Work Ethics and Professionalism

Youth Work Ethics and Professionalism

The case study (below) takes the form of a scenario and you are to identify the ethical issues at stake, and respond to the scenario from the perspective of each of the following four approaches.
? Utilitarianism
? Deontological Ethics
? Virtue Ethics?
? Ethics of Caring
After you have read the case study scenario, you are to answer the 5 questions, allowing approx. 300-350 words for each question. Please be sure to number each question accordingly.
You are asked to include in your answers a clear description of each approach.
INSTRUCTIONS ? Please Read FIRST
? Utilitarianism
? Deontological Ethics
? Virtue Ethics?
? Ethics of Caring
It also asks you about the YACVic (Youth Affairs Council of Victoria) Code of Ethical Practice (which I will attach as a separate document).
The test takes the form of a hypothetical scenario involving an ethical dilemma and you are to respond from the perspective of a youth worker exponent of the above four theories, including in your answers a clear description of each theory as well as an application to the case described in the scenario. You are also asked to respond from the perspective of a youth worker working from the basis of the Victorian Code of Ethical Practice, giving a clear exposition of the relevant principles and their application to the scenario.
Each of the five questions is worth 10 marks each. Marks will be awarded (i) for accurate descriptions of theories and of the Code (5 marks per question), and (ii) for realistic and plausible applications that are true to the Code or the theory concerned (5 marks per question), totaling 50 marks. In this latter case, (i.e. with respect to applications), there is no one right answer; the emphasis is on realism and plausibility.
Essential study aids will be the YACVic Code of Ethical Practice.
You may also do further independent research and reading about the theories or the Code if you wish.
You may answer using your own words and / or through referring to, and citing, sources. No more than 1 reference, possibly 2, maximum for each question. Avoid overly long quotes from any source where these dominate your own words. In other words, short illustrative quotes are fine, but answers comprised mainly of large sections of others? words are not. All sources used should be cited in the usual manner (Harvard System). Where you have used sources, a list of references is required.

CASE STUDY SCENARIO:

You are working in a youth drop-in centre that has somehow managed to connect with a very marginalised young man, Zac. Zac is 15 years old and has had a long history in the foster and residential care systems, and some with juvenile justice. His connection with services and foster families has been patchy, (in many cases he has either left, or been asked to leave). Currently, he is supposedly living with his mother and step-father, and not connected with any other service. However, through reports from Zac?s mother, you learn that although she gives him money, he often sleeps away from home for days on end. It is hard for you to get Zac to talk. He is frequently silent, often inarticulate, and very often angry and aggressive. For example, he speaks of wanting to ?get? a previous worker who he says betrayed him. However, you feel that Zac is opening up to you ? and you know that he has no other regular source of counsel and support. He has reported that since he was a small child his step-father has been physically and emotionally violent, and his mother has AOD issues, hence his reticence to stay at home. Zac is no longer attending school. He has admitted to using drugs, but says ?not the hard stuff?. You have put some effort into assisting him, both in dealing with some of his concerns and in making connections with other young people who use the facilities at the drop-in centre. He appears to have made two close friends. You are pleased with his progress generally. One day, however, Zac attends whilst under the influence of alcohol. He is angry, having had a row with his step-father. After a minor disagreement with another service user he ?snaps? and is threatening and abusive to a young woman at the centre. A group of other service users approaches you and tells you they are scared of Zac because of this and other aggressive episodes (that you are unaware of). Your centre has a strict policy of excluding violent attendees. It also has a zero tolerance policy of attending whilst substance affected. Your manager is concerned about Zac, the incident and the affect on other attendees, and, at a staff meeting, you are asked for your perspective on what should be done. You think to yourself, ?what ought I say/do??.

a) You (the worker) draw your ethical approach from the YACVic Code of Ethical Practice. What do you say about the situation? Make sure you give a clear description of the parts of the Code you consider relevant in your answer and apply these to the case at hand. (10 marks)
b) You (the worker) are an exponent of Utilitarian ethics. What do you say about the situation? Make sure you give a clear description of the core principles of utilitarianism in your answer and apply these to the case at hand (10 marks)
c) You (the worker) are an exponent of Deontological ethics. What do you say about the situation? Make sure you give a clear description of the core principles of deontology in your answer and apply these to the case at hand (10 marks)
d) You (the worker) are an exponent of virtue ethics. What do you say about the situation? Make sure you give a clear description of the core principles of virtue ethics in your answer and apply these to the case at hand (10 marks)
e) You (the worker) are an exponent of the ethics of caring. What do you say about the situation? Make sure you give a clear description of the core principles of the ethics of care in your answer and apply these to the case at hand (10 marks)

JUST A REMINDER:
Aim for a clear and consistent description of the principles of each theory (and of the code). Just stick to the basics. But be thorough.

Aim for a clear and consistent application of the principles. Just stick to the obvious. Make sure that your application is realistic and plausible and tied to the principles.
SUGGESTIONS FROM OUR LECTURER:
Q: There are practical things I want to suggest ? i.e. things like working alone with Zac, excluding him for a short time, etc.. These may be part of usual youth work practice. Can I do these things?

A: By all means yes. BUT (and this is important) you MUST show how they fit the theory you are writing about. I have marked tests where all that was written about was the way that the student would solve the problem using different interventions / methods? and these were not linked with the theory (or theories) at hand or their core principles. Indeed the theories were neglected in answers.
The case study (below) takes the form of a scenario and you are to identify the ethical issues at stake, and respond to the scenario from the perspective of each of the following four approaches.
• Utilitarianism
• Deontological Ethics
• Virtue Ethics?
• Ethics of Caring
After you have read the case study scenario, you are to answer the 5 questions, allowing approx. 300-350 words for each question. Please be sure to number each question accordingly.
You are asked to include in your answers a clear description of each approach.
INSTRUCTIONS – Please Read FIRST
• Utilitarianism
• Deontological Ethics
• Virtue Ethics?
• Ethics of Caring
It also asks you about the YACVic(Youth Affairs Council of Victoria) Code of Ethical Practice (which I will attach as a separate document).
The test takes the form of a hypothetical scenario involving an ethical dilemma and you are to respond from the perspective of a youth worker exponent of the above four theories, including in your answers a clear description of each theory as well as an application to the case described in the scenario. You are also asked to respond from the perspective of a youth worker working from the basis of the Victorian Code of Ethical Practice, giving a clear exposition of the relevant principles and their application to the scenario.
Each of the five questions is worth 10 marks each. Marks will be awarded (i) for accurate descriptions of theories and of the Code (5 marks per question), and (ii) for realistic and plausible applications that are true to the Code or the theory concerned (5 marks per question), totaling 50 marks. In this latter case, (i.e. with respect to applications), there is no one right answer; the emphasis is on realism and plausibility.
Essential study aids will be the YACVic Code of Ethical Practice.
You may also do further independent research and reading about the theories or the Code if you wish.
You may answer using your own words and / or through referring to, and citing, sources. No more than 1 reference, possibly 2, maximum for each question. Avoid overly long quotes from any source where these dominate your own words. In other words, short illustrative quotes are fine, but answers comprised mainly of large sections of others’ words are not. All sources used should be cited in the usual manner (Harvard System). Where you have used sources, a list of references is required.

CASE STUDY SCENARIO:

You are working in a youth drop-in centre that has somehow managed to connect with a very marginalised young man, Zac. Zac is 15 years old and has had a long history in the foster and residential care systems, and some with juvenile justice. His connection with services and foster families has been patchy, (in many cases he has either left, or been asked to leave). Currently, he is supposedly living with his mother and step-father, and not connected with any other service. However, through reports from Zac’s mother, you learn that although she gives him money, he often sleeps away from home for days on end. It is hard for you to get Zac to talk. He is frequently silent, often inarticulate, and very often angry and aggressive. For example, he speaks of wanting to ‘get’ a previous worker who he says betrayed him. However, you feel that Zac is opening up to you – and you know that he has no other regular source of counsel and support. He has reported that since he was a small child his step-father has been physically and emotionally violent, and his mother has AOD issues, hence his reticence to stay at home. Zac is no longer attending school. He has admitted to using drugs, but says ‘not the hard stuff’. You have put some effort into assisting him, both in dealing with some of his concerns and in making connections with other young people who use the facilities at the drop-in centre. He appears to have made two close friends. You are pleased with his progress generally. One day, however, Zac attends whilst under the influence of alcohol. He is angry, having had a row with his step-father. After a minor disagreement with another service user he ‘snaps’ and is threatening and abusive to a young woman at the centre. A group of other service users approaches you and tells you they are scared of Zac because of this and other aggressive episodes (that you are unaware of). Your centre has a strict policy of excluding violent attendees. It also has a zero tolerance policy of attending whilst substance affected. Your manager is concerned about Zac, the incident and the affect on other attendees, and, at a staff meeting, you are asked for your perspective on what should be done. You think to yourself, “what ought I say/do?”.
a) You (the worker) draw your ethical approach from the YACVic Code of Ethical Practice. What do you say about the situation? Make sure you give a clear description of the parts of the Code you consider relevant in your answer and apply these to the case at hand. (10 marks)
b) You (the worker) are an exponent of Utilitarian ethics. What do you say about the situation? Make sure you give a clear description of the core principles of utilitarianism in your answer and apply these to the case at hand (10 marks)
c) You (the worker) are an exponent of Deontological ethics. What do you say about the situation? Make sure you give a clear description of the core principles of deontology in your answer and apply these to the case at hand (10 marks)
d) You (the worker) are an exponent of virtue ethics. What do you say about the situation? Make sure you give a clear description of the core principles of virtue ethics in your answer and apply these to the case at hand (10 marks)
e) You (the worker) are an exponent of the ethics of caring. What do you say about the situation? Make sure you give a clear description of the core principles of the ethics of care in your answer and apply these to the case at hand (10 marks)

JUST A REMINDER:
Aim for a clear and consistent description of the principles of each theory (and of the code). Just stick to the basics. But be thorough.

Aim for a clear and consistent application of the principles. Just stick to the obvious. Make sure that your application is realistic and plausible and tied to the principles.
SUGGESTIONS FROM OUR LECTURER:
Q: There are practical things I want to suggest – i.e. things like working alone with Zac, excluding him for a short time, etc.. These may be part of usual youth work practice. Can I do these things?

A: By all means yes. BUT (and this is important) you MUST show how they fit the theory you are writing about. I have marked tests where all that was written about was the way that the student would solve the problem using different interventions / methods… and these were not linked with the theory (or theories) at hand or their core principles. Indeed the theories were neglected in answers. Don’t fall into this trap.
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