Ethics IssuesDepartment of social work
Master of Social Work- Year 2

Ethics Assignment

Matriculation Number:

Exam Number:

Submission Date: 12th of December

No of Words: 2713

All names have been made anonymous to protect the identity of individuals.
David aged 11 was in residential care along with his 7 siblings. He had a severe history of abuse (sexual, physical and emotional) from a female relative. His stay in this residential setting was one of assessment no work at this stage was being carried out to address these issues. This child was restrained whilst shouting at his brother. This had been an extremely distressing day as three of his younger siblings had been placed with foster carers and these two boys were unsure where they would be going. They had quite a volatile relationship and it had been agreed by all staff that there would be a cool-off time enforced, to calm the children. On this occasion an argument occurred between my colleague and the young person, who we will call David. Unfortunately my colleague did not wait until she has changeover to be informed of the day’s events and immersed herself in this situation.

In residential care the C.A.L.M (Crisis & Aggression Limitation Management.) technique is used to support agencies in the management of aggressive and challenging behaviour. This is a very successful and highly regarded model of treatment and is accredited and registered.[1] On this occasion my colleague did not have this level of training and used holding techniques, which were unsuitable for residential work. The restraint did not follow the C.A.L.M. physical restraint model. It also lasted for over an hour, which resulted in injury to staff. There was also no trained member of staff on shift and no one that was willing to assist in physical holding.

At the beginning of this project, it was made clear who had the adequate training for restraints and those that did not. We were strongly advised not to intervene unless there was no alternative and/or immediate harm would have been caused to a young person or those around them. David became very emotional and his anxiety level increased as he thrashed around and screamed for the member of staff to get off him. He was heard shouting; “this is what bad people did to me” Even at this stage the restraint did not stop and was clearly upsetting him. I believe the upset was directly related to the holding measures as they were not appropriate or safe holds.

Ethical Issues & problems
The ethical issues around in this scenario include the individual rights of David who should have been given the same rights as he would have at home, also the responsibility that my colleague had to adhere to agency policy and procedures. Ethical Issues around inequality i.e. the power balance between service provider and service user were huge and particularly threatening for David as most of the staff were woman with whom he had a tenuous relationship.

In this case; mainly agency personnel staffed the unit. This in itself can have its own drawbacks. Having researched the recruitment practices for this particular agency for the purpose of this essay, and indeed having been recruited by them myself; the level of qualifications and skills required is high. However, on entering a residential unit it is rare that a member of staff will ask you if you are C.A.L.M trained. Ethically, some people due, to their own value base, will not restrain, as they believe it to be damaging to a child. A recurring problem for the social work department will be the staff shortages within the department requiring bank and agency staff to fill the gaps Even when staff have been trained, the training course for C.A.L.M is not considered an essential skill to have for the job within residential work with young people.

Children Scotland Act 1995
The Children (Scotland) Act 1995, incorporates provisions from the UN convention on the Right’s of the child and also takes account of obligations under the European Convention on human Right’s. The Children Scotland Act states that each child has the right to:

• be treated as an individual.

• Form and express views on matters affecting him or her; and

• be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect