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Moral Dilemmas of Social Workers in the Defence Social Service

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Chapter Summary

The Ministry of Defence has had its own department for corporate social work, the Defence Social Services agency, since 1938. This chapter tests the actions of social workers in a number of practical situations against the professional code for social workers. The question that serves as the guiding principle in this evaluation is: what role does the professional code play in moral dilemmas in social work in the Defence organisation? To answer this question, the chapter describes some of the primary processes in corporate social work: a) psychosocial counselling, b) notification and c) advising the commander. It looks at the professional codes for social workers in the Defence organisation. The chapter illustrates each primary process by actual cases. It discusses the social workers' duty of confidentiality and the right of non-disclosure. The chapter ends with some conclusions and recommendations on how to deal with moral dilemmas in social work.

Keywords: commander; corporate social work; Defence organisation; Defence Social Services; Ministry of Defence; moral dilemmas; professional code; psychosocial counselling; social workers



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