It is both a challenge and an opportunity for social workers to integrate their professional values and ethics when they encounter a broad range of issues in daily practice. In this activity, you will consider the role of spiritual assessment in providing ethical care to clients and your own thoughts, feelings and concerns about this practice.
Faith, spiritual issues and concerns are sometimes overlooked or minimized in social work practice. Some agencies include a review of spiritual, faith or religious issues in their assessment process while others do not. Faith and spirituality can also be topics that social workers can feel uncomfortable with, creating fears of imposing values or beliefs on others or raising internal conflict in discussing differing core values or worldviews. Whereas these can be legitimate concerns, exploring the role and impact of faith and spiritual questions in the life of a client is also essential to providing culturally competent services and helping a person to integrate needed changes into his or her thoughts and behaviors. As you explore these ideas through conversation with your peers, you will continue to build confidence and awareness of how best to approach faith and spirituality in practice. Be conscious of differences in your classmates’ approaches and how there may not always be one right answer. Rather, a range of options may be appropriate or best practice in this area.
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