Student post down below:(Kelly)
Ethical procedures are an important part of all research, and have rules and regulations covering the conduct of research. This arises because researchers in the past have engaged in forms of inquiry that have put participants at risk, by carelessly revealing information that put them in situations that are harmful (Stringer, 2014). Researchers have a “duty of care” and need to take specific steps to ensure that participants come to no harm as a result of their participation in the research project, the process known as informed consent (Stringer, 2014). As such, the success of action research depends on attending to all aspects of ethical conduct and behavior. As professionals, one must seek to obtain permission to complete the research and resolve to keep all parties informed throughout the process (McNiff, 2016).
Based on this learner’s research project addressing teen homelessness, the Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals by the National Organization of Human Services (NOHS) that will be utilized include Standard 12 and Standard 13. Accordingly, Standard 12 states, “Human service professionals are aware of local, state, and federal laws. They advocate for change in regulations and statutes when legislation conflicts with ethical guidelines and/or client rights” (NOHS, 2015). Standard 13 states, “Human service professionals stay informed about current social issues as they affect clients and communities. If appropriate to the helping relationship, they share this information with clients, groups and communities as part of their work” (NOHS, 2015).
Informed consent and issues of confidentiality are primary ethical concerns when collecting data. All participants must know the nature of their participations and the potential risks and benefits involved. Unfortunately, personal information collected may be damaging to either individuals or a community if disclosed to others including stigma attached to mental illness, sexual taboos, etc. (Emanuel, Wendler, & Grady, 2000). To decrease any ethical risks that may surface, one must be able to assure participants that all information collected will be protected and, where appropriate, will not be linked to an individual or community group. Depending on the research topic, participation itself may have to be treated in a confidential manner (Emanuel, et. al., 2000).
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