Social Work Ethics Case Scenarios

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Case Scenario Practicing in a school setting, there are numerous individuals in the same building looking to positively impact and change students’ lives. Interdisciplinary staff consistently work together to meet the various needs of the diverse student population. As the social worker, I am privy to the strengths and weaknesses of clients as they are presented to me by the student and his/her family and shared in interdisciplinary team meetings upon the consent to do so by the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s). Teachers are only present and involved in the interdisciplinary meetings when a student assigned to their class is being discussed. However, after a meeting last week, a teacher sends me an e-mail inquiring about a student she had…show more content…
Upon assessing all parties likely to be affected by the ethical decision, viable courses of actions can be drafted. It is critical to weigh the risks and benefits of each option in order to make the most informed decision. The first option would be to tell the teacher that the student is homeless, because it would provide the student and his family with resources. However, I would be breaching confidentiality and not upholding the ethical standard of privacy and confidentiality (1.07). Another option would be to respond to the teacher and state that it is not my right to share a student’s confidential information with her and that it goes against the NASW Code of Ethics, but it would potential damage my relationship with her. Thus, I could potentially go against rather than support the value of the importance of human relationships by refusing to disclose a client’s confidential information. Conversely, a third option would be to state that multiple families at Dickinson Academy are struggling to access affordable housing and suggest that we work together to develop a centralized fund to support the basic needs of all the homeless families, but the student and his family would not receive the full donation being offered.
Involve and inspect the NASW Code of Ethics, local, state, and national laws, and agency policies. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) serves as a guide for the daily professional conduct of social workers, and it is easily referenced when values conflict (i.e. service and human relationships versus integrity). The Code of Ethics clearly states in standard 1.07: Privacy and Confidentiality that unless a client is a harm to himself or others or for compelling professional reasons, the student’s right to privacy and confidentiality should be upheld and

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