Working as a human service professional is often associated with encountering ethical dilemmas. Thus, it is crucial that human service professionals utilize ethical standards to guide their practice. It is especially true for advanced human service practitioners in leadership positions, as they help their followers resolve any ethical issues that might arise in their practice. When resolving any issues, leaders should respect the dignity and welfare of all people, promote self-determination, honor cultural diversity, advocate for social justice, and act with integrity, honesty, genuineness, and objectivity. These guiding principles of human service provision help to avoid errors that can lead to significant issues.
One of the most common issues that practitioners and leaders may face is the urge to act against the will of clients. Due to the large amount of experience and repetitiveness of certain problems among different clients, practitioners often feel that they know the best way to help their clients. This leads to their desire to force the client to act in a particular way even without the clients’ consent. While the practitioners certainly mean well and promote the welfare of people, the provision of services against the will of the clients is unethical. According to Standard 2 for human service professionals provided by NOHS (2015), practitioners are required to acquire informed consent from their clients. Moreover, Standard 7 says that “human service professionals ensure that their values or biases are not imposed upon their clients”. The practitioners’ belief that they know best may be considered as a form of bias. Thus, in such situations, human service providers should resist their urge to act without their clients’ consent.