Rata 360

Rata 360 Communication

Dr Martin van Rensburg

“Rata 360. Value adding Communication. “

Rata, a hand reaching out to the world – a hand raising people from BROKENNESS TO WHOLENESS.  The Rata hand works within the values framework of Integrity, Reliability, Ethics, Faith, Professionalism, Transparency and Credibility. With these values in hand, Rata wants to make a difference in an ever-changing world.  Although the changes in the world often bring pain and sorrow, we want change that brings wholeness to people who have lost hope. Our slogan “reach out, touch” therefore describes our compelling drive to bring hope to people.

In doing so we want to focus on each of the Rata values.

Ethical.  What does ETHICS mean to you personally; how do you view it?  How can we bring hope through Ethics?  We value your feedback and would like to hear from you.  Please share your opinion in the comments section below.

 

The values summary is at the bottom of the page as an slide presentation..

RATA Values

The value of Ethics

In a world of changing morals, changing standards and changing people, we all need to been ETHICAL.

Drop us a comment at the end of the page.

Summary on ETHICS or ETHICAL as defined by the group that work on 28 March
with Candies Maela - group leader.

Definition:

    • Behaviour that adhere to set of norms, standards, values and morals towards clients and colleagues
    • Actions that shows understanding of what is acceptably wrong and right
  • Acceptable behaviour:
    • Acting professional by not disclosing confidential information of client without consent
    • Portray good reception and creating non-threatening environment
    • Compiling professional reports that contain credible and correct evidence
    • Respecting diversity, as well as being just and fair in mediation
    • Being accountable by attending meetings, court proceedings and home visits
    • Good Case management through administration of all contacts and documents filing.
  • Less desired behaviour:
    • Acting with arrogance towards clients and colleagues by not assessing resilient factors and strength of others as well as threatening clients in the name of the law (removing children from care and protection of parents with misleading evidence)
    • Disclosing confidential information of clients to the public.
    • Compiling a report without proper investigation by using hearsay information.
    • Self-centredness such as lacking the ability to work in a team, as well as undermining clients and colleagues; inability to refer clients for further services at other NGOs

Candies Maela
Social Worker : Pretoria Office<
Tel: +27 (0) 12 325 2320/1/2/3/4
Email: candies@rata.org.za

Comments received

Ethics or ethical behaviour

During the past years South African’s vocabulary broaden with word like state capturing, corruption, undue influence, etc.   In an ethical political system, the funds go towards education, housing, social services, health services, etc and don’t end up in the pockets of one or two individuals.  As Social Workers, you work daily with the fallout of unethical behavior and an unethical political system.

As social scientists, you are used to do introspection. Let us do introspection into the organization and your own behaviour. How ethical are we really?

Before we can continue, we first have to look at what the concept of ethics entails. Ethics are often confused with values, but there is a clear distinction between the two concepts. One can have values that is unethical. The same applies to integrity. The latter refers specifically to human character, but ethics is a broader concept.  Unethical behavior is often linked to the moral upbringing of the ‘bad apples’ of the society, but someone with a good moral character can turn to unethical behavior in an organization where unethical behaviour is the norm.

So, what is ethics then? Ethics, according to Rossouw’s (Rossouw, 2002) definition is as follows: Ethics concerns itself with what is good or right in human interaction. It involves ‘the good’, ‘the self’ and ‘the other’.  Rossouw continues to explain that all three concepts must be included and that ethics is concerned with the goodness in the interaction between the self and the other.

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, someone of good character could be infected to turn into a ‘bad apple’ in an environment of ‘bad apples’. Thus, we first have to look as Rata, as institution. Is it a ‘good apple’ or is it a ‘bad apple’.  I know everyone will immediately say it is a good apple, because it has a foundation of Christian values. Yes, as fellow Christian I agree that a foundation of Christian morals supposed good apples, but still (remember we are busy with introspection) the culture of the organization can make a distinct difference to the way you think about your job and the quality of your work. Do you all agree on the values of effectiveness, quality, precision, productivity and commitment? Thus, good for other (the organization/colleagues) and myself? Or is the culture that you come to work, because you have to pay the bills at the end of the month and everyone’s goal is to do as little as possible for as long as possible (only good to the self).

How ethical is my own behaviour?

What will you do when a client put R200 in your hand not to take their child away, or to compile a report based on wrong information? Before you take the money, ask yourself if all three pillars are present. Mmmm, in my view, good is absent, other (the child) is absent, only self-enrichment is present – it definitely does not adhere to above-mentioned definition.

Every organization have statuary requirements to adhere to, for example protection of privacy and confidential information. Both ethics and law strive towards determining what is right in human interaction and society. One might only do what is right due to the external pressures of the law, opposed to do what is right due to internal locus of control.  Where is your locus of control?

May I add to the difficult situation: Let us take an example of abortion. Some people think it is immoral and unethical while other people may think it is justified. This is a typical ethical dilemma and all of us are confronted with these kind of dilemmas in the work place.

Do you still think your behavior is purely ethical? Is your view of acceptable behavior the same as your colleagues? It is important that you deliberate these kind of things and that management take leadership with clear guidelines of what is meant by an ethical culture, for everyone to internalize and develop an internal locus of control.

Rossouw, Deon and Van Vuuren, Leon, Business Ethics Third Edition (Oxford University Press, 2004) pp 3, 4 and 5

 

Christa Kitching

Comments received : Head Office

My ethics are the moral principles that govern my behaviour and the set of values that I use when deciding on right or wrong actions.  Values and ethics walk closely together in all aspects of our lives.

I seek to align myself with Rata’s values, since they form the basis of our workplace ethics and they are founded on Christian morals.  When I have these standards to measure myself against, it becomes easy to know how to act when I am confronted with decisions and easy to re-align my behaviour when I find myself moving in the wrong direction.

It acts as my compass and I am fortunate to work in an organization where my personal and work ethics align – a factor that I think is of great importance in any person’s life.

Annelle Flanagan
Administrative Officer: RATA SOCIAL SERVICES HQ
info@rata.org.za

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