Beyond Ethics And Evidence: Learning To Look At The Intended And Unintended Consequences Of Our Actions.
Child and Youth Services
Vol. 38, No. 2 , p. 108-125
Taylor and Francis Group
530 Walnut Street Suite 850
Philadelphia, PA 19106
The human service professions have traditionally taken a narrow perspective on what constitutes ethical and effective practice. We are taught to use simplistic code-based models to judge whether our actions are ethical and in-the-moment measures to determine if we are being effective. If we observe no harm in the period of our intervention, then we believe our actions are ethical. Similarly, if we observe some positive change, then we believe our interventions are effective. However, when we examine our work within a broader context and over a longer period of time we can come to different conclusions. This article illustrates several problems with these current methods and suggests alternative ways of examining ethics and effectiveness. (Author abstract)
ethics; professional conduct; decision making; assessment; child welfare services; evidence based practice