Social workers frequently encounter ethical and legal issues. In most instances, ethical and legal standards complement each other. This chapter discusses the legal and/or ethical issues related to the practice of social work, including responsibility to clients/client systems, colleagues, the profession, and society. It describes the professional values and principles, techniques to identify and resolve ethical dilemmas, and techniques for protecting and enhancing client/client system self-determination. The chapter then elaborates client/client system competence and self-determination (e.g., financial decisions), the client's/client system's right to refuse services (e.g., medication), and professional boundaries in the social worker–client/client system relationship (e.g., power differences, conflicts of interest, etc.). It explores the ethical issues related to dual relationships, professional objectivity in the social worker–client/client system relationship, and self-disclosure principles and applications. The chapter concludes with discussion of legal and/or ethical issues regarding documentation and termination, and death and dying, and ethical issues in supervision and management.
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This chapter discusses the components of a biopsychosocial assessment, the components and function of the mental status examination, biopsychosocial responses to illness and disability, and the biopsychosocial factors related to mental health. It describes the indicators of psychosocial stress, basic medical terminology, the indicators of mental and emotional illness throughout the lifespan, and the types of information available from other sources (e.g., agency, employment, medical, psychological, legal, or school records). The chapter then explains methods to obtain sensitive information (e.g., substance abuse, sexual abuse), the indicators of addiction and substance abuse, the indicators of somatization, co-occurring disorders and conditions, and the symptoms of neurologic and organic disorders. It explores the indicators of sexual dysfunction, methods used to assess trauma, the indicators of traumatic stress and violence, and common psychotropic and non-psychotropic prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and their side effects.
This chapter discusses the principles and techniques of interviewing, the phases of intervention and treatment, problem-solving models and approaches, and methods to engage and motivate clients/client systems, to engage and work with involuntary clients/client systems, and to obtain and provide feedback. It describes the principles of active listening and observation, verbal and nonverbal communication techniques, the concept of congruence in communication, and limit-setting techniques. The chapter also discusses the technique of role play, role-modeling techniques, techniques for harm reduction for self and others, and methods to teach coping and other self-care skills to clients/client systems. It explains client/client system self-monitoring techniques, methods of conflict resolution, crisis intervention and treatment approaches, and anger and stress management techniques. The chapter then talks about cognitive and behavioral interventions, psychoeducation methods, and group work techniques and approaches. It ends with discussion of the principles of case recording, documentation, and management of practice records.
This chapter discusses the components of the social worker–client/client system relationship, and the client's/client system's role and the social worker's role in the problem-solving process. It explains methods to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the social worker and client/client system in the intervention process, and the principles and techniques for building and maintaining a helping relationship. The chapter describes the concept of acceptance and empathy in the social worker–client/client system relationship, the dynamics of power and transparency in the social worker–client/client system relationship, and ethical issues related to dual relationships. It explores the impact of transference and countertransference in the social worker–client/client system relationship, the impact of domestic, intimate partner, and other violence on the helping relationship, and the effect of the client's developmental level on the social worker–client relationship.
This chapter discusses the methods to establish program objectives and outcomes, to assess the availability of community resources, and to create, implement, and evaluate policies and procedures that minimize risk for individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. It describes the methods of service delivery, theories and methods of advocacy for policies, services, and resources to meet clients'/client systems' needs, concepts of social policy development and analysis, and techniques to inform and influence organizational and social policy. The chapter then explains the principles and processes for developing formal documents, methods to establish service networks or community resources, community organizing and social planning methods, and techniques for mobilizing community participation. It explores theories of organizational development and structure, the effects of policies, procedures, regulations, and legislation on social work practice and service delivery, and the impact of political environment on policy-making. The chapter ends with discussion of methods to evaluate agency programs.
Social work theories are general explanations that are supported by evidence obtained through the scientific method. In social work, there are many theoretical perspectives that help to explain the human behavior of clients, including, but not limited to, systems, conflict, rational choice, social constructionist, psychodynamic, developmental, social behavioral, and humanistic perspectives. This chapter discusses the indicators of normal and abnormal physical, cognitive, emotional, and sexual development throughout the lifespan. Because growth and development are generally predictable, social workers should know the milestones of healthy development and the signs of potential delay or disability. The chapter presents the theories of sexual development, spiritual development, and racial, ethnic, and cultural development throughout the lifespan. It discusses the effects of physical, mental, and cognitive disabilities throughout the lifespan, and the factors influencing self-image (e.g., culture, race, religion/spirituality, age, disability, trauma). The chapter ends with discussion of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic approaches.
This chapter discusses the indicators of normal and abnormal physical, cognitive, emotional, and sexual development throughout the lifespan. Because growth and development are generally predictable, social workers should know the milestones of healthy development and the signs of potential delay or disability. The chapter presents the theories of sexual development, spiritual development, and racial, ethnic, and cultural development throughout the lifespan. It discusses the effects of physical, mental, and cognitive disabilities throughout the lifespan, the interplay of biological, psychological, social, and spiritual factors, and the principles of attachment and bonding. The chapter then discusses the effect of aging on biopsychosocial functioning, the impact of aging parents on adult children, parenting skills and capacities, the effects of addiction and substance abuse on individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, and the factors influencing self-image (e.g., culture, race, religion/spirituality, age, disability, trauma). It ends with discussion of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic approaches.