Many other types of ethical issues get stirred up in mission/aid settings:
- assessing physical/mental disabilities during selection, including those of children
(e.g., whether hiring, locating, or promoting staff is based on such disabilities)
- determining who has access to personnel files
(e.g., whether team leaders have access to team members personnel files, especially “negative” information)
- working in stressful settings with limited supervision, contingency plans, and personal debriefing
(e.g., whether senders can support staff adequately in risky, disaster settings, or in longer-term isolated settings)
- consulting with people with whom one has many types of social/work relationships
(e.g., whether to offer conflict mediation to an interagency group that includes people from your own agency)
- confronting unhealthy practices of leaders and other staff
(e.g., whether certain lifestyle choices are private affairs, and how to protect staff that point out problems)
It is important for sending organizations and MCWs to anticipate and discuss such issues together.
We Need Guidelines
Many types of professional ethical guidelines—codes—exist that relate to the practice of member care. Such ethical codes are primarily relevant for the disciplines and countries for which they were intended. Yet many MCWs enter the member care field via a combination of their life experiences and informal training, and are not part of a professional association with a written ethics code. Common sense and one’s sense of morality only go so far. As does appealing to another country’s or discipline’s ethical code, which can result in a rather cumbersome match between the person and the code.
· to emphasize quality of services by senders and MCWs
· to encourage ongoing development for MCWs and senders
· to educate those who are using/providing MCW services
· to protect service receivers via safeguards.
- Which set of ethical guidelines do you follow in your member care work?
- Think of one situation in which having an "ethical mentality" (i.e. thinking through the issues and consequences) was crucial for providing quality services.