Reply To: Week 3 Homework Assignment (Ethical Issues in Clinical Supervision)

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Esther Cyr

1. Who are the parties that will be impacted by whatever course of action is chosen?
Steve, John, Clients, Other clinicians at the agency

2. What are the ethical issues involved in this scenario, including conflicting and competing values of the parties involved?
Dual Relationship/Impairment of colleague/Ethical responsibility to client.

3. and 4. What are the viable courses of action and the possible benefits and risks of each?
a. Dual relationship role with Steve and John. Steve speak of John about the current issues as connected to the dual relationship role and how this has impacted current situation. Benefits: address blurred boundaries and create a corrective plan. Risks: John does not link current issues to the dual relationship roles and issues cannot be resolved between colleagues.
b. Impairment of clinician at work. Benefits: Steve could discuss John’s caseload at work, reason he assigned the co-occurring clients to him. Discuss how the number assigned to him has impacted his practice and ability to function ethically. Addressing what has prevented John from discussing issues within supervision. Develop a plan of action to address impaired behaviors. Risks: John is not responsive to address his behaviors, concerns, ethical dilemma’s with Steve. Issue/impairment plan is not developed which means Steve would have to take other steps such as reporting to the Social Work State Board. Steve would follow agency policies on reprimanding the clinician. Clients may have to be reassigned if John is unable to meet his clinical responsibilities.
5. Who should the clinical supervisor (Steve), consult regarding this scenario and why?
Steve would consult with a clinical Director or CEO of the agency he works for regarding ethical dilemma’s. Steve would have to address the clinician’s impairment and impact on clients and office staff.
6. What is the best possible course of action for a clinical supervisor (Steve) to take in this situation?
Steve would address the dual relationship role, how it has impacted the current situation, and seek to address John’s behaviors to reestablish an ethical working relationship with John. This would include the possibility that because of Steve and John’s personal relationship, it may not be possible at this point for Steve to supervise John.
7. How should the clinical supervisor (Steve) implement the decision, document the decision making process, and monitor and evaluate the effects of the decision.
Steve should implement his decision based on his consultation with a supervisor, direct supervision with John and the plan of action he has written. Documentation would have dates for each plan of action with follow-up plan to review progress. All of this should be in John’s employee record and part of his employee file. A human resource worker might be part of this implementation and follow-up depending on agency policy.