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Duty To Warn Essay

827 words - 4 pages

Eric Harrison is a student at Southern University at New Orleans where he is pursuing a degree in chemical engineering. After getting into a physical altercation with another student Sherman Hill, he was given the option of seeking treatment for anger management or face expulsion. This is not the first such incident Harrison has been involved in and thus he is in danger of losing his athletic scholarship because fighting violates the criterion for eligibility. Orin Grant, a clinical social worker, has been working with Harrison for 3 weeks and found him to be a volatile personality. Harrison is anxious today because he is awaiting the decision from the scholarship committee on whether or ...view middle of the document...

Moore nor the campus police communicated the threat to the intended victim (Gehlert & Browne, 2012). This tragic incident was the catalyst for Duty to Warn, making it the responsibility of practitioners to disclose confidential information learned within the course of professional source if there is an imminent threat of harm to the client or a third party (Corbin, date). Duty to warn is a mandatory statue that is enforced in 22 states, including Louisiana.
Ethical and Legal Obligations
Adhering to the legal obligations of protecting the client and third parties while maintaining ethical standards of practice is not quite as simple as it seems. In light of the Tarasoff ruling practitioners and clients continue to be concerned about the protection of confidential information discussed during the course of professional service (1.07[c]) (NASW, 2008). Among a client's biggest fears is that a social worker/therapist may disclose their personal information. Confidentiality is the foundation upon which good working therapeutic relationships are sustained, but it does not supersede the legal obligation to warn of a client's impending threat to harm other people. A social worker's ethical obligations encompass not only their clients but “society as a whole" (6.01) (NASW, 2008). Breaching client confidentiality is difficult but not doing so is even more detrimental the practitioner and the agency. Mental health professionals who fail to take the necessary precautions to protect third parties from a client's threat could be sanctioned by a professional body, sued for malpractice, and...

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