May 28, 2009
My supervisor was trying to make sure that I had met all of the requirements of my learning goals and so he was questioning me on a bunch of different things. One of the questions was along the lines of "What do you think the difference is between what social workers do here and what everyone else does here?" I launched into a bit about how, at first glance, there is little difference and the difference was fairly indistinguishable between the different disciplines. He seemed okay with that answer, but talked about how he was also looking for something about the social worker's ethical guidelines that social workers in BC are required to follow.
At first, this bothered me (and not because he was testing me, which is a whole other story), but I accepted it and moved on.
On my ride today, I realized why it "bothered" me (that's not quite the right word, but I'm leaving it for now). I realized that I've never really had social work ethics on my mind a lot throughout my degree. When someone would mention it, I'd keep going with the conversation and not really have anything to add on it. When we had to write a paper about it, I was slightly unchallenged by the assignment. I never really thought about it because social work ethics align quite well with my PERSONAL ethics. My ethics are always present with me, so it's always in the background. During my BSW interview, I was asked about how my ethics related to social work ethics and had a problem answering the questions. I sucked it up and told the truth. That there was no discrepancy. I thought this might not be the "right" answer, but I went with it.
Here is some speculation, but I think it's possible that my supervisor's personal ethics are not exactly in line with social work ethics and that's why it was always so present with him. Looking back, I remember many other times that there was questions about things that simply seemed self evident, that they struggled with. It was just an "aha" moment for me, rather than anything else.
Let me be clear, I'm not putting myself on a pedestal and questioning others. If your personal ethics are NOT in line with social work ethics, and you do the work of a social worker, I have only kudos for you. I, however, most likely couldn't go into something if my ethics did not line up with what I was doing. I'm way too selfish for that. ;)