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The Ethical Dimension of Professional Integrity in the Hungarian Child Protection System

Abstract

Following a discussion about ethics and social work, in this article, we will present the main results of three researches conducted in the past few years on the Hungarian child protection system. These studies highlight the professional gaps, the prejudiced beliefs related to the primary (children) and secondary (parents) client systems of child protection, the value crisis in professional mentalities, and the crisis of the profession in general. We argue that a change in mentalities and professional treatment in the operational practice requires a thorough reconsideration of the ethical dimensions of child protection to the extent of developing and introducing their own code of ethics. As the helping profession is actively involved in the transformation of the welfare state, in parallel with restructuring welfare conditions, we should reconsider how the scarce methodological framework for practice at the national level can cope with problems and how it can emancipate the clients and serve their well-being. The research results indicate that the direction of development is to create an activating and mobilizing helper system that can preserve the core values of the profession as well as adapt to social changes and reflect on the expectations of the public policy thereof.

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