a negative way to a social group, thisis prejudice, without having a reason to dislike them, and this is stereotypes.Keene (2011)defined “Discrimination as the ‘denial’ of equal rights based onprejudices and stereotypes”. As a migrant I experienced discrimination beingpaid less than male workers doing the same job. This experience made me awareoff the need to treat people equally when working in social worker practice witha diversity of people. The code of ethics for social worker states that “Socialworkers have a responsibility to promote social justice, in relation to societygenerally, and in relation to the people with whom they work” (BASW, p.9). According to the code, I must challengediscrimination, based on characteristics such as age, culture, gender and so onwhen working with diversity group in social work practice after meeting therequirement. Discriminationcan happened where there is difference.
People are different and I believe thatthe majority of social worker clients are characterising by diversity. Gaine(2010, p.123) refers to diversity as the “range and variety of humanity”. Diversity results in areas of language andbehaviour were they can be confusion and anxiety about what is expected,appropriate and how easy it could be to get things wrong, such as usinglanguage that could be seeing as in anyway offensive, which can led to discrimination. For example, one day I was waiting forthe job interview with other people. The interviewer told the secretary that “calledthat lady over there”.
The secretary continued to look around until the interviewersaid “the black lady”. Everyone lookedat me hesitantly until I gave a relaxed laugh. Then her colleague said,”Oh, I see her”. For me I do not mind ifsomeone calls me a “black lady” because that what I am and I am proud of it. However, itcan be harmful, as it may result in people only seeing the characteristicsassociated with the stereotypes rather than the whole individual. These types of stereotypes can lead todangerous practice, such as start avoiding the individual because of the stereotypesholding against them, which can be seen as discrimination. Thompson(2016, pp5-7), stated that, “we” must not make assumption about “men” or “blackpeople” or “disabled people” or “Welsh speaker”, but also state that “treatingunique individuals as if they were simply no-specific examples of socialcategories”.
The code of ethics state that “Social workers have aresponsibility to promote social justice, in relation to society generally, andin relation to the people with whom they work”. Thompson, the code of ethicsincluding my experience made me aware off the need to recognise and respect thediversities of the society in which I will be practicing when working in socialwork practice while taking into account individuals and diversity group’sdifferences. According to Thompson (2016, p.5), anti-discriminatory practice “it shouldencompass all form of discrimination that can be seeing to lead to disadvantage,disempowerment and oppression”. As such I must avoid discrimination language andbehaviour while promoting anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice bytreating individuals equally and with respect.
For example when working with adisabled people, I should recognise the marginalised position in society (suchas the disabled). The code of ethics for social worker state that, “socialworker have a responsibility to promote social justice, in relation to societygenerally, and in relation to the people with whom they work” (BASW, 2012, p.9). TheHCPC also asked staff to “Promote and protect the interests of serviceusers and carers” (HCPC, p.10).
According to the code of ethics including the HCPC, I will try to uphold to”challenging discrimination, recognising diversity and working in solidarity”,by not allowing my personal views affect my professional relationships or thecare, treatment or other services that I provide when working in social workpractice. In addition, the code of ethics for social worker state that socialworkers should be “prepared to whistle blow about bad practice”, (BASW, 2012, p.14).The whistle blowing is not only for social worker, it is about raising a concernabout malpractice. Therefore anybody can raise a concern, including supportworker, doctor and so on, but as a student social worker and when I amqualified as a social worker after meeting the requirement, it will be part ofmy duty to challenge colleagues if I think that they have discriminatedagainst, or are discriminating against, service users, carers and colleagues