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CASE 4.6. A social worker at a community mental health center provided services to struggling adolescents. One of the social worker’s clients was referred by a local school. According to school personnel, the student was sullen, withdrawn, and hav-ing significant academic problems. The school’s vice principal told the social worker that the student was very upset because his father was recently sentenced to prison for drug dealing and his mother was having psychiatric problems. On the basis of the strict criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Aitintial of A fen. tal Disorders, the student’s clinical symptoms were not serious enough to qualify for insurance coverage. To qualify for insurance coverage, the social worker would need to exaggerate the students’ clinical symptoms.
Please read the assigned case and use the template below to complete the Case Review/Analysis (adapted from Reamer’s Model outlined in The Social Work Ethics Audit: A Risk Management Tool (pg. 35 -2001). Each case gives you a dilemma that you will use NASW Code of Ethics and LABSWE Practice Act to think through the model.
• Review must follow prescribed outline below and use the headings for each response. Responses must be in complete sentences.
• Typed, singled spaced
• Cite when appropriate
Case Review #____ Ethical Responsibilities to:____
Case Chosen: ____________

  1. Identify the Conflict: Identify the conflicts between the ethical and legal expectations and requirements, including the social work values and duties that conflict.
  2. Identify Impact: Identify the individuals, groups, and organizations that are likely to be affected by the ultimate ethical decision.
  3. All Possible Course of Responses: Tentatively identify all possible courses of action and the participants involved in each. Please note any conflicts or influence that personal values may have on this problem. (What are all the possible decisions I could make? Brainstorm). Then thoroughly examine and discuss the reasons in favor of and opposed to each possible course of action, considering relevant and applicable (a) ethical theories (for example, deontological and teleological perspectives), principles, and guidelines from literature on professional ethics; (b) codes of ethics (especially the NASW code of ethics); (c) constitutional provisions, statutes, regulations, court decisions, and executive orders; and (d) personal values (including religious, cultural, and ethnic values).
  4. Consultation: If consultation is needed, who would you consult? (Most common consultation is with colleagues and appropriate experts (such as professional colleagues, supervisors, agency administrators, attorneys, ethics scholars and consultants, agency-based ethics committees). Would there be ethical considerations needed for consultation.
  5. Decision and Rationale: Make the decision and document the decision-making process. Carefully document your rational to support your decision.
  6. Evaluate: How would you monitor and evaluate the decision if possible? Responsible professionals recognize that their decisions can have serious consequences and long-term ramifications.

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