My agency’s service type is quality case management services to clients who cannot access these services due to financial limitations and lack of health insurance. The case manager’s job description is to assist clients with locating resources and facilitating connection with services, and acting as advocates on behalf of clients to obtain needed services. In regards to the case manager-client boundaries, gifts from clients or family members will not be accepted. The exemption to this rule is token gifts with a value less than ten dollars, which may be accepted on behalf of the agency, consistent with good ethical judgment and sensitivity to patient intentions, circumstances, and cultural norms. Physical contact, such as hugging or embracing upon contact, should always be avoided.
Sharing personal information with clients is prohibited. While sharing may build trust and connection with a client, a case manager should never share information without justified reasons. Private information must always be offered in respect of the client’s well-being (Coyle, 2017). Any contact with clients outside of the agency is prohibited. In case such a situation presents itself, the case manager should find other ways to help the client.
During an emergency, the case manager may call 911 to report the incident and get the appropriate agency involved. Case Managers may contact family or friends of the client subject to the client’s approval. Social media interactions with clients are also outlawed. Social media interactions involve family and friends; thus may jeopardize matters relative to privacy and confidentiality. There should be a clear distinction between personal and work engagements.
Mandated Reporting and Documentation
The mandate to report a suspected case is enshrined in chapter 39 of the Florida Statutes. Florida law requires that any person in Florida who conceives or has probable cause to suspect any abuse of children or adults must instantly report that suspicion to the Florida Abuse Hotline of the Department of Children and Families. The reporting process guidelines state that the staff members notify an employee in a direct supervisory role before calling the hotline. The guidelines, however, are not applicable where an emergency arises. The hotline works on 24 hours, seven days a week schedule.
Regarding documentation, the collection of the necessary information is vital before calling to make the report. The information required consists of; name, date of birth, ethnicity, and sex for all adults and children involved, current locality for all persons involved, including current residence, mobility limitation information, and link of the alleged offender to the child or adult victims (Reamer, 2018). The information is documented in terms of typed or written, readable material. Profession specific language is discouraged while copies of medical notes and case files are not required.
Conflict of Interest
Regarding relationships; Relatives or persons in a domestic or dating relationship with an employee may be hired subject to specified conditions. The primary constraints are issues related to supervision, security, safety, confidentiality, or morale (Biçer, 2020. Relatives are defined as partners, children or stepchildren, siblings, parents or stepparents, or grandparents. A domestic partnership is defined as a committed interpersonal relationship between two individuals who live together. If two current employees become involved in a dating or domestic relationship or marriage, they can continue employment subject to the laid-out conditions. Where the employees are in a direct supervisory relationship with each other, Human Resources is notified. The agency will shift one of the employees to another comparable position for which they are qualified. However, where the position is not available, one of the employees will have to resign from the agency.
Solicitation is prohibited during working hours or in work areas where the aim is to avoid disrupting business operations or disruption of employees and visitors. In this context, the solicitation includes; vending items or services and seeking contributions. This includes verbal, written, or electronic means. Solicitations can be conducted during your lunch period or other permitted non-business hours when all employees are on break. Employees are prohibited from distributing materials that are not business-related in allocated working areas at any time. Working regions do not include rest areas, specially designed lunchrooms, or parking spaces. Any verbal, written, or electronic material that violates our equal employment opportunity (EEO) and non-harassment policies, or is false, is also banned. Distribution of materials by non-staff in the organization premises is forbidden.
The workers will be required to sign specific forms about the agency’s confidentiality practices. The agency will follow the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics for clients, which has the following clauses. The discussion of confidential information in any setting is outlawed unless privacy can be guaranteed. The discussion of confidential information in public or semipublic is prohibited (Bucky, Callan, and Stricker, 2013). Public and semipublic areas include; hallways, waiting rooms, elevators, and restaurants. Confidential information is only disclosed when circumstances deem the use of such information important. However, the client’s legal consent is required or persons with absolute powers of attorney given by the client to act on his behalf.
Preservation of confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of professional service is paramount. However, an exception for this rule is when faced with a justified professional reason. The reason can occur when disclosure is essential to curb imminent threats to clients or society. In this case, the general expectation to keep information private is waived. The responsibility lies with the social worker to disclose only the information relevant to the situation. In most cases, the statement released is small to minimize the amount of damage to privacy matters.
Professionalism is vital in establishing relationships with clients. Staff should provide services to clients as professionals without any personal attachments. Social workers should use clear and concise language to notify clients of the work’s scope, such as; the motive of the services, risks management, third-party affiliated services, associated costs, logical alternatives, and clients’ privilege to decline or pull out permission (Bucky, Callan, and Stricker, 2013). There is also a provision accorded to clients to ask relevant questions concerning the organization’s services.
Where the client’s literacy levels in the primary language used in the practice setting limit the comprehension of the information relayed, steps should be taken to assist the client in understanding the message. This may include outsourcing a qualified interpreter or providing an oral explanation detailing all the relevant information. Electronic media usage, such as personal computers, has its limitations and risks such as privacy violation; thus, all challenges are to be relayed to clients in the spirit of openness. The client’s permission is sought before videotaping or audiotaping the client. Third-party affiliates that want to use the data also require the client’s approval. Client’s legal permission to share information with others within the agency or outside the agency is sought by having the client sign a release authorizing the agency to disclose their confidential information.
Nepotism and Colleague- Supervisor Relationships
The supervisor’s socialization with employees during non-work hours is restricted. When a supervisor socializes with a subordinate during non-work hours, it oozes the employee’s perception of a special relationship. Positive feedback emanating from the workplace supervisor will lead to the assumption that the positive work review was instigated by the close personal relationship they share. Supervisor and subordinate friendship have many perks. There is a high likelihood to give the junior staff friend better assignments and less complicated work because of the supervisor’s intentions toward the person offending other employees in the process.
The supervisor is seen as a supporter regarding favoritism when choosing this staff for a particular job even though he has all the qualifications needed. This behavior is due to the perception implied by the friendship they share. The supervisor is torn between a rock and a hard place as he has the responsibility of choosing the most skilled employee but is weighed down by the other staff members’ perception.
A frequent supervisory mistake is the engagement of a small number of employees while ignoring the rest of the team. The appropriate practice would be to engage all employees in equal measure with the intent of according opportunities fairly. Personal relationships between supervisors and employees may lead to relaxed procedures in addressing poor performance or misconduct, such as neglecting to initiate disciplinary action against the employee (Sroka and Vveinhardt, 2020). The supervisor may give a select number of employees more chances to correct poor behavior due to inaccurate performance evaluations.
Supervisors are at the helm of leadership, thus responsible for the completion of all employee tasks. In the case of a work-related issue, the supervisor is answerable to the top management as he/she is responsible for all critical decisions made in the organization. Therefore, it is paramount to preserve an ethical approach to working with all staff as the foundation for running a productive work team without the complaint of favoritism from employees in the workplace.
Biçer, C. (2020). The Hedgehog’s dilemma in organizations: The pros and cons of workplace friendship. Hitit Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, 13(1), 201-217.
Bucky, S. F., Callan, J. E., & Stricker, G. (2013). Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. In Ethical and Legal Issues for Mental Health Professionals (pp. 413-440). Routledge.
Coyle, S. (2017). Teaching social justice in today’s social work classroom. Social Work Today, 17(5).
Reamer, F. G. (2018). Ethical standards for social workers’ use of technology: Emerging consensus. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, 15(2), 71-80.
Sroka, W., & Vveinhardt, J. (2020, June). Nepotism and favouritism: how harmful are these phenomena? In Forum Scientiae Oeconomia (Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 79-91).
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