Moral risks in social work

Martin Hollis, David Howe

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Social workers must often decide whether a child, at possible risk from its parents, should be removed from home. Each year some children, left at home, are abused or killed. If the procedures have been duly followed, is a bad result to be put down to incompetence or to bad luck, and, if to the latter, does that cancel moral responsibility? We examine the claim that the case is one of ‘moral luck’ and argue that the system licences greater risk than is morally justified. This is because it embodies conflicting imperatives of welfare and justice. Anyone who becomes a social worker must face a constant risk to moral integrity [1].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-133
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1987

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