The work of nursing, the remedial therapies and social work is value-laden because it is directed towards the enhancement of human well-being in addition to the more technical accomplishment of skilled practices. Indeed, the understanding of professionalism on which these occupations draw portrays the use of such skilled practices, combined with expert knowledge, as means to the ends of an increase in the welfare of service users. This leads these occupations to orient their work towards particular views of service users as fellow citizens (for example: BASW, 1980; Scully, 1995) and to be concerned with questions of the social origins of disadvantage as well as personal distress. Such an approach is embedded in the structures of the caring professions, as evidenced by the ethical basis on which they have been developed.
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