Ethical Dilemma #3
A clinical social worker, contracting with the local school system, began seeing a nine year-old boy referred by his school counselor for concern about his classroom behavior and academic performance. The social worker met with the boy and his mother, a single parent. She then began meeting with the boy weekly, collaborating with his teacher to develop a behavior management strategy and referred him to a local psychiatrist for possible medication for depression. The boy showed considerable improvement after about 6 weeks of intervention. After a few weeks, the boy’s mother asked to meet with the social worker to discuss issues she is struggling with, including her ongoing substance abuse. The mother andsocial worker met weekly for about 2 ½ months. At that time, the mother decided to share a secret with the social worker. She informed the social worker that she and her son had been living under assumed names because she fears her soon-to-be ex-husband will find her and continue to emotionally abuse her. The mother was not supposed to leave the court’s jurisdiction without permission
while the divorce and custody dispute were pending. The mother told the social worker, “I just had to tell you about this part of my life. You’ve really been helpful to me and I’ve felt so guilty for keeping this secret from you. I assume you won’t tell anybody what
I’ve just told you.”
Read the ethical dilemma posted above. What would you do if you were the social worker in this scenario? how the school social worker should or could handle the situation. Use the NASW Code of Ethics to guide your decision and justify your answer by citing the NASW Code of Ethics (using APA format).