The primary role of the profession of social work is enhancing the well-being of people and helping them meet their basic human needs while putting into consideration the plight of individuals that are vulnerable to undesirable happenings such as domestic violence. Fundamentally, it is also essential for a social worker to pay close attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address the social circumstances such as Christianity. Based on the fact that social workers are agents of social change, it is crucial to employ the required code of ethics in the profession of social work in the daily practices of enhancing the lives of individuals.
When and How it is Appropriate to Engage Clients Around Spiritual and Religious Issues
The ethical integration of the Christian faith in the practice is always a challenging part of social work. Sherwood (2016) opines that it is only proper for Christians to do the right thing and remain moral when thinking of engaging clients in religious issues. In, while working with individuals who have experienced domestic violence and are currently going through custody proceedings, it is important to engage them in spiritual and religious issues only when these individuals ask for the spiritual and religious engagement. However, it is crucial to note that while engaging these clients in spiritual and religious aspects, the integrity ought to be maintained (National Association of Social Workers, 2016).
In this regard, when the clients have asked for the engagement, it is essential to incorporate it without creating the impression that the social worker is imposing his/her Christian or other religious beliefs on them. In the case of the individuals involved in domestic violence, it is recommended to advise them to take the examples of Jesus Christ in the Bible in his acts of faith by telling them that with faith, they shall be granted the desires of their hearts. Thus, the social worker encourages them to be perfect representatives of Jesus Christ by imitating the life of Jesus Christ and living in love by forgiving each other. Therefore, they should forgive those who have wronged them by imposing domestic violence on them and continue to live in love rather than build hatred against them, which is due to the book of Ephesians 5:1-2 that asserts that “Therefore, be imitators of Christ, as beloved children and live in love, as Christ loved and gave Himself up for us” (Eph. 5:1-2, NIV).
Additionally, a social worker should provide them with example of the value of forgiveness and loving our enemies from his or her own life. Moreover, the narration of the wonders of God in personal life when the social worker choses to forgive the individuals that wronged him or her and love them the way Christ loves us. The social worker should explain to them the breakthroughs that one has received in life by forgiving others, loving them, and doing well to them. As a result, they will learn from personal experience and forgive the ones that have wronged them by making them experience domestic violence.
The Role of Evangelism in Social Work Practice
Evangelism plays various roles in the practice of social work. First, it provides guidance to the clients of social work practice as well as the social workers. According to Sherwood (2016), evangelism helps the clients of the practice of social work by providing the illustration of what Christ expects form people when undergoing specific challenges. It also contributes by the specific course of action to be taken from a Christian point of view when facing challenges. In respect to social workers, evangelism provides guidance to them by proving an example of Jesus Christ who played the role of helping individuals at their times of need. Thus, evangelism gives guidance to social workers to be of service to others by taking the example of Jesus Christ of serving others.
Second, evangelism in the practice of social work also plays the role of the demonstration of the gospel. Based on assertions by Sherwood (2016), evangelism is described as a sense of living according to the gospel as every Christian’s call. In light of this, the social work profession provides a wide variety of opportunities for the demonstration of the gospel. Thus, evangelism in social work is the demonstration of the gospel by teaching clients the pleasure of being treated with both love and justice, the feeling of being loved, cared for, and forgiven, living in grace, and experiencing honesty, fairness, and trustworthiness in addition to the feeling of being treated with both dignity and respect as an individual being one of the values given by God.
The Possible Ethical Dilemmas that Arise When a Social Worker is Evangelistic
In the practice of social work, there are various ethical dilemmas that are prone to arise when a social worker is evangelistic. The first one appears when an evangelistic social worker is presented with the obligation to make more than a single moral judgment. The first moral judgment, in this case, is the legal moral obligation of believing in the self-determination of a client (National Association of Social Workers, 2016). On the other hand, the second legal moral obligation is the belief in the protection of the life of human beings at all costs. Thus, when presented with such an ethical dilemma, the evangelistic social worker can have troubles in making good moral decisions. For instance, the above mentioned ethical dilemma occurs when an evangelistic social worker encounters an individual with the self-determination of putting an end to the life of another individual.
The second possible ethical dilemma is exploiting the role of evangelism in the practice of social work. As aforementioned, evangelistic social workers are supposed to impose their religious and Christian beliefs on their clients. However, they are sometimes faced with situations that might make them to reach the decision of not demonstrating but rather proclaiming the gospel to the clients with no appropriate authority. An example of this ethical dilemma is when the evangelistic social worker deals with a rape case client who is in a physically and emotionally vulnerable situation and trusting him/her for specific help. In this situation, the case of a client has not provided direct consent for evangelism. However, the social worker is prone to exploiting the opportunity by discovering evangelism to the client by demonstrating the value of living in Christ simply by experiencing love, justice, respect, and care.
In conclusion, imposing evangelism is not an easy task in the practice of social work because this occupation is guided by a code of ethics or rather a code of professionalism that ought to be adhered to by all social workers. Essentially, social workers are required to promote the well-being of individuals by taking care of their needs. Thus, despite the fact that evangelism plays various roles in the practice of social work such as guidance, an evangelistic social worker is prone to encounter various ethical dilemmas whereby he/she is required to make sound moral judgments.