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Issues » 2019/6 - People at Risk »

Magdalena Urbanová, David Urban

Reflection on the Selected Dilemma of Social Work in Light of Kant’s Ethical Theory


OBJECTIVES: Based on communication with social work teachers and students, we got the impression that many of them are aware of the importance of ethics for social work and accept it as a part of the holistic view of the client; however, they do not know how to apply the ethical theories on specific cases in practice. THEORETICAL BASE: Kant’s ethical theory is used to reflect on a selected dilemma in the context of the social and legal protection of children. METHODS: The method consisted of reflection, understood as looking back at the existing activities that connect the ethical theories with case studies from practical social work. We progressed by looking for topics to deal with the dilemma of the selected case study from the context of the social and legal protection of children in Kant’s social theory. OUTCOMES: Our article shows how a selected social work dilemma can be considered in finding topics to solve it with the help of Kant’s ethical theory. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The example described in this article can be used when dealing with further dilemmas in social work practice.


dilemma, ethical theory, categorical imperative

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