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  • in reply to: Connections and Conflicts of Interest #470

    1) What would you do in this situation?

    As others have laid out any and all aspects of a conflict of interest should be avoided at any cost. With that being said I do understand the need to get Georges side of the story for a needs assessment to be completed. If I myself strongly and truly felt that my engagement with George would mean he would feel comfortable enough to talk, I would move forward with the consult of my supervisor. I would hope to speak with the family prior to let them know I would be speaking with George as that was a way for him to remain comfortable. The most important thing to outline here is the fact that I as the service provider needs to be 100% certain that I will be able to enter the situation with no biases towards George or his family. As Jenny as laid out it is important that this will not hinder Georges further involvement with social workers, should things be taken further. To help smooth this over it may be a good idea to be accompanied with the caseworker working the case so that I myself am able to articulate to George that this is someone who he can trust and will be assisting me.

    2) Who would you consult in this situation?

    In this situation I would consult with my supervisor and over all else would respect whether my supervisor felt this would a hinderers or a help to George. Sitting down and having a meeting with both my supervisor and the caseworker on the case is a way to get multiple opinions on the situation.

    3) Which is more important in this case – the family’s privacy, or possible risks towards George?

    In this case I believe that both things are equally important. With that being said I still believe it is important to take into account the possible risk towards George. As child welfare workers our main concern is always to the safety of the child.

    4) In small or niche communities, where dual relationships are likely, how can social workers maintain professional boundaries without secluding themselves?

    In this instance it is important to set clear boundaries right at the beginning of the relationship. Let these individuals know that even though you may know them outside of your working relationship the two things must remain separate. I think it is also important that you reiterate your confidentiality within your practice so they can feel comfortable working with you.

    5) Would this situation change if the reason for George’s communication difficulties was a language barrier? For clients who belong to linguistic minorities, often the only people able to translate are those who are already friends or family of the client. How might this affect the intake process?

    I think if the communication was due to a language barrier it would in the best interest of everyone involved to bring in a third party translator. You want to insure the voices of the people speaking are fairly being articulated without being misconstrued by any feelings involved.

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