ISSUES OF ETHICS WHEN WORKING WITH YOUTHS AND OTHER MARGINALIZED GROUPS

ISSUES OF ETHICS WHEN WORKING WITH YOUTHS AND OTHER MARGINALIZED GROUPS

Introduction

Youths have been considered a marginalized group from time immemorial. To understand the ethical issues that arise when working with them, it is important to elucidate the fact that youths and other marginalized groups of individuals are involved throughout the world in creating methodical investigation’s queries, gathering information or statistics, as well in spreading and issuing out knowledge. One of the issues of ethical concern when working with the youth is informed consent. Based on the fact that youths are involved in many projects within the community, it is necessary to acquire their informed consent. Other moral concerns include issues of voluntary involvement and lessening possibility of danger in reference to community projects (Ungar & Liebenberg, 2009). Therefore, it is of fundamental importance to ensure regular and logical management and control in matters concerning the youths in order to foresee, expose, supervise, and form procedures for dealing with moral issues that may come by in the line of duty.

Involvement

Some of the issues involved in conducting policy and program work for the youth require ethical considerations as they are considered important. For instance, issues that may require plans of action or policy work include abuse or ill-treatment, harassment, and rape. Methodical investigations in these issues that affect the youth and other marginalized individuals within the community make use of a wide range of techniques that calls for moral concerns. Individuals involved in implementing policies and other programs within the community must be of high caliber and of proven character in respect to moral issues. An issue that begs attention is if the contributor or individual volunteering to give information on certain issues within the community is able to give permission or approval for his/her information to be used as the basis of policy work. If the individual is not capable of giving permission, then a guardian or parent should be the one to give permission as mandated by the law (Sercombe, 2010).

Policy and program work involves methodical investigations. The law dictates that individuals below the age of eighteen years are not allowed to be involved in research without permission from their own parents or guardians as they are considered incompetent. According to Leadbeater (2006), “Competence is defined as the ability to prospective subjects to give informed consent in accord with their own fundamental values. Competence involves the ability to understand the information presented and appreciate the potential consequences of a decision, as well as provide free and informed consent” (pg. 10).

Some of the youths and other marginalized individuals may be suffering from certain chronic illnesses. In cases where personal and medical information is required for policy work, ethical considerations are of significance. These individuals are entitled to confidentiality of their medical records. The concept of confidentiality of an individual’s medical records is an all encompassing issue since it reveals the particular individual association and connection between the policy or program sponsor and the individual in question. In some cases a third party may ask for privileged information from the policy makers concerning the individual; the policy maker should therefore only make known only the information that has been approved and consented by the sick individual. The form signed by the sick individual authorizing the release of any medical information has to clearly affirm the individual who is to obtain the information. This approval or agreement should be kept in the individual’s medical records (Leadbeater, 2006).

Advocacy

The role of the sponsors or supporters of policies and programs for the youth is also important. In instances where an individual within the community is unable to be involved in research aimed to create plans of action, the sponsors of the program have a duty to ensure that the individual’s say or contribution is considered. The sponsors should therefore treat the needs of the youths as their own. The sponsors should create a favorable environment in which they can comfortably socialize with the youths and chart a way forward. The role of the sponsors should be to empower and encourage the youth to speak up. The modes of communication in policy and program work can be marginalizing to the youth (Garfat, 2011). It is important to create and encourage the incorporation of better techniques of communication with the use in order to make them feel wanted and important.

In some cases, children and other individuals in marginalized groups may find the process of policy and program work complicated hence fails to take part in it. They may also feel that they lack control in the whole process. The matters of discretion and security or protection of individuals in marginalized groups such as youths are probably the most vital in view of involvement in policy and program work in hostile regions. The possibility of reprisal or vengeance towards individuals taking part in policy work for working in cahoots with strangers as well as for revealing private and delicate information in regions prone to conflicts is matters of great moral considerations. Therefore, it is important to ensure confidentiality and safety in such cases. There are further ethical considerations for individuals susceptible to mental and social intricacies with possibility of elevated disgrace and dishonor. Ungar and Liebenberg (2009) presents additional contemplations when working with the youths with other weaknesses and highlights the significance of shunning away misuse. Due to the fact that the youth and other marginalized groups of individuals are much secluded and defended, they are left out from policy and program work.

 

Conclusion

Youths and other marginalized groups of individuals are involved throughout the world in creating research queries, assembling information or statistics, and spreading and issuing out knowledge. One of the issues of ethical concern when working with the youth is informed consent. Other ethical concerns consist of issues of voluntary involvement and lessening possibility of danger in reference to community projects. Issues that call for ethical considerations in policy work include abuse or ill-treatment, harassment, and rape. Researching these issues that affect the youth and other marginalized groups within the community make use of a wide range of techniques that calls for moral concerns. Individuals involved in implementing policies and other programs within the community must be of high caliber and of proven character in respect to moral issues. Policy and program makers should create a favorable environment in which they can contentedly mingle with the youths and consequently plan the way forward. The responsibility of the sponsors should be to empower and encourage the youth to speak up. Discretion and security or protection of individuals in marginalized groups such as youths is probably the most vital in view of involvement in policy and program work in hostile regions.

References

Garfat, T. (2011). A Child and Youth Care Approach to Working with Families. Binghamton,        NY: Haworth Press.

Leadbeater, B. J. R. (2006). Ethical Issues in Community-based Research with Children and         Youth. Toronto, USA: University of Toronto Press.

Sercombe, H. (2010). Youth Work Ethics. London, UK: Sage Publication.

Ungar, M., & Liebenberg, L. (2009). Researching Resilience. Toronto, USA: University of            Toronto Press.

 

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