Presentation on theme: "Ethical Considerations in Home Visiting"— Presentation transcript:
1Ethical Considerations in Home Visiting Maggie Brett, L.C.S.W.May 18, 2012
2OverviewThere are no experts, in the usual sense, in ethics or morality. Objectivity (and the move away from subjectivity) in ethical judgments is increasingly achieved as one's ethical judgments are grounded in a broader and broader base of human experience ‑‑ both one's own personal experience and the experience of other humans shared in dialogue. -David T. Ozar, Ph.D.
3Agenda Lay a foundation: What are ethics? NASW Code of Ethics Build a framework: Model of Ethical Decision MakingPut up a few walls: Abuse and Neglect Reporting, Informed Consent, Confidentiality
4It is not enough, to know, one should also use; it is not enough to want, one should also act. Geothe
5What are ethics?Ethics are not feelings, science, following the law, religion, or culturally accepted norms (Santa Clara University)Moral principals that govern a person’s or group’s behaviorA person’s or group’s responsibilities to the larger societyBehavioral expectations“Values in action,” (Levy, 1976)
6How do we come to develop a system of ethics? One’s own family and upbringingCultureInformal life contactsReligious backgroundEducationProfessional experiencePersonal reflection--David T. Ozar, Ph.D.
7NASW Code of Ethics Rooted in 6 Core Values: Service Social justice Dignity and worth of the personImportance of human relationshipsIntegrityCompetence“Core values, and the principles that flow from them, must be balanced within the context and complexity of the human experience.”
8NASW Code of EthicsDoes not state a hierarchy of values, so there can be reasonable differences of opinion.Considers ethical decision making as a process which considers even competing values.Requires the professional to look at conflicts between personal and professional valuesRecognizes that there may be times that what is ethical by these standards may not be in accordance with the law or agency regulations.Sets forth standards to which a professional should aspire or by which their actions could be judged.Asks for a commitment to “engage in ethical practice.”
9NASW Code of EthicsSome specific ethical standards relating to responsibility to clients:Promote well-being of clientsPromote self-determinationInformed consentCompetenceCultural competenceAvoid conflicts of interestGuaranteeing confidentiality and privacy
10Informed ConsentObligated to inform client in a way she/he can understand about all the parameters of treatment (e.g., purpose, risk, cost, etc.)When client does not have the capacity to provide informed consent (e.g., a young child or client with developmental issues), professional has to seek consent of a 3rd party. The professional needs to ensure that the 3rd party is looking out for the client’s best interests.
11Conflicts of InterestWhen a professional provides services to more than one member of a family, it is essential that it is clear who the client is and what the boundaries are between family members.When a parent’s goals for intervention are unrealistic or even harmful, it is the professional’s responsibility to be clear about the limits of the intervention.
12Privacy and Confidentiality Privacy—the right of an individual to make decisions about how much of her/his thoughts, feelings, or information is shared with othersConfidentiality—the obligation of a professional to refrain from disclosing any information about a client, except under very specific circumstancesWhen a client is unable to make decisions, a 3rd party makes all the decisions regarding confidentiality.Home visitors should engage the clients in a discussion about the release of information and its subsequent use.
13Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Related to the ethical standard of commitment to client’s well-beingInvolves other ethical standards: conflict of interest, informed consent, and confidentiality
14Why are some professionals reluctant to report? Ignorant of the full extent of reporting lawsFeel it’s not in the child’s or family’s best interestFeel it’s not serious enoughNot sure if it really happenedIs concerned about DCFS and its ability to correct the situationDoesn’t want to disrupt the relationshipAfraid of retaliation-LeRoy G. Schultz
15Some root causes of ethical dilemmas Competing valuesCompeting loyaltiesDiffering perspectives because of culture, religion, gender, ethnicity, etc.-Braniff
16An Ethical Decision Making Model (work of David T. Ozar, Ph.D.) Identifying the alternativesDetermining what is morally/ethically at stake by reason of our social rolesDetermining what else is morally/ethically at stakeDetermining what should be done all things consideredChoose a course of action
17An Ethical Decision Making Model (Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University) Recognize an ethical issueGet the factsEvaluate alternative actionsMake a decision and test it (publicity, universality)Act and reflect on the outcome
18An Ethical Decision Making Model (based on1996 American Counseling Association model) Using Kitchener’s (1984) 5 moral principles (autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, and fidelity) as the cornerstone:Identify the problem.Apply the Code of Ethics.Determine the nature and dimensions of the dilemma.Generate potential courses of action.Consider the potential consequences of all options and determine a course of action.Evaluate the selected course of action.Implement the course of action.
19Addendum to FrameworkReflective Practice needs to be infused in the process; part and parcel of each step in ethical decision making. Our own histories, vulnerabilities, and countertransference can influence our ability to make ethical decisions.
20When things go wrong with a client Act promptly and appropriately when a complaint is receivedRemedy any harm done and work to avoid further harmApologize if appropriateDiscuss with supervisor, manager, or consultant ways to remedy current situation and/or prevent it from happening in the futureIf the home visitor feels she/he acted appropriately, may be necessary to bring in 3rd party for mediation or a second opinion
21Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics. Jane Addams