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39 Slides available anytime
  • 39 Slides

Social Work Ethics


Gain a better understanding of ethical decision-making strategies while also reviewing common challenges social workers face.

Every social worker faces ethical challenges. Some ethical challenges are familiar: Under what circumstances are social workers permitted to disclose confidential information without a client's consent? Is it appropriate to share some personal information with clients for therapeutic purposes? Can social workers provide services to minors without their parents' knowledge or consent? How should social workers who live in small communities manage complex boundaries and dual relationships? But other ethical challenges in social work are much newer: Can social workers provide services remotely (using digital technology) to clients they never meet in person and who live in another state? Is it ever permissible to communicate with clients or former clients using social networking sites (e.g., Facebook®)? Is it ethical for social workers to search online for information about clients without their knowledge? Should social workers permit clients to access their clinical records online? In this engaging topic, Dr. Frederic Reamer will discuss enduring and cutting-edge ethical issues in social work and share his insights about practical ways to protect clients and prevent ethics complaints and litigation.



Frederic G. Reamer, Ph.D.

Frederic G. Reamer, Ph.D.

  • Professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College
  • His research and teaching have addressed a wide range of human service issues, including mental health, health care, criminal justice, public welfare, and professional ethics
  • Taught at the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration and the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Social Work
  • Conducted extensive research on professional ethics and has been involved in several national research projects sponsored by the Hastings Center, the Carnegie Corporation, the Haas Foundation, and the Scatter-Good Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Healthcare at the Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania
  • Has published 25 books and more than 180 journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia articles
  • Writer of chapters on professional ethics in the Encyclopedia of Social Work, the Encyclopedia of Bioethics, the Encyclopedia of Global Ethics, and the Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics
  • Lectured extensively nationally and internationally on the subjects of professional ethics, professional malpractice, and liability
  • Chaired the national task force that wrote the code of ethics adopted by the National Association of Social Workers
  • Served as a social worker in correctional and mental health settings
  • Ph.D. degree, University of Chicago
  • Can be contacted at [email protected]

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