Values in social work


Therefore it is of paramount importance that Social workers promote the welfare of asylum seekers in our country. However there are certain barriers to this, these include, cultural barriers (values, attitudes, lifestyle, religion, language), government policy which often opposes social work values, prioritising of need, inadequate resources, equality of opportunity in terms of employment e. g. someone who has a vocational degree in their own country may be denied access to employment. housing and some services. Therefore anti discriminatory practice and humanitarianism is vital within Social Work practice.

Thus I have a responsibility in being aware of all the issues effecting individuals who are in the need of the support of a Social Worker. My role is to adhere to enhancing an atmosphere of acceptance, tolerance and equality for all individuals no matter what their background. It is essential that Social Workers and those accountable for providing services and support to the most vulnerable in our society, do not lose sight of the fact that asylum seekers, regardless of their immigration status, are human beings, with fundamental and basic human rights, needs and aspirations.

Looking at the barriers it is evident that there are major discrepancies between my value base as a Social Work student and current government laws and legislation, policies and procedures which restricts equality of opportunity for asylum seekers. This inevitably can antagonise Social Workers role in promoting anti-discriminatory practice. It has become apparent from talking to local members of the Racial Equality Council, that asylum seekers can be denied their human rights to equality of opportunity.

One such example is a local asylum seeker who has been fighting for refugee status for seven years.

Due to her status she is denied adequate housing, employment and finance. In referring to Hayes and Humphries (2004) it would appear that Social Work teams are far from clear and are uncertain in terms of their remit with regard to asylum seekers. It also appears that they are often not sure that asylum seekers are any part of their responsibility. Many Social Services departments have no particular policies or targets in relation to peoples subject to immigration controls. Families often depend on voluntary groups or local support groups whose continuing existence is precarious.

Currently, the Local Authority cares for unaccompanied asylum seekers, but politicians are debating to change these laws, which could mean that an unaccompanied asylum seeker might not be automatically cared for by the Local Authority. The implications for this could result in further trauma for young asylum seekers (Hayes and Humphries, 2004). With regard to the case study we are not aware of Isaac’s circumstances so I am left to assume that he has faced a number of dilemmas and difficulties in the UK, which in turn may add to the traumas he may have already experienced.

And with reference to above and in view of his avoidance of authority figure we are not sure whether he is receiving adequate support. “On becoming an asylum seeker, an individual is likely to be faced with a number of losses. One such loss may be the ability to communicate with others and be understood by those around them. This can be a frightening and disempowering experience. Other major losses may include contact with loved ones, home, job and culture.

An additional loss may be the view of their anticipated future and life plans” (Richman, 1998; Tribe and Shackman, 1989) “There appears to be a body of literature claiming to show a correlation between becoming a refugee and psychological health difficulties. Given the considerable losses and associated changes which many refugees and asylum seekers experience this is perhaps inevitable. ” (Eisenbruch, 1991; Tribe, 1999b; Van der Veer, 1992) In adhering to social work core values I would want to support Isaac in helping him to adjust and overcome his issues.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (see lecture notes) would be a basis from which to establish that Isaac’s fundamental needs are being met, these include warmth, food, shelter, clothing, emotional, self-esteem and aspirational needs. It is important that Isaac has access to all the services required to promote his welfare in order for him to reach his full potential including links with Racial Equality Council, Refugee First, NASS, an interpreter if needed and START. It was difficult to decide on which individual circumstance to choose as I believe each and every one of those issues have an urgency for support.

My decision to focus on asylum was based on a need to increase my knowledge on the subject and to consider my role as a Social Worker and my value base with regard to asylum seekers in the UK. It was also important to analyse the complexities and ambiguities associated with asylum and how this would impact upon my Social Work practice. Having researched the topic I believe that I have gained a broader understanding of the issues facing asylum seekers and my judgements are less ambiguous.

Knowing the difficulties and traumas experienced by asylum seekers and the barriers they face in gaining status in the UK, I have become more empathetic to the overall needs of asylum seekers and to how Isaac may be feeling. Previous to tackling this assignment I was perhaps unaware just how difficult it may be for many asylum seekers and I now have a greater appreciation of the importance of their overall well being and mental health. In the likely hood that I might encounter referrals for individuals who are seeking asylum, I believe I now have a deeper understanding of the support required.

It is evident however that, despite the Race Relations Act 1976, asylum seekers rights appear to fall short of equality of opportunity. Whilst the values underpinning Social Workers is of paramount importance it is apparent that Social Workers maybe powerless to fully implement and adhere to these principles. Due to the uncertainties with regard to the role of Social Workers and asylum seekers it would be important to ensure that Isaac was linked in to voluntary and statutory organisations such as NASS and Racial Equality Council.

As a Social Worker I would want to oversee that Isaac’s needs were being met by working in partnership with those agencies. A priority would be to ensure that Isaac was empowered by promoting his self-determination through adequate provision and human rights. REFERENCES Banks, S. (2001) Ethics and Values in Social Work. 2e Hampshire: Palgrave Hayes, D. and Humphries, B. (2004) Social Work, Immigration and Asylum. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd Kohli, R. K. S. (2007) Social Work with Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillian Temple, B.

and Moran, R. (2005) Learning to live together: Developing communities with dispersed refugee people seeking asylum. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation Brigadier, B. (1992) Stowaways by Sea: Illegal Immigrants, Refugees, Asylum Seekers. London: The Nautical Institute Robinson, V. , Anderson, R. , and Musterd, S. (2003) Spreading the ‘Burden’? : A review of policies to disperse asylum seekers and refugees. Bristol: the Policy Press Thompson, N. (2001) Anti-discriminatory practice. 3e Hampshire: Palgrave Tribe, R. and Raval, H. (2003) Working with Interpreters in Mental Health.

East Sussex: Brunner-Routledge Warner, R. (1997) Refugees; Global Issues. Austin: Steck-Vaughn Publishers Zetter, R. and Pearl, M. (1999) Managing to survive: Asylum Seekers, Refugees and access to Social Housing. Bristol: The Policy Press BBC [online] (2006) ‘Action Network: Asylum Seekers’ Rights. ‘ http://www. bbc. co. uk/dna/actionnetwork (28 February 2008) Shelter [online] (2008) ‘Asylum Seekers: everyone should have a home. ‘ http://england. shelter. org. uk/policy (28 February 2008) Home Office [online] (2008) ‘Border and Immigration Agency: Asylum Support. ‘ http://www.bia. homeoffice. gov. uk/asylum/support (28 February 2008)

Refugee Action [online] (2008) ‘Learning about Asylum. ‘ http://www. refugee-action. org. uk/information/learningaboutasylum. aspx (28 February 2008) Dispatches: Keep them out. (2004) Documentary. Channel 4, 60 minutes. Welcome to Britain: Inside Asylum. (2001) Documentary. BBC1. 40 minutes. 1 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Social Work section.

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