A Roadmap for Ethical Responses
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Title: What are ethics and why do values matter?
When: Webinar 1 – March 2 @1:00pm EST
Presenter: Vicki Verge, MSW, RSW, Regional Director of Social Work, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

Summary of Presentation
Values are a significant part of our identity. They represent what is important to us and who we expect ourselves to be. Our values impact whether we see an issue as having ethical consequences or not, they help us make decisions every day, unconsciously. Ethics are principles that govern behavior. The problem is we often expect others to have the same values or we don’t understand how when those values conflict it can derail our social work relationships and interventions.

Learning objectives
  • To reflect on our personal values and why we need to consider values and ethics and how they impact our practice.
  • To reflect on the potential conflict of personal and professional values and how to deal with them responsibly.
  • To recognize that ethical decision making involves informed judgment

Pre Work Shop activity

Title: What does the CASW Code of Ethics have to do with practice?
When: Webinar 2 – March 9 @1:00pm EST
Presenter: Vicki Verge, MSW, RSW, Regional Director of Social Work, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

Summary of Presentation
Ethical behavior is at the core of every profession. The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) Code of Ethics sets forth values and principles to guide social workers’ professional conduct. A code of ethics cannot guarantee ethical behavior as it does not prescribe a set of rules for behavior. Ethical behavior comes from a social worker’s individual commitment to engage in ethical practice. Both the spirit and the letter of the Code of Ethics should guide social workers as they act in good faith and with a genuine desire to make sound judgments.

Learning objectives
  • To review the core values and principles of the CASW Code of Ethics
  • To deepen knowledge of how the CASW Code of Ethics should and can guide our practice.
  • To reflect on how we can bring ethics into the analysis and approach to our daily work

Pre- Read CASW Code of Ethics

Title: Applying Ethics : A Four-Step Framework for sorting solutions to ethical challenges
When: Webinar 3 – March 13 @ 1:00pm EST
Presenter: Vicki Verge, MSW, RSW, Regional Director of Social Work, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

Summary of Presentation
Describing what should be done can sometimes be challenging. This is where ethics, a systemic method for deciding right and wrong, can be of use. While there may not always be one right choice, there will usually be a choice that is better than others. Using ethics-informed processes and analyses can help determine which is better, and provide a basis for explaining our decisions to others.

Learning objectives
  • To hear an overview of the 4-step framework and how to use it in a clinical situation
  • To deepen knowledge of how a framework can help objectively resolve conflict and strengthen our decision making.
  • To understand the impact moral distress can have on ourselves and our practice when we don’t resolve ethical issues

Speaker Information

Vicki Verge, BA, HBSW, MSW, RSW
Vicki Verge’s tenure as a Social Worker started in 1992 when she became employed with Winnipeg Child and Family Services-Central Area after obtaining an Honors Bachelor of Social Work degree from Lakehead University. In 2004, she completed her Master of Social Work degree. Her thesis focused on the importance of the client-worker relationship in a child welfare setting. In April 2005 Vicki published an article titled The Client Worker Relationship in a Child Welfare setting on Envision: A Manitoba Journal of Child Welfare (https://www.researchgate.net/home).

After achieving her MSW at the University of Manitoba, she left her role as a Program Director in child welfare for a career in Health. At the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA), she worked as a Community Team Manager in Point Douglas, and then moved to a Community Team Manager position in River Heights. In these positions, she supervised diverse interdisciplinary teams including doctors, nurses, mental health practitioners, community development and home care professionals. In her later position, she had the opportunity to work at an integrated health and social services site which allowed her an opportunity to build relationships with many Family Services professionals such Employment and Income Assistance, Children's Special Services, Vocational Rehabilitation.

In 2012, Vicki was awarded the position of Regional Director of Social Work for the WRHA. In this position she is responsible for providing leadership and direction for the provision of Social Work services across the Winnipeg Health region continuum (which includes acute care, long term care and community programming). Within an interdisciplinary program management model she liaises with programs, sites, agencies, support services, recipients, staff and students to collaborate and achieve mutual goals. In addition to this role, Vicki is responsible for the direct management of a team of medical social workers in a community hospital at an integrated health and social services campus.

Vicki is currently a member of the Manitoba College of Social Work (MCSW) Board of Directors and is also Chair of the MCSW Continuing Competence Committee. Vicki has a lengthy interest with staff education as starting in 2002 she became an Instructor for the Province of Manitoba and facilitated a 3-day core module titled “Family Centered Child Protective Services”. She delivered these modules to child welfare and social service practitioners both within Winnipeg as well as in Northern Manitoba and Aboriginal communities. In her present role as Regional Director she offers an annual Social Work Student Learning Series which helps inform social work students in the WRHA about a variety of health topics and programs. From 2012-2016 Vicki was the Chair of the WRHA First Line Managers conference. In 2016 Vicki helped develop and deliver the A Roadmap for Ethical Responses Workshop at the MCSW’s first AGM and Education day.