Just stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination are all somewhat

Just like every
human being I have personal bias because of where I came from. This can impact
my practice if I do not understand and consider the importance of professional ethics
and values. These could be found in the Code of Ethics for social workers (BASW,
2012). I will be using the Guidance on conduct and ethics for students (HCPC, 2016), some Legislation, theory and
approach if needed. I will be also using the term individual or other groups to
refer to people who use social work services.

 

The term bias is
used by, Fiske et al. (2010, p.1084) to
“encompass a range of inter group orientations, including beliefs about the
traits and characteristics of groups, or individuals by virtue of their group
membership, as well as unfair evaluative, affective or behavioural responses to
group and their members”. In addition, Fiske (2010)
and her team relate these types of bias to “stereotypes, prejudice and
discrimination”.

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Keene (2011, pp. 1-2) stated that, stereotypes, prejudice and
discrimination are all somewhat “similar”. However, they are also very different,
as they “performed each with a different focus”. For
example, sometimes people may behave in a negative way to a social group, this
is prejudice, without having a reason to dislike them, and this is stereotypes.
Keene (2011)
defined “Discrimination as the ‘denial’ of equal rights based on
prejudices and stereotypes”. As a migrant I experienced discrimination being
paid less than male workers doing the same job. This experience made me aware
off the need to treat people equally when working in social worker practice with
a diversity of people. The code of ethics for social worker states that “Social
workers have a responsibility to promote social justice, in relation to society
generally, and in relation to the people with whom they work” (BASW, p.9).  According to the code, I must challenge
discrimination, based on characteristics such as age, culture, gender and so on
when working with diversity group in social work practice after meeting the
requirement.

 

Discrimination
can happened where there is difference. People are different and I believe that
the majority of social worker clients are characterising by diversity. Gaine
(2010, p.123) refers to diversity as the “range and variety of humanity”.  Diversity results in areas of language and
behaviour were they can be confusion and anxiety about what is expected,
appropriate and how easy it could be to get things wrong, such as using
language that could be seeing as in anyway offensive, which can led to discrimination. For example, one day I was waiting for
the job interview with other people. The interviewer told the secretary that “called
that lady over there”. The secretary continued to look around until the interviewer
said “the black lady”.  Everyone looked
at me hesitantly until I gave a relaxed laugh. Then her colleague said,
“Oh, I see her”.  For me I do not mind if
someone calls me a “black lady” because that what I am and I am proud of it.  However, it
can be harmful, as it may result in people only seeing the characteristics
associated with the stereotypes rather than the whole individual.  These types of stereotypes can lead to
dangerous practice, such as start avoiding the individual because of the stereotypes
holding against them, which can be seen as discrimination. Thompson
(2016, pp5-7), stated that, “we” must not make assumption about “men” or “black
people” or “disabled people” or “Welsh speaker”, but also state that “treating
unique individuals as if they were simply no-specific examples of social
categories”. The code of ethics state that “Social workers have a
responsibility to promote social justice, in relation to society generally, and
in relation to the people with whom they work”. Thompson, the code of ethics
including my experience made me aware off the need to recognise and respect the
diversities of the society in which I will be practicing when working in social
work practice while taking into account individuals and diversity group’s
differences.          

 

According to Thompson (2016, p.5), anti-discriminatory practice “it should
encompass all form of discrimination that can be seeing to lead to disadvantage,
disempowerment and oppression”. As such I must avoid discrimination language and
behaviour while promoting anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice by
treating individuals equally and with respect. For example when working with a
disabled people, I should recognise the marginalised position in society (such
as the disabled). The code of ethics for social worker state that, “social
worker have a responsibility to promote social justice, in relation to society
generally, and in relation to the people with whom they work” (BASW, 2012, p.9). The
HCPC also asked staff to “Promote and protect the interests of service
users and carers” (HCPC, p.10). According to the code of ethics including the HCPC, I will try to uphold to
“challenging discrimination, recognising diversity and working in solidarity”,
by not allowing my personal views affect my professional relationships or the
care, treatment or other services that I provide when working in social work
practice. In addition, the code of ethics for social worker state that social
workers should be “prepared to whistle blow about bad practice”, (BASW, 2012, p.14).
The whistle blowing is not only for social worker, it is about raising a concern
about malpractice. Therefore anybody can raise a concern, including support
worker, doctor and so on, but as a student social worker and when I am
qualified as a social worker after meeting the requirement, it will be part of
my duty to challenge colleagues if I think that they have discriminated
against, or are discriminating against, service users, carers and colleagues

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