Confidentiality

Question

  Confidentiality         Some ideas to build on: Potential challenges in communicating with clients within my agency is
(1) to overcome preconceptions like biases against people from another country – who are engaged in domestic violence and or substance abuse in their own lives that affect how they interact with others.
(2) Maintaining clear boundaries (especially with people from the same country as I am) to assure professional integrity and responsibility.     Include this as one of the sources (It’s attached): Saxon, C., Jacinto, G. A., & Dziegielewski, S. F. (2006). Self-determination and confidentiality: The ambiguous nature of decision-making in social work practice. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 13(4), 55–72.

Answer

            There is an extent to which social workers can share client’s information with others. The Code of ethics requires that information provided by a client is kept private unless he/she gives consent for it to be shared. However, there are potential challenges that may lead to breaching confidentiality principles. Potential challenges exist when, for example, there is a case of neglect or abuse, which has to be reported to law enforcement agencies for action to be taken (Saxon, Jacinto, &Dziegielewski, 2006). There are also circumstances where the client might be in danger of imminent harm while disclosing the confidential information will lead to them being protected from that danger (Reamer, 2013). For example, an adolescent suffering from a sexually transmitted disease as a result of rape may not want the information to be disclosed to a third party. However, for the sake of his/her health and justice, the information has to be shared with law enforcement agencies.

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            All agencies are guided by principles that spell out the codes of confidentiality, which require that information shared by a client be kept private and can only be shared within the agency. The right to confidentiality is applied to oral records, written records, pictures, as well as agency publications. However, there are certain limits to confidentiality. As stated earlier, an agency can share information if a client is exposed to harm and sharing the information can help in saving them (Freud & Krug, 2002). Sharing of confidential information with law enforcement officers is done under the confines of the state law. Confidential information may also be shared for the purposes of accreditation or program evaluation. However, this must be done only by the relevant board. They are other instances where confidential information can be disclosed, but only under the guidance of agency regulations or state laws.

            Meanwhile, there exists number of potential challenges in communicating with clients in the agency. For instance, I normally find it difficult to overcome preconceptions such as biases against people from other countries particularly those who perpetrate domestic violence and/or engage in substance abuse, thereby impacting their lives in ways that affect their interactions with other people in society. I also find it difficult to maintain clear boundaries, especially with people from my country, to them of professional integrity and responsibility.

References

Freud, S. & Krug, S. (2002). Beyond the code of ethics, part I: Complexities of ethical decision making in social work practice. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services83(5), 474-482.

Reamer, F. G. (2013). Social work values and ethics. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Saxon, C., Jacinto, G. A.&Dziegielewski, S. F. (2006). Self-Determination and Confidentiality: The Ambiguous Nature of Decision-Making. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment13(4), 55-72.

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