Conditions for the development of professional and ethical competence in social psychiatric careMag. Beatrix MitterhuberThe fields of psychiatry and social work have the twofold task of social supervision on the one hand and treatment and care on the other, which leads to a fundamental tension between moral and ethical values and objectives. The objective of this study is to determine the competences required for an ethically founded practice in the field of social psychiatry, to focus on their conditions and to discuss them within the context of social psychiatric care. In reference to the results of the study by Fook et al. (2000), the specific competences of experts in clinical social work in the extramural care of people with chronic mental illness will be identified. Overall, this sample covers three different social psychiatric institutions in two federal states with eleven teams and 38 social psychiatric practitioners from various professional groups. A quantitative and a qualitative approach will be chosen for the study. Ethical competence will be determined by processing the critical incidents reported, as well as by processing case vignettes and by quantitative analysis of the assessment of the problem of dual relationship structures, as well as by estimating statements on differences in the various cultures. Virtues, ethical skills and ethical knowledge will be analysed with regard to their performance in practice and with regard to their intercorrelations. The principles and objectives of professional codes will be recorded in their practical use and importance. The main factors influencing the development of these skills will be identified by analysing personal, professional, biographical and structural elements in order to more precisely specify the conditions required for the development of ethical skills. Implications will be formulated both for profession-specific training and for the further development of social psychiatric services.