How To Maintain Professional Ethics In Our NDIS Roles (Part 1)


In the NDIS work, professional ethics is a must! Professional ethics are at the core of the therapeutic relationship in disability or community services. Codes of ethics, help to define professional behavior in five major ways. First codes of ethics should define the core values on which our service is based. Second, the codes should define broad ethical principles that reflect these core values and have a set of specific standards that we can use to guide the services we provide. Third, the code of ethics should help us when various responsibilities may conflict with one another, or ethical uncertainties arise. Fourth, the codes of ethics can be used to educate the public and our clients about what they can expect from our services. Finally, codes of ethics can be used for our profession to assess whether unethical conduct has occurred. Ethical decision making is a process in situation where when conflicting obligations arise, we may be faced with complex ethical dilemmas that have no simple answers. A code of ethics cannot guarantee ethical behavior. Moreover, a code of ethics cannot resolve all ethical issues or disputes or capture the richness and complexity involved in striving to make responsible choices in our work. Rather, a code of ethics sets, force values, principles, and standards to which we should aspire and by which our actions can be judged. Our ethical behavior should result from our personal commitment to engage in such behavior.

Appropriate professional and ethical behavior is typically defined in a number of ways. First agency policies and procedures will likely define what our work should involve and should define appropriate and inappropriate behaviors in our professional roles. Next, the laws and regulations, which govern our activities will also define our work and behaviors within our work that are considered inappropriate and unacceptable. Finally, there are a number of professional organizations that have developed codes of ethics for members of their profession. While there is not a single identified professional organization for support workers, there are a couple of national organizations that certify support workers and these organizations have developed a set of ethical standards for the case, case management profession.

Before getting into specific principles and ethical standards. It is important to define the role in practice of case management, case management is a professional and collaborative process. While the support worker is a professional, providing a service to a client, the relationship should be one of collaboration. The purpose of case management is to assist the person served in assessing planning for and implementing the steps that he or she wants to accomplish to meet the needs that he or she has identified. The support worker also serves in a role of monitoring and evaluating the progress that the individual is making our activities as support workers should be limited to our professional role and our level of professional competence. Our competence is typically defined by our, our education skills that we have developed and professional experiences that we have accumulated individuals who are new to the profession of case management should not worry. You have more competence than you likely give yourself credit for, and you will gain more as you continue in the profession.


There are several general principles that underlie ethical practice. The purpose of these principles is to guide and inspire us to the very highest of ethical practice. These principles are the basis for any ethical standards that are developed. The first of these is beneficence and non-maleficence while those are nice big words, the meaning is straightforward. We should strive to benefit those with whom we work and take care to do no harm. The work that we do as support workers is solely for the benefit of the client, with a goal of improving their health and wellbeing with that, as our goal, we also need to be aware that certain actions and activities may harm our clients and we have a responsibility to avoid those. Second is fidelity and responsibilities, support workers establish relationships of trust with those, with whom we work. In addition to being trustworthy, we also accept the responsibilities that are inherent in our positions.

We try to clarify our role as, we accept appropriate responsibility for our behavior, and we seek to manage any conflicts that may arise in a manner that avoids any exploitation or harm to the client. Next is integrity in all that we do. We strive to be accurate, honest, and truthful. We strive to keep our promises and avoid any unwise or unclear commitments. Integrity is a key dynamic in maintaining the trust of the individuals we serve. Next is justice. We recognize that fairness and justice entitle, everyone that we serve to benefit from our services. We take precautions to assure that our personal biases do not affect our services so that we provide the same level of commitment to all of our clients, regardless of their particular circumstances. And the final principle is respect for the individual’s rights and dignity. We respect the dignity and worth of all people and the rights of all individuals that we serve to privacy confidentiality. And self-determination, we respect cultural individual and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender, identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status. We attempt to eliminate any effect on our work of any biases that we may have based on these factors. And we do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others that are based upon such prejudices

While we are not going to discuss any codes of ethics, because these codes vary among agencies and among professional affiliations of staff members. We do want to discuss some general areas that are addressed in nearly all professional codes of ethics within the human services field. The first area that is addressed is the professional relationship with our clients. First and foremost, we have a responsibility to assure that the services that we offer and our behavior in all of our interactions promotes the wellbeing of the client. We have an ethical responsibility as a professional to undertake actions that support the improved health and wellbeing of the individuals we serve. Second, we have an ethical responsibility to promote independence and self-determination in the people we serve at no time, should the relationship become one where we are telling our clients what to do our services and our behavior should support our clients in deciding what they want to do, and then taking steps to do whatever it is they decide.

One issue to be aware of regarding this idea is that we need to make sure that we are not engaging in any actions that create a dependency on us. We always want to support our clients in doing what they can do. Next. We want to maintain objectivity. We should not allow the personal situation of the person with whom we are working to affect how we think about or serve that person. When we remain objective, we’re able to support the principle of justice and that we are equally committed to serve all who are on our caseload. Next, we want to make sure that we do not impose our values on our clients each and every person has his or her own value system. Nothing in the world gives anyone the ability to state that his or her value system is better than someone else’s. So, we really don’t have the right to impose our values on anyone.

Instead of using our value system as a frame of reference, it is important for us to understand our client’s value systems so that we can provide services in a culturally sensitive manner, rather than trying to change our client’s value systems. We need to understand those values and allow them to change how we work with our clients. The final area that is in nearly all codes of ethics, addresses dual relationships with our clients. We have a primary responsibility to our clients in the professional role that we have with them. The easiest way to, to describe this idea is that we should not have any relationship whatsoever with our clients outside of our professional role with them. We should not engage in any type of behavior where we might take advantage of our relationship with our clients. We should not transact any business with our clients aside from community transactions that are available to anyone and where we do not gain any special treatment in small communities.

Additionally, in this area, any relationship besides a professional relationship might be very confusing to our clients. They might be asking themselves, are you telling me this as my support worker or as my friend, finally, we need to talk about sexual intimacy with our clients and their family members. We are prohibited from engaging in sexually intimate relationships with our clients and their family members, many companies and professional organizations also prohibit sexually intimate relationships with former clients for several years. The reason that this prohibition exists is that these relationships are always, let me stress always harmful to our clients.

The second major area of professional ethics concerns, privacy and confidentiality, our first major responsibility is to have knowledge of, and then to comply with federal and state confidentiality laws. In this regard, we have a responsibility to protect the privacy of the individuals that we serve first. That means we should work with our client based on the information that they give us. And the information that is contained in the clinical record, which is we should not go out on an investigation to learn everything that we can about our clients. We are not police detectives or private investigators. Individuals have a right to privacy regarding their information, including the right to withhold information from us. Also, any information that we request from our clients should be for the purposes of assessment, planning and intervention. Not because we’re curious or would like to know since case management is a community-based service, we also have a responsibility to protect the privacy of the privacy of the individuals that we serve while we are providing services, we must always be aware of where we are and who is around. We don’t want to be completing an in-depth assessment sitting in a booth at McDonald’s always respect the privacy of the other. As you would want your privacy to be respected.

Finally, codes of ethics typically will identify prohibited unprofessional behavior. While each profession may identify different prohibitions. The behaviors in this article nearly universally prohibited. The first is engaging in criminal conduct while it may be possible that anyone may get a traffic ticket. That’s not what we’re talking about. What is prohibited is knowingly engaging in a course of behavior. That is a violation of either federal or state laws. Queensland has a list of offenses that are published that disqualifies a person from a substance abuse or mental health staff position. This prohibition is not just about not engaging in criminal behavior with your client or engaging in such behavior while working this prohibition is about engaging in any criminal behavior anywhere in your life. Second on our list is any conduct that involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. While these actions may not rise to the level of criminal behavior, they are nonetheless prohibited. These behaviors refer to our relationships with the individuals we serve and our relationship with the agency, with which we are employed.




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