Ethical practice for playworkers


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This is a presentation delivered at the 11th National Playwork Conference in Eastbourne, UK in March 2013. It discusses the importance of ethical practice for playworkers linking to the playwork principles.

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Ethical practice for playworkers

  1. 1. Ethical Practice For PlayworkersDavid StonehouseSenior 01695 657003
  2. 2. Why The need to think about Ethics?■ Ethics are involved in everything we do■ To understand why some choices have been made against others.■ Helps us to choice right from wrong (but who decides what‟s right and what‟s wrong?)the University of choice
  3. 3. Ethics Helps Decision Making■ Everyday we are faced with making decisions. Sometimes these decisions are clear cut and there is only one choice to be made. At other times we are faced with a range of options, many of which may seem equally valid or equally unsatisfactory (Stonehouse, 2012).■ Therefore by applying ethical thinking will assist us in making a better choice.the University of choice
  4. 4. What Do We Mean By The term Ethics?■ Ethics is a process of reflection (Berglund, 2007).■ It‟s aim is to challenge our thoughts and actions (Hugman, 2005).■ Ethics looks at how we “behave and function within society” (Thompson et al, 2006:36).the University of choice
  5. 5. Ethics are very personal.■ It is about how you live your life in relation to others.■ It‟s about the choices you make and why.the University of choice
  6. 6. Who Influences Ethics In Our Lives?■ Family ■ Work Place■ Friends ■ Playwork■ Community/Society Principles■ Education ■ Experts/Authors■ Religion/Spirituality ■ Politics/Laws■ Role Models ■ Ourselvesthe University of choice
  7. 7. Law & Ethics/Ethics & Law■ Law is the law!!!■ The ethics of a society should influence the laws that that society makes.■ Ethics over time should change laws.■ However the law is always the law no matter what your ethical beliefs are and must be followed.the University of choice
  8. 8. Being ethical is not just about■ Fairtrade products■ Recycling■ Reducing your carbon footprint■ Or being a nice happy person!!the University of choice
  9. 9. Ethics & Playwork■ Skills Active (2008) state that the eight Playwork Principles are “the professional and ethical framework for playwork.”■ How closely do you and your practice follow these guiding principles?the University of choice
  10. 10. 1. All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well being of individuals and communities.2. Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.3. The prime focus and essence of playwork is to support and facilitate the play process and this should inform the development of play policy, strategy, training and education.4. For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with adult led agendas.5. The role of the playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.6. The playworkers response to children and young people playing is based on a sound up to date knowledge of the play process, and reflective practice.7. Playworkers recognise their own impact on the play space and also the impact of children and young people‟s play on the playworker.8. Playworkers choose an intervention style that enables children and young people to extend their play. All playworker intervention must balance risk with the developmental benefit and well being of children. (Skills Active, 2008)the University of choice
  11. 11. Beauchamp and Childress (2009) developed four Ethical Principles.■ Respect for Autonomy■ Beneficence■ Non-maleficence■ Justicethe University of choice
  12. 12. Respect for Autonomy■ Autonomy can be defined as „”self-rule with no control, undue influence or interference from other” (Griffith and Tengnah, 2010:29).■ It is about respecting other peoples wishes and supporting them in their decisions (Beauchamp and Childress, 2009). Playwork Principle No 2.the University of choice
  13. 13. Beneficence■ This can be defined as “the principle of doing good and providing care to others” (Berglund, 2007:12).■ Promotion of well-being (Edwards, 2009).■ As playworkers are we properly trained and competent to facilitate the play we are providing to our children? Do we always follow policies and procedures. Playwork Principles 6 & 7.the University of choice
  14. 14. Non-maleficence■ “obligation not to inflict harm on others” (Beauchamp and Childress, 2009:149). Goes hand in hand with beneficence.■ However, do we sometimes cause short term harm for long term good? Playwork Principles 7 & 8.the University of choice
  15. 15. Justice■ Simply defined as “equal treatment of equal cases” (Hendrick. 2004:7).■ Treating everyone the same.■ However, some people need to be treated differently if they require special care over and above what other people may need.■ Justice is about meeting everyone‟s individual needs fairly. Playwork Principles 3 & 5.the University of choice
  16. 16. Rowson (2006) Ethical Framework F.A.I.R.1. Fairness2. Respect for Autonomy3. Integrity4. Seeking the most beneficial and least harmful consequences, or Resultsthe University of choice
  17. 17. 1. Fairness■ Linked to the idea of justice.■ Providing benefits- Social welfare, education, healthcare, protection, opportunities■ Distributing burdens- Exclusions of benefits, allocation of responsibilities.the University of choice
  18. 18. 2. Respect For AutonomyProfessional should■ Not prevent people from carrying out decisions they make for themselves about:- What they ought to do- What they will do- What should be done to them- What should be done with information about them■ Enable others to make autonomous decisions.the University of choice
  19. 19. 3. IntegrityActing with professional integrity meansthat one‟s actions are the same as your professional values.For example maintaining confidentiality, working in someone‟s best interests. Simply put, it is when what you do matches what you believe.the University of choice
  20. 20. 4. Seeking the most beneficial and least harmful consequences, or ResultsTwo Aims.1. Producing as many benefits as possible2. Avoiding causing, or preventing, as much harm as possible.the University of choice
  21. 21. Two more concepts which are not linked to either ethical framework but which are important are the ideas of ■Veracity & ■Fidelitythe University of choice
  22. 22. Veracity or Truth Telling■ “This is not always an easy principle to maintain when you are asked difficult questions or your answer may be distressing” (Stonehouse, 2012:250).■ It is concerned with being open, honest and truthful with people (Berglund, 2007).■ It is also the accurate transfer of information in a way that is suitable for the individual to understand (Edwards, 2009).■ Article 13 of the UN Convention on the rights of the child states “the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child‟s choice” (United Nations, 1989).the University of choice
  23. 23. Fidelity Is the relationship that exists between individuals. Fidelity is about■ Being Faithful■ Keeping promises■ Always doing what is right■ Being trust worthy■ Confidential■ Showing respect and dignity■ Respecting autonomy■ Acting in their best interest (Stonehouse, 2012)the University of choice
  24. 24. Aside from these two sets of ethical principles there are two main ethical theories.■ Deontology■ Consequentialismthe University of choice
  25. 25. Deontology■ The rightness or wrongness of any act depends on whether the person has followed their duty regardless of the consequences.■ More concerned with motive than results. Actions are good or bad in advance of their performance.the University of choice
  26. 26. Consequentialism■ The rightness or wrongness of any act is judged in relation to its consequences.■ Only concerned with results.■ The same act may be good or bad in different circumstances.■ The aim is to produce the greatest good for the greatest number.the University of choice
  27. 27. Performing Observations■ You are observing children‟s behaviour and play.■ Need to be aware of possible adulteration.■ Need to gain consent.■ Are your observations being recorded?■ Participant observer or non-participant?the University of choice
  28. 28. A standard ethical awareness is a consideration to:■ Be fair;■ Do the right thing; and■ Do no harm. (Andrews, 2012: 70)the University of choice
  29. 29. Research in Play Playworkers are increasingly engaging in research- Evaluating your own practice- Or as students There is a move away from researching on children to research with children.the University of choice
  30. 30. Research in Play■ Voluntary participation with the ability to remove themselves from the research.■ Fully informed consent.■ Confidentiality, with limits.the University of choice
  31. 31. 5 Questions to Ask?1. How will it enhance playwork practice?2. Is it ethical – do you have an agreed ethical code?3. Does it fit with playwork values?4. Does it have a positive impact on play, if not, then why are you doing it?5. Will the children involved in the research project benefit? (Palmer, 2008:263)the University of choice
  32. 32. Any Questions Or Thoughts Or Observations?the University of choice
  33. 33. Bibliography Andrews, M. (2012) Exploring Play For Early Childhood Studies. Sage Learning Matters: London. Beauchamp, T. And Childress, J. (2009) Principles of Biomedical Ethics. Sixth Edition. Oxford University Press: Oxford. Berglund, C. (2007) Ethics For Health Care. Third Edition. Oxford University Press: Oxford. Edwards, S.D. (2009) Nursing Ethics: A Principle-Based Approach. Second Edition. Palgrave Macmillan: Hampshire. Griffith, R. And Tengnah, C. (2010) Law and Professional Issues In Nursing. Second Edition. Learning Matters: Exeter. Hendrick, J. (2004) Law And Ethics: Foundations In Nursing And Health Care. Nelson Thornes: Cheltenham. Hugman, R. (2005) New Approaches In Ethics For The Caring Professions. Palgrave Macmillan: Hampshire.the University of choice
  34. 34. Bibliography Palmer, S. (2008) Researching With Children. In Brown, F. And Taylor, C. (eds) Foundations Of Play. Open University Press: Berkshire. Pp 259-263. Rowson, R. (2006) Working Ethics: How To Be Fair In A Culturally Complex World. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Skills Active (2008) Playwork Principles. sectors/item/3298 (accessed 21/02/13). Stonehouse, D. (2012) The Support Workers Guide To Ethical Practice. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants. May Vol. 06 No. 05. Thompson, I. E; Melia, K. M; Boyd, K. M; and Horsburgh, D. (2006) Nursing Ethics. Fifth Edition. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier: London. United Nations (1989) Convention on the Rights of the Child (accessed 21/02/13).the University of choice