1. Preamble: Introducing the Code 4
2. Seven International Ethical Principles 7
for People Working with Children
and Young People
3. Putting a National Code of Ethics Together 8
4. Possible Contents of National Codes 11
Note: In the English-language
version, the term "childcare" is used in this Report
to cover all types of activities in the field of work with children
and young people, and it is not intended that it should exclude
work with young people or work seen as social education. The
term "profession/al" is also widely used throughout
the Report. It is not intended that this term should be seen
as elitist or limiting, but that it should be interpreted broadly
to include all people who work with children.
Preamble: Introducing the
What is a Code of Ethics?
A Code of Ethics describes
the standards of practice expected of the group of people to
whom it refers. Codes of Ethics are seen as one of the hall-marks
of a profession, because the people who form the profession are
often in positions of power, Ð perhaps because of their specialist
knowledge or because their profession has been given powers by
law, Ð and those whom they serve are dependent upon the competence
and integrity of the professionals. Members of the profession
are expected to commit thems elves to meeting the needs of their
clients, and not to exploit their positions of power.
Codes of Ethics, therefore, set out the standards of practice
expected of professional people, and in consequence they are
sometimes known as Codes of Practice. Codes are often based on
the general principles which underpin the work of the profession.
However, there is limited value in Codes if they cannot be applied
in practice, and general principles are abstract and vague. It
is therefore important that Codes should be specific, capable
of implementation and verifiable, so that their application in
practice can be seen, monitored, checked and evaluated.
Why have Codes of Ethics?
There are four main reasons
for having Codes of Ethics:
1 Codes define the overall
aims of the profession, the ideals to which childcare workers
aspire, so that they provide a sense of direction. Even if the
aims that these general principles describe are idealistic and
represent an ultimate goal beyond the standards usually found
in day to day practice, they provide a context for the objectives
described in other standards.
2 Codes may describe good
standard childcare practice above the minimum acceptable, but
nonetheless achievable in day-to-day work. In this respect, they
provide guidance and help for childcare workers, helping them
to become aware of the standards they should realistically be
able to achieve, and acting as a quality assurance mechanism.
3 Codes lay down the minimum
standards of conduct which are considered acceptable, and which
no childcare workers should breach if they are to be considered
professional or remain in the work. People who work directly
with children and young people have privileged access to them
and may be in positions of power over them; they therefore have
ethical and practical responsibilities for their welfare. In
this respect, Codes may be seen as regulatory, and may be used
for disciplinary purposes if it is felt that their standards
4 The process of drawing up
or studying Codes of Ethics involves childcare workers in learning
to think and reason about their professional aims. In some countries
there is a tradition of working to written laws and regulations,
while in other countries issues are dealt with through discussion
and dialogue, with very little recorded guidance. Whatever ways
are customary, the process of discussing such matters helps people
at all levels to think further about what they are trying to
achieve and about the ways in which they should be working towards
The fundamental purpose of setting up Codes of Ethics, underlying
those listed above, is to encourage the highest standards of
care for children and young people, and the ultimate test of
their effectiveness is whether they have an impact on practice.
In the contents of a Code of Ethics for childcare workers, therefore,
the emphasis should be upon the needs of children and their families,
and upon the ways in which those needs may best be met. Codes
should spell out why children and meeting their needs are important,
strengthening the motivation of childcare workers to carry out
their work effectively and reinforcing their professional values,
such as respect, care and concern for the children and families
with whom they work.
Which Code is best?
Over recent years, a number
of FICE members have devised Codes of Ethics. All of them were
of course devised to meet the needs of a particular Section or
country or agency, and they reflect the thinking of the place
and time when they were put together. None of them is ideal,
to be replicated in all other countries, though there is something
to be learnt from each of them.
The reason why none is an
ideal Code is not because they were in any way badly prepared.
The fact is that the setting of standards is an ongoing process
which never ends. There are always ways in which we can improve,
not only in our practice, but in our understanding of what we
are doing and in the way we describe good practice in our Codes
The very process of drawing up Codes helps to make us aware of
shortfalls or areas in which we can improve, and sensitises us
more to the needs of children. It may be argued, (especially
in the current stage of the development of the childcare profession),
that the process of drawing up Codes is more important than any
Code in its agreed or authorised wording, because the process
helps to train us and develops our professional thinking.
Indeed, no Code, however good, ever reaches a perfect finished
state. There is always room for improvement or for the reconsideration
of issues in the light of new thinking or of changes in professional
practice or of developments in the wider society.
Who is responsible for drawing
up a Code of Ethics?
If any Code is to be effective,
it needs to be owned by the whole workforce. The ideas and values
implicit in the Code need to be understood and internalised,
so that they are reflected in the everyday practice of all childcare
workers. A Code should not be seen simply as a set of rules imposed
by other people, but should be accepted by childcare workers
as their own thinking. If the ideas contained in the Code are
not accepted in this way, then further debate is needed, to ensure
that the Code reflects what childcare practitioners actually
think and do.
Furthermore, if there is no agreement generally about what is
acceptable, the discussion needs to continue until the issues
are resolved. Through this process, the realities of the situation
should be made clear, and the issues which are met in childcare
will be shared more widely with other people in the community,
and the solutions which are reached will be more firmly based.Ideally,
professional workers should feel themselves so committed to the
standards of practice laid down in their Code that no formal
regulation should be necessary. However, to ensure that standards
are implemented, it may be felt necessary to endorse the Code
through legislation or government regulation.
The approach taken will, however, vary from one country to another,
depending upon the type of systems used to regulate professions,
and it is for professional organisations to take a lead in order
to ensure that unworkable standards are not imposed upon them.
What are the problems concerning drawing up Codes of Ethics?
A major problem in drawing up Codes of Ethics is the need to
ensure that language is used carefully to mean what people intend
to say. Often there are no really appropriate terms to reflect
the concepts which need to be communicated, and new terms or
definitions have to be created. There are also cultural problems
both between and within countries, which lead different groups
of people to understand language in different ways. Translating
between languages adds to the problem, and presents FICE with
particular difficulties in drawing up an internationally acceptable
Code.There is also the temptation to use the jargon that reflects
professional thinking at the time. There is a strong argument
for trying to avoid terms which are only understood within the
profession or service, since Codes should be able to be understood
by the public and by young people who wish to study or make use
of them. However, there are times when words have to be used
in special ways to carry specific meanings, and it is unlikely
that all jargon can be avoided.
However, these problems can all be addressed through careful
discussion, and this process helps to ensure a deeper understanding
of the differing approaches to children and childcare found throughout
The main problem in drawing up Codes of Ethics, however, is probably
the danger that standards may become fixed and may be accepted
as being unchangeable. If that happens, the Code may serve to
stifle thought and become rigid, rather than as a flexible tool
to be adjusted to serve the changing patterns of services provided
to meet the differing needs of children and young people.
What are the problems in implementing
a Code of Ethics?
However good a Code of Ethics
is, it can only act as a guide to help childcare workers and
their managers to find solutions to the problems they face, when
it is implemented in practice. Every problem one faces is slightly
different from others one has dealt with before, and they cannot
be solved by treating the Code as a rule book.
Sometimes there may be a conflict between two principles which
are both important. The needs of children in the care of childcare
workers may to be balanced against the needs of other children
in their families, for instance. Again, it may not be possible
to need resolve some problems without sharing confidences and
thus breaching confidentiality. Or again, judgements may sometimes
have to be made about the comparative needs of colleagues and
those for whom they care; a mischievous complaint by a child,
for example, can destroy a childcare worker's career.
It is often when there are serious conflicts between principles
that Codes of Ethics address the key questions facing society,
and resolving such dilemmas can be very difficult, demanding
clear thinking and honesty in facing the issues. This may be
seen when people working with children feel that they have to
challenge the law.
On this point there are strong differences between countries,
depending upon their cultures, legal and political circumstances
and the stage of development of the profession. In some countries,
it is felt that the Code should be consistent with or based upon
the law of the land. In other countries, the Code may be seen
as a way of asserting the responsibilities taken on by an independent
profession for its own standards, separate from the powers of
the law and the views of the government. In some countries, people
may feel that they have to oppose bad law-making or the injurious
application of the law, in order to retain their professional
integrity and to meet the needs of children and young people.
In such circumstances, a Code of Ethics can strengthen the resolve
of workers to face difficult situations.
At times it is also possible that childcare workers may feel
that they need to challenge aspects of established or traditional
culture because of the harm that they feel is done to children.
Examples in recent times in which such challenges have been made
include campaigns to abolish corporal punishment and female circumcision
and to control child labour. Such issues may be highly contentious,
and childcare workers need to ensure that they are working from
a sound and carefully considered ethical basis in challenging
the communityÕs traditions.
However, by contrast, perhaps the greatest problem which a Code
of Ethics may face is that it may be put on a shelf and forgotten.
The issues it contains are of real importance in setting high
standards, and the contents of a Code of Ethics should be reviewed
at regular intervals to ensure that they continue to reflect
good practice, and that they inform the training which staff
2. Seven International Ethical
Principles for People Working with Children and Young People
It is the professional responsibility
of each childcare worker to:
1 value and respect each child
or young person as an individual in his/her own right, in his/her
role as a
member of his/her family, and in his/her role as a member of
the community s/he lives in;
2 respect the relationship
of the child or young person to his/her parents, his/her siblings,
other members of his/her family and other significant persons,
taking account of his/her natural ties and interdependent rights
3 facilitate the optimal growth
and development of each individual child or young person to achieve
his or her potential in all aspects of functioning;
4 help each child or young
person for whom he or she bears responsibility by preventing
problems where possible, by offering protection where necessary,
and by providing care and rehabilitation to counteract or resolve
the problems faced;
5 use information appropriately,
respecting the privacy of children and young people, maintaining
confidentiality where necessary, respecting the right of children
and young people to be informed of matters concerning themselves,
and avoiding the misuse of personal information;
6 oppose at all times any
form of discrimination, oppression or exploitation of children
and young people, and preserve their rights;
7 maintain personal and professional
integrity, develop skills and knowledge in order to work with
competence, work co-operatively with colleagues, monitor the
quality of services, and contribute to the development of the
service and of policy and thinking in the field of childcare.
All other standards expected
of childcare workers stem from these seven clauses.
3. Putting a National Code
of Ethics Together
To prepare a Code of Ethics,
it is necessary to ask and answer a number of questions. These
flow logically from one to another, andif they are not answered,
there will be weaknesses in the resulting Code. In this section,
the questions are posed, but answers are not given, as they are
for people preparing Codes to decide, in the context of the laws,
culture, economy and professional thinking of each country.
1. What is the Code of Ethics
Why is a Code needed? It is important to be clear about what
people preparing Codes wants to achieve from the start. There
are many possible reasons, depending upon the circumstances prevalent
in the country and its services for children at the time. In
particular the contents of the Code and the way it is used will
be influenced by the stage of development of the childcare profession.
It may be that there is a wish to set higher professional standards,
with the Code as teaching material. There may, for example, be
a current issue where there are differing views as to the best
professional practice, and guidance may be needed. Employers
might wish to establish agreed standards, which can be used to
assess whether their staff are performing at an acceptable level;
if so, there might be opposition from trades unions, who might
see a Code as putting their members at risk. Again, there may
have been abuse of children in care, so that the profession wishes
to re-establish its credibility and public image.
Whatever the aims, they need to be discussed fully and made explicit
first of all, if the Code is to reflect the issues which it is
meant to help resolve.
2. Who is the Code for?
Who are the groups of childcare workers for whom the Code is
intended? Which other groups of staff might it apply to? Is it
intended that the Code should cover volunteer workers as well
as paid staff?
Which groups will definitely not be covered by the Code, perhaps
because they have their own professional codes and regulatory
Again, clear thinking is needed about the target group or groups
for the Code, since this will affect the contents of the Code
and may influence the language in which the Code is written.
The questions carry implications for the shape of the childcare
profession Ð if it is seen as a profession.Every country
has its own legislation, its own pattern of services and its
own training systems for staff. In many countries, but not all,
there is a formal system for the recognition and registration
of childcare workers. In some countries, there are different
systems in the different provinces or states which make up the
nation. In some countries, childcare workers are not recognised
as an identifiable professional group.
In some developing countries, all the country's energy has to
be applied to the running of the services and the preparation
of Codes of Ethics is a low priority.
In the face of this variety, it is important that people preparing
Codes are clear about the shape of the childcare profession in
3. In what context must the
Code be developed?
Is there a legal framework within which the Code must be set?
Is it likely that the Code will be used in relation to registration,
with staff having to sign to indicate the agreement to abide
by the Code? Is the Code likely to be used by employers for disciplinary
action against staff?In some countries it is felt to be necessary
for the Code of Ethics for childcare workers to fit in with legislation
and Government policy. In others, the independent standing of
the profession is felt to be important, so that it is capable
of taking a critical stance in relation to the Government. Each
country needs to consider its own circumstances in this respect.
Are there other professions working in parallel or overlapping
fields such as teaching, psychology or nursing, which may already
have Codes? If so, do the Codes need to be similar, or consistent?
Will it help to use identical wording, or do the distinctions
between the professions need to be emphasised?
Again, the situation will be different in each country, and answers
have to be found which suit the needs and existing systems in
4. Who needs to be involved
in the development of the Code?
The process of developing a Code of Ethics needs to involve as
wide a range of people as possible, for two reasons.
First, the Code will be soundly based if the views and thinking
of a large number of people have been taken into account, and
it will reflect the real issues to be found in childcare if they
include people who work directly with children.
Secondly, the involvement of childcare workers in the process
helps to alert them to the importance of the Code and to the
issues it contains. The process itself therefore helps to develop
professional awareness of standards of practice, and can act
as a form of training.
What mechanisms are there for consulting people widely and for
creating a debate about the subject?
What role can people preparing Codes of FICE play? How are childcare
workers themselves best involved?
How are children and young people in care best consulted, to
ensure that their view of the practice which is most helpful
to them is included?
Who are the key figures who will influence the Code's acceptance
These questions need to be carefully considered if the Code is
to be accepted, as it is easy to stir up opposition to new ideas
if influential people are ignored, whether they are senior figures
in the profession, trade union leaders or people who control
the professional media.
5. What process is needed
to prepare the Code?
Thought needs to be given
from the start about the best way of managing the preparation
of the Code.What stages are needed for drafting the Code?
At what stage should there be the circulation of a Discussion
Draft for debate throughout the service?
How will the final text be agreed and authorised?
Who will pay for the work to be undertaken in drafting, circulation
6. What should the format
of the Code be?
It is possible to have very
short Codes, with only a few clauses, but these risk being too
general. On the other hand, if Codes are too long, they are unlikely
to be read and used.In Section 1 above there is discussion about
the problem of jargon, and the language used needs to be considered
Are there special definitions for words, which need to be agreed
from the start?
Are there terms which may be ambiguous, or to which different
groups may give different meanings?
It is also necessary to decide on the grammatical format for
the Code, since this will carry different messages, depending
on normal usage in the language being used. For example, it is
possible to write descriptively, "A childcare worker does
this", or exhortatively, "A childcare worker should
do this", or by using instructions, "A childcare worker
must do this". The first makes a statement and assumes that
people will agree, the second encourages people to act as described,
while third tells people what they must do. Whatever format is
selected, it should be followed consistently throughout the Code.Again,
it is helpful to sort out such matters at an early stage to avoid
confusion and misunderstanding. For example, there may be different
implications between having a Code of Ethics and a Code of Practice,
or different perceptions of the terms by childcare workers, even
if they are meant to be the same thing.
7. Agreeing the Code
If the Code is to be effective,
planning needs to be undertaken at an early stage concerning
the way that the Code will be finalised, adopted and implemented.
Before the text is finally agreed, it is important to check the
text to see whether it is
A internally consistent, as
late changes may reflect different thinking from the ideas underlying
B consistent with the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,
C consistent with national
laws and regulations (except where non-compliance is justifiable
in the best interests of children), and
D consistent with good professional
practice and FICE policies.
It is important to note that
where there are inconsistencies between the Code of Ethics and
some other document, (a law, for example), it may be that the
Code of Ethics represents best practice and that it is the other
document that should be changed in order to achieve ofession
change. People will always find ways of improving the text where
they are wanting to provide the best services possible for the
children and young people in their care, and it is lack of comment
rather than criticism and ongoing discussion that should be a
cause for concern.
4. Possible Contents of National
This section is intended to
provide a source of ideas for National FICE Sections which wish
to draw up their own Codes. The list is not intended to be a
model to be adopted in its entirety, since each country will
have differing needs and some clauses will be suited to some
countries and not to others.
The clauses are listed in six groups, in order to give the material
some structure. It is possible to divide the contents in a number
of ways, but the structure used below is broadly in line with
the systems used in a number of countries. This structure starts
from the childcare worker's personal responsibilities, and then
progressively expands the field of accountability. These six
main groups are in some cases broken down into subgroups where
there is a lot of material.
The six groups are as follows:
A Responsibility for Self
B Responsibility to Children,
Young People and their Families
C Responsibility to Colleagues
D Responsibility to Employers
E Responsibility to the Profession
F Responsibility to Society
The clauses below have been
drawn from a large number of Codes, and may overlap in some instances.
In all cases, it is assumed
that the clauses are preceded by the wording, "It is the
responsibility of a person who works with children..."
A Responsibility for Self
People who work with children and young people have personal
responsibilities concerning themselves:
1 To maintain and improve
to develop and utilise their skills, knowledge and experience
as fully as possible.
to undertake training and educational programmes in order to
remain up to date on professional issues and relevant legislation,
to re-examine attitudes and to renew motivation. to accept supervision,
counselling and career appraisals, in order to ensure ongoing
2 To maintain standards
to maintain high personal standards of professional conduct,
avoiding any acts which may bring the profession or service into
disrepute or which may diminish the trust or confidence of the
to pursue a commitment to quality in services offered and in
interpersonal relationships on an ongoing basis.
to recognise how personal values, opinions, experiences and biases
can affect personal judgement.
to present attitudes and a personal manner which will not give
unnecessary offence to service users
or colleagues, and to maintain an appropriate personal appearance.
to behave reliably, for example by being punctual, fulfilling
obligations and maintaining expectations
to maintain appropriate boundaries between personal and professional
to avoid placing oneself in positions where one is open to face
allegations about misconduct.
to acknowledge limitations in knowledge and competence, and to
decline any duties or responsibilities if unable to perform them
in a safe and skilled manner.
to seek advice as necessary.
to follow conscience where it is felt that to do otherwise would
be wrong and to report to a
responsible person any conscientious objection which may affect
to refuse any gift, favour or hospitality which might be interpreted
as influential in obtaining
to ensure that professional practice is not influenced by commercial
to ensure that the welfare of service users is not endangered
by any activity on the part of the professional as a member of
a group or organisation.
3 To maintain physical and
to be self-aware in relation to values and their implications
to be aware of personal growth and need for development.
to maintain personal physical and mental fitness at the level
required to meet service users' needs.
to maintain an approach to work which is balanced, optimistic,
patient, mature, self-controlled and constant in coping with
to avoid using drugs or alcohol prior to or during work.
to maintain standards of safety through the use of appropriate
equipment, clothing and procedures.
B Responsibility to Children, Young People and their Families
People working with children and young people have a responsibility
for the services they offer directly to the children and young
people in their care, and for the services offered to the families
and other carers relating to the children and young people:
1 To promote the rights of
children and young people
to recognise, respect and advocate for the rights of children,
young people and their families in relation to them both as individuals
and as groups of service users.
to involve children and young people and their families in decision-making
affecting their lives.
to foster self-determination on the part of service users.
to enable children and young people to learn to play a role as
to be able to account to service users for the services offered.
to give priority to meeting the needs and well-being of children,
young people and their families in devising and monitoring programmes.
to act as advocate in the service users' best interests
to support the rights of children with special needs to participate,
as far as their abilities permit, in all activities available
to other children.
to respect the privacy of service users.
to maintain confidentiality concerning information obtained in
the course of professional services, and make disclosures only
with the consent of service users, where required by the order
of a court or where clearly justifiable in the wider public interest.
2 To promote the welfare of
children and young people as individual persons
to develop positive and empowering relationships with children
and young people within appropriate professional boundaries.
to foster the development of children and young people in order
to achieve their full individual potential.
to take account of the individual circumstances and needs of
children and young people in designing programmes to meet their
psychological, social, cultural and spiritual needs.
to take account of the developmental stage, understanding, capacity
and age of children and young people when designing or providing
to assess and meet the needs of each child and young person on
an individual basis.
to base services upon current knowledge in the field of child
development and related disciplines and upon the particular circumstances
of each child.
to create and maintain safe and healthy settings that foster
children's physical, intellectual, social, emotional, moral and
3 To ensure clear boundaries
between professional and personal relationships
to ensure that service users explicitly understand the boundaries
between professional and personal relationships.
to maintain an appropriate professional distance, avoiding dependency
relationships where they are not part of a planned programme
to relate to service users appropriately.
to avoid sexual intimacy with service users.
to avoid non-work friendships with children and young people
with whom one is working which are not known to colleagues.
to avoid language which is inappropriate or which might be misconstrued.
to respect the physical and emotional privacy of children and
4 To cooperate with others
in meeting the needs of children and young people
to recognise service users' membership of their families and
to facilitate the participation of significant others in services
to meet the needs of children and young people, and to develop
partnerships with them in providing care where appropriate.
to encourage collaborative participation in sharing responsibility
between professionals, children and young people, their families
and the wider community.
to support the families of children and young people in care
and to enable them to maintain their family ties.
to administer medication prescribed by lawful prescribing practitioners
in accordance with prescribed directions and only for medical
purposes, seeking advice as and when necessary.
5 To counteract bad childcare
to avoid participation in practices which are disrespectful,
degrading, dangerous, exploitative, intimidating, psychologically
damaging or physically harmful to service users.
to protect children from abuse and neglect.
to endeavour to prevent the inappropriate placement of children
and young people or the termination of services, when such action
is being taken for financial reasons and leads to less appropriate
ways of meeting their identified needs,
to report the abuse and neglect of children so that action may
to avoid commissioning or assisting an infringement of the law
by service users and to avoid active collusion with service users
in the evasion of the consequences of illegal acts (except in
those cases where it can be justified as a matter of conscience
that the law is in the wrong).
to avoid condoning or participating in behaviour on the part
of children and young people which is unwise or dangerous.
to ensure that services are non-discriminatory towards service
users with regard to race, colour, ethnicity, national origin,
national ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status,
religion, abilities and disabilities, medical condition, political
belief or affiliation, or socio-economic status.
to avoid sharing secrets with a child or young person to the
exclusion of colleagues.
to consider the implications of acceptance for the child, other
children and the family, when they offer gratuities or benefits
to the childcare worker.
C Responsibility to Colleagues
People who work with children and young people have a responsibility
towards their immediate colleagues and other professionals with
whom they need to collaborate in the interests of those for whom
they are responsible:
1 To promote good practice
to establish and maintain relationships of trust and cooperation
to treat colleagues with respect, courtesy, fairness and good
to accord colleagues due recognition of professional achievement.
to respect the relationships of colleagues with service users
and their families.
to foster a culture in which quality of practice is pursued in
all activities and relationships jointly with other colleagues.
to act as a team member, supporting other members of the team
by maintaining consistent standards and by offering and receiving
support, especially in crises.
to keep colleagues fully informed of all matters to which they
should have access.
to communicate promptly and to maintain obligations to colleagues
in responding by letter, telephone or other means of communication.
to assist colleagues to develop their professional competence
through supervision, training and other forms of support.
to observe confidentiality in respect of discussions with colleagues
about their professional problems and difficulties, except where
there is an overriding concern and responsibility for service
to refer service users to colleagues, including members of other
professions, when their skills and knowledge are required to
meet the needs of service users.
2 To counteract bad practice
to draw bad practice and shortfalls in professional standards
to the attention of colleagues where appropriate in order to
enable them to improve their practice.
to attempt to resolve differences of opinion with colleagues
either directly or within the team.
to report to a responsible person where it appears that the health
or safety of colleagues are at risk.
D Responsibility to Employers
People who work with children have a responsibility to the statutory
authority, voluntary body or private organisation or proprietor
1 To support the employer
to fulfil contractual obligations and duties.
to contribute to the fulfilment of the professional aims of the
to assist the agency in providing the highest quality of service,
taking account of changing personal, interpersonal and societal
to maintain loyalty to the agency.
to distinguish clearly between statements made on behalf of the
agency and personal views and judgements.
to contribute to the development of the agency in order to meet
the needs of the service users more effectively.
2 To maintain an independent
professional stance within the agency
to endeavour to ensure that adequate and appropriate resources
are made available to meet the needs of service users, to ensure
that resources are equitably allocated and to draw to the attention
of a responsible person any shortfalls in services and the resources
required to provide them.
to report to a responsible person any circumstances in which
safe and appropriate services cannot be provided, or in which
acceptable standards of practice may be jeopardised.
to report any bad practice or unacceptable aspects of services
in order to maintain high standards of service and to protect
the reputation of the agency.
E Responsibility to the Profession
People who work with children and young people are accountable
to their profession, and in some countries this accountability
is reflected in the processes of professional and other statutory
bodies which set standards and regulate the profession:
1 To establish professional
to promote high professional standards of practice, developing
new working methods to meet changing needs.
to ensure that mechanisms exist for ongoing quality assurance.
to support the implementation of the Code of Ethics.
2 To extend professional knowledge
to contribute to the extension of professional knowledge, theory
and practice by supporting or undertaking research programmes,
ensuring that they are designed, conducted and reported in accordance
with sound scholastic standards and research ethics.
to apply the results of research in practice for the benefit
of service users.
to develop and implement high quality programmes of professional
training and education for all levels of people working with
children and young people.
to learn from the work of colleagues in other agencies and other
3 To promote good working
to seek arbitration or mediation when conflicts with colleagues
cannot be resolved informally.
to report bad practice and violations of the Code of Ethics.
to contribute to the development of professional bodies and organisations.
to promote cooperation with members of other professions with
a view to the best interests of service users.
to manage and administer services in a manner geared primarily
to meet the needs of service users.
F Responsibility to Society
People who work with children and young people have a responsibility
to the community as a whole in the way it contributes to the
upbringing of societyÕs future citizens:
1 To provide information and
to keep the public informed about the needs of people and the
services provided to meet them.
to provide a positive image of the identity of children and young
people in the public care, and of ways in which society may contribute
to meeting their needs.
to counteract prejudice and discrimination against children and
young people in the public care.
to promote understanding and facilitate the acceptance of diversity
to encourage informed participation by the public in shaping
social policies and institutions.
to take political action where the needs of children and young
people and their families make it necessary.
2 To meet the needs of children
and young people in the context of the wider society
to provide services for people with needs on behalf of the community.
to foster the integration of children and young people into their
immediate community and into society as a whole so that they
may play a full part as responsible adult citizens.
to work towards greater social acknowledgement of children's
to support policies and laws that promote the well-being of children
and young people and their families, and to oppose or seek to
modify those that do not.
to respect human rights in general.
For further Information about FICE and information on Codes of
Ethics, please contact the general secretariat or the national
members (see member list).