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Ethical obligationsinclude ensuring you understand and apply the ethical codes and practice standards that apply to community services work. For example, you may not understand your ethical obligations relating to maintaining appropriate professional boundaries with service users.Topic 2 -> Section B -> Page 3Clarify scope of practice and evaluate responsibilitiesYou can help support workers understand their scope of practice with your service by clarifying this with them when they first begin work, and discussing organisational objectives and requirements, as described below.
Ways to ensure you and your team members work within your scope of practice:Discuss common issues that arise in team meetings and encourage workers to raise any other issues where there is confusion or misunderstandingCreate a written FAQ (frequently asked questions) sheet that explains common misunderstandingsEnsure all team members within the organisation understand who is responsible for what areas of practiceEncourage team members to ask questions about any area of practice they are confused aboutTopic 2 -> Section B -> Page 4Incorporate scope of practice considerations into ethical practiceScope of practice considerations should be incorporated into workplace documentation that is easily accessible to all workers, and made available to service users on request. There are various sources of information you can use to help you understand your scope of practice, as described below.Scope of practice considerations should be incorporated into:position descriptionscodes of practice or conductorganisational policies, procedures and protocolslegislative or regulatory guidelines relevant to the work contextpractice standardsrights and responsibilities statements (of workers and service users)professional/industry association materials.Topic 2 -> Section B -> Page 5Identify ethical issuesThere may be times when you must make a difficult decision based on an ethical, rather than a legal, situation. The ethical responsibilities of your service must be evaluated to ensure any ethical issues are resolved promptly and the service is delivered safely and fairly.Ethical issues may include the following.Maintain service user safety and securitySome service users live in circumstances that are a threat to their own safety and security. They may refuse suggestions about changing their living arrangements. You have a duty of care to protect the service user from harm. However, it is not appropriate for you to enforce lifestyle changes or make demands of your service users.Deal with conflicting prioritiesSometimes service users may try to coerce a worker into undertaking duties that are not within the scope of their job responsibilities.