WK 2 Informed Consent Confidentiality Issues with The Client Discussion



Respond to at least two colleagues, using personal experience or research to expand on his or her post.

Colleague 1: Antoinette Davis

RE: Discussion 1 – Week 2

Hello All,

Post a description of the importance of confidentiality when working with your client. How does the principle of confidentiality impact the therapeutic relationship? Then, explain your understanding of mandated reporting and how it empowers vulnerable populations.

As social workers, we based our work on the Code of Ethics that states we respect our clients’ privacy and confidentiality. What our client informs us is between us unless we have the proper consent to disclose or when we are mandated to report if someone is at harm or harm to themselves. At the first initial contact, it is important to go over confidentiality with them and make sure they understand. It is important that they understand that we have an obligation to report any harm or threat to harm. When we are working with clients, it is our duty to let them know that disclosure may be necessary to prevent “series, foreseeable, and imminent harm to a client or others,” (NASW, 2017). Also get any consent from us may need to better serve the clients. We have to make sure that clients understand informed consent agreements as well and what your agency policy and state laws allow.

According to Mattison (2018), it proves how cyber communications is a relevant study. Like any other jobs, Social work has been changed with technology increasing. For example, clients may be more comfortable with communication thru email, text or video chat. As social workers we have to be conscious about our actions and make sure we are not crossing boundaries/ We have to make sure we inform them that basic information, such as setting an appointment is okay but going into personal information is not a good idea through email or text messages.

During my experience working with the South Carolina Department of Social Services, I learned as a mandatory reporter that you must by law report “abuse, abandonment, neglect, and financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. As a mandatory reporter, you have the obligation and it encourages you to report. Mandated reporting allows us to empower the vulnerable populations that we are working with because it allows us to be the advocate for the population. It slos empowers them because they can feel safe knowing they have a safe place to disclose any abuse or neglect and let them know there are people out there to protect them. We are the voice of those who may not have a voice. Whether they are scared to speak out or cannot speak out , it is our job to do so for them.


Mattison, M. (2018). Informed consent agreements: Standards of care for digital social work practices. Journal of Social Work Education, 54(2), 227-238.

National Association of Social Workers (2017). Code of Ethics. Retrieved from: https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English

Colleague 2: Lindsey Chambliss

RE: Discussion 1 – Week 2



According to the NASW Code of Ethics, we as social workers have a responsibility to uphold the code’s mission by always remaining ethical and upholding standards that ethical when working with our clients. The code serves as a set of boundaries, examples to follow and rules to use throughout ones career as a reference to rely on to make good decisions. Confidentiality is so very important when working with clients for one because it is following the code of ethics and agency policies, but also because it is good practice. It shows the client that the atmosphere is a safe one and the social worker can be trusted. Most clients are going to be more transparent if they believe they can trust the social worker that everything will remain confidential. According to our reading from this past week, the article, Eye on Ethics, stated “many ethics mistakes in social work are preventable”; I have found this to be so true in my line of work as a medical social worker. There have been times when I have been working with a patient and they have family that call on the phone requesting a medical update; I always make sure to speak with the patient regarding who I can speak to and whom I cannot. I always make sure that I document my verbal conversation and that the patient has or has not given me consent to speak with this or that family member and/or friend. Documentation is also mentioned in the article, Eye on Ethics, and speaks directly to social workers regarding documentation, stating, “careful documentation provides essential evidence of social wokers’ efforts to manage ethics-related risks. ” I could not agree more with these statement and it serves as a great reminder.

Based on my experience as a medical social worker, I have experienced mandated reporting many times. I have dealt with scenarios where mothers are unable to take their baby home from the hospital after I have reported to DCFS. I have also experienced situations where the state becomes involved with an elderly and/or physically handicapped individual after my report to Adult Protective Services. I believe that reporting empowers the individual by removing them from unsafe enviornments and/or prevents further harm and suffering. At times, the social worker and/or mandated reporter has to be the voice for the vulnerable. A child that cannot keep him/herself safe and/or an elderly person that no longer has capacity either physically and/or mentally due to many different types of deficits.

All in all mandated reporting is very important and confidentiality is also extremely important when working with clients to uphold the NASW Code of Ethics and to protect the relationships between social worker and client.


Reamer, F.F., (2011) Eye on Ethics. https://www.socialworktoday.com/news/eoe_113011.sh…

https://www.socialworkers.org/about/ethics/code-of ethics/code of ethics-english