During this seminar, you will review some of the ethical problems that arise when making client referrals. Because the main reason clients fail to meet treatment or intervention goals is poor coordination of services, it is important to create a coordination plan that is ethical and effective. At times, human service professionals violate client confidentiality by making referrals before gaining written consent. You will discuss the scenario below and brainstorm ways to help clients while also adhering to the ethical and legal standards of the human services profession.
Option 1:Participate in a synchronous seminar discussion. You are strongly encouraged to participate in the live seminar. Many students find this live discussion very helpful because your instructor will clarify the seminar information and your classmates may pose questions that you also have about the material.
Option 2:Complete the Option 2 written assignment. You should create your seminar responses in MS Word. Your response to the questions below should be composed in complete sentences and paragraphs and be 200–300 words in length. Save your answers and submit them to the Unit 3: Seminar Dropbox.
Scenario:You are working as a domestic violence intake counselor for a private non-profit shelter in a city. Due to the sensitive nature of domestic violence situations, the location of your shelter is confidential, and all information about clients is kept secret. One morning while conducting an intake appointment, a client tells you that she is feeling depressed and has been treated for depression in the past. She says that she needs medication and really needs it soon. Your session with her is interrupted by the family specialist who needs the client to come and comfort her son who will not stop crying. In her absence, you decide to begin working on service coordination for the client. You know that the client has not signed consent forms yet, but this should not be a problem as you are sure that she will when she returns to your office. You call the free medical clinic where most of your agency’s clients are referred. The receptionist is someone who you know well and is the point of contact for the clinic, so you feel comfortable divulging your client’s situation. When you finish talking, the receptionist tells you that she knows the client well and would make the appointment. In the meantime, she would send someone over with the medication that the client usually takes. Feeling pleased with yourself, you tell the client all of this when she returns from taking care of her son. As you tell her about the call and the medicine, the client’s face turns pale. “My husband works there and will probably be the person sent to deliver the medication, he will kill me!”
Seminar Question:In this scenario, what did the human service professional do that was unethical? How should this situation be handled now? What should the intake specialist have done instead of making this referral?