Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

PROFESSIONAL SECRET IN THE PRACTICE OF SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL EDUCATION1: A CORNERSTONE OF DEMOCRACY WITH A FOCUS ON CATALAN AND SPANISH CONTEXTS (p. 91-112)

Mar Rosàs Tosas

Resum


The aim of this paper is to examine the theoretical foundations of the professional secret and confidentiality in Social Work and Social Education in order to propose an alternative approach to the issue which does not reduce the professional secret to a utilitarian device designed to increase the success of social services. Our approach rests upon the idea that the professional secret not only protects the individual that has confided a secret, but also society as a whole, since intimacy and privacy are a necessary presupposition of all other human rights. Understood this way, the professional secret should be regarded as a cornerstone of democracy. The article therefore concludes by warning policy-makers and social workers and educators of the paradox inhabited by the professional secret: breaching confidentiality may be simultaneously an inevitable measure to safeguard society and a way to render society as a whole more vulnerable.

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