Sample Coursework Paper on Ethical Conflicts

Social Work and Human Services

Ethical Conflicts

As a social worker, there are several ethical dilemmas one encounters when dealing with issues in the profession. These ethical dilemmas cause conflicts as they pose challenges to the agent while trying to help the client make a decision. A social worker may be faced with a situation that challenges their own internal morals and set of values (Reamer, 2006). According to the codes of conduct in the profession and ethics, the professional should work towards meeting the best interests of the client. However, this is not always the case when some of the decisions of the clients conflict with the legal, morals, and ethical requirements (Dolgoff et al., 2009).

One issue that would raise ethical conflict to a social worker, for instance, would be dealing with a case of teenage pregnancy who may want to terminate the pregnancy. As a social worker, there is a stand on this issue that one may have, regarding their beliefs and the best interest of the client (Roberts & Springer, 2007). Consequently, they may try to help the client make a decision they consider best. These decisions may be based on religious beliefs and the set of morals of the agent, despite the ethical requirements of the profession (Dolgoff et al., 2009).

The client may want to terminate the pregnancy because she is a teen, still in school, and has few or no marketable values that may help her raise the child. She may add that she depends on her parents for financial support and housing and that she is still mentally immature. Despite this, the agent may still insist on urging her to keep the pregnancy to avoid risks of death during an abortion and other major complications. The religion of the agent may also be against abortion citing it as a sin. Therefore, the social worker may urge the client to deliver and place the child in an orphanage.


Dolgoff, R., Loewenberg, F. M., & Harrington, D. (2009). Ethical decisions for social work practice. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.

Reamer, F. G. (2006). Social work values and ethics. New York: Columbia University Press.

Roberts, A. R., & Springer, D. W. (2007). Social work in juvenile and criminal justice settings. Springfield, Ill: Charles C Thomas.