WorkingwithMinorsinSchools-Presentation from RESA

Report
ETHICAL/LEGAL ISSUES & THE
PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL COUNSELOR
EDWARD A. WIERZALIS, PHD, NCC, ACS
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHARLOTTE
• What does it take to be an ethical person?
• What does it take to be an ethical professional?
• What does it take to be an ethical professional
school counselor?
AGENDA
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Ethical Counselor & Ethical Standards
Confidentiality& Privileged Communication
Developmental Considerations
Ethical Obligation to Students
Legal Obligation to Parents
Suggestions for working with Parents & Students
Other Suggestions
Ethical Use of Information Technology
Ethical Considerations Using Social Media
Recommendations
Discussion: What are some of the issues?
Steps for making Ethical Decisions
Web2.0 Tools
Resources
THE ETHICAL COUNSELOR
The ethical counselor demonstrates the importance
of the rights of the student by providing the student
with informed consent, establishing confidentiality,
and maintaining a professional relationship.
• Appreciates the power of the counseling
relationship
• Is aware of the boundaries and limits of their own
competence and training
• Maintains professional growth, accurate
knowledge, and expertise
ETHICAL STANDARDS
• Ethical standards serve three purposes:
- to educate members about sound ethical
conduct
- to provide a mechanism for accountability
- to serve as a means for improving
professional practice
• Professional organizations and credentialing
organizations:
ACA, ASCA, NBCC, CACREP, LPC (NC)
Ethical principles do not define behavior;
they are the basis for behavior.
CONFIDENTIALITY
• Students have an ethical right to confidentiality
us]
[students own the information shared and it is only entrusted to
Counselors solicit private information from students only when it
is beneficial to the counseling process [not out of curiosity].
• Exists for the benefit of the student even though he or she may be a
minor
• Is acting in “good faith” for the betterment of the student (Mitchell,
Dique, & Robertson, 2002 p.158)
• Requires that counselor’s carefully consider when it is appropriate
to disclose information
• Delineates the counselor’s position as different from that of a
teacher or administrator (Mitchell, Dique, & Robertson, 2002 p.158)
CONFIDENTIALITY
• Boundaries must be clarified to parents and
students
• Students should be informed about when
confidentiality must be broken
• Disseminate information in student handbooks that
are distributed to parents
• Present information regarding confidentiality in a
general format i.e. classroom guidance and large
groups
CONFIDENTIALITY & PRIVILEGED
COMMUNICATION
• Privileged Communication: the privacy of
the counselor-student communication.
- The privilege belongs to the student[and
the parent/guardians], who always has the
right to waive the privilege and allow a
counselor to disclose.
[ never disclose without informing the student first]
CONFIDENTIALITY & PRIVILEGED
COMMUNICATION
• A counselor can request that disclosure not
be required when the release of
confidential information may potentially
harm a student or the counseling
relationship (ASCA, A.2.g)
LIMITS TO CONFIDENTIALITY
• DUTY TO WARN: ASCA A.2.f; A.7.a; A.7.b; A.7.c
the general requirement that counselors keep information
confidential does not apply when disclosure is required to
prevent clear and imminent danger to the student or others.
• contagious and potentially fatal diseases [“justified
disclosure” not “should” but “must”]
• Other situations that constrain the limits of confidentiality:
- consultation
- group counseling
- family or guardians
- releasing information to other groups[military, insurance]
- court proceedings
- school environs [with discretion and when essential]
DEVELOPMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS
• Consider the competency or developmental age
of the student
• Age of the student is the most significant variable in
dealing with confidentiality (Isaacs & Stone, 1999)
• Adolescents between the ages of 11 & 14 vary in
their understanding of their rights and issues (Gustafson
& McNamara, 1987, p.158)
• Identify the developmental benchmarks used by
school counselors (Isaacs & Stone, 2001)
ETHICAL OBLIGATION TO STUDENT
Professional School Counselor:
• Promotes the welfare of individual students
• Is well informed regarding a student’s rights (laws,
regulations, policies i.e. FERPA, HIPAA –PHI, ADA)
• Always informs the student before releasing any
information
• Reports any form of suspected abuse and assists
other staff members in reporting such abuse
• Understands that any inappropriate relationship is
consider a grievous breach of ethics
LEGAL OBLIGATION TO PARENT
Professional School Counselor:
• Has a legal obligation to the family and guardians
and an ethical obligation to students (Schmidt, 2003)
• Uses their professional judgment as to what
is“appropriate” inclusion of parents or guardians
(McCurdy & Murray, 2003, p.396)
• Parents or guardians have the legal right to know
the content of counseling sessions with minors
(Remley, 2003)
• The presumption of confidentiality may directly
contradict state laws (Mitchell, Disque, & Robertson, 2002)
SUGGESTIONS FOR WORKING WITH
PARENTS
• If the student does not trust the counselor’s
commitment to confidentiality, the child may not
share honestly
• Explain the Ethical Code(s) to parents and your
obligation to abide by these principles
• Clarify that it is not the counselor’s job to be an
informer between parents and the child
• Suggest parents themselves ask the child about the
desired information
• Discuss different approaches parents might employ
with their children
SUGGESTIONS FOR WORKING WITH
PARENTS & STUDENTS
• Suggest parents and the child meet together with
the school counselor
• Inform the student of their parent’s inquiry and
suggest ways to talk to their parents
• Prepare the student to take the lead in sharing
information with parents
• Consider cultural differences and the role of parents
and family (Lawrence & Robinson Kurpius, 2000, p.133)
OTHER SUGGESTIONS
• Ensure periodic updates of state laws and district
policy
• Consider action on a case by case approach
• Make no assumptions
• Always err in the best interests of the student
• Practice within the limits of your abilities
• Keep accurate and objective records of all
interactions
• Maintain adequate professional liability insurance
• Recognize how your own values and beliefs may
influence your perception of students behavior
• Establish a network of peers to consult; both school
and non-school
ETHICAL USE OF INFORMATION
TECHNOLOGY IN SCHOOL COUNSELING
• Necessity for Technology
- Information & Resources [career, college….]
- Communication & Collaboration
- Interactive & Productivity Tools [data analysis…]
- Delivery of services: Most controversial and source
of most ethical issues.
* confidentiality
* boundaries
* electronic files and information [FERPA]
* emails [always there]
ASCA CODE OF ETHICS
• A.10. Technology
• Professional school counselors:
• b. Advocate for equal access to technology for all
students, especially
• those historically underserved.
• c. Take appropriate and reasonable measures for
maintaining confidentiality
• of student information and educational records stored or
• transmitted through the use of computers, facsimile
machines, telephones,
• voicemail, answering machines and other electronic or
• computer technology.
• d. Understand the intent of FERPA and its impact on sharing
electronic
• student records.
NBCC & NCDA STANDARDS RELEVANT
TO SCHOOL COUNSELING PRACTICE
• Be able to ensure that the Web-based service is
appropriate for a given student
• Safeguard student confidentiality in Web-based
communication through encryption
• Ensure that Web-based services are available to
students with disabilities
• Disclose the nature of student information that is
electronically stored, including the length of time it
will be maintained before being deleted
• Assure that Web sites linked to the school
counseling program are ethical, professional, and
provide appropriate and current information
ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS WHEN USING
SOCIAL MEDIA
• Social Media: cell phones, Facebook, Twitter,
emails, etc.
• Concerns:
- unintentional self-disclosures & privacy
- compromising professional relationship
- “befriending” – professional boundaries
- blurring the lines between acceptable and risky
personal and professional behavior
- breach of “confidentiality”
- multiple relationships
“e-professionalism” : professional attitudes and
behaviors displayed via online personae.
RECOMMENDATIONS
Final words to guide professional school counselors:
•
always document in writing what you did and why you
did it [document, document, document]
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if you did not follow a policy, document why you did
not (e.g. not calling the parent because it was handled as
an abuse case; with held information to protect
confidentiality…)
•
know federal, state, and local laws, regulations, policies,
and guidelines
•
consult with a colleague or supervisor when you have
questions or doubts
•
consult with an attorney when appropriate [district; state
and national association]
•
know the ethical code(s) that frame your actions and
decisions
DISCUSSION
[email protected]
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES….
• Sexual activity: is it noted as potential harmful
behavior? depends on age? parent contact?
confidentiality?
• A student not assigned to you shares personal
information and continues to come to you because
they are not comfortable with assigned counselor
• Befriending students via personal social media
networks
• Staff/colleagues (principal, teachers) asking about
confidential information…what needs to be shared
while still protecting the student’s right to
confidentiality?
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES…
• Administration not wanting you to document
particular situations [notes, database, etc.]
• Student reports, in a candid conversation about
their past, thinking about suicide years ago but has
no thoughts currently. Do you contact the parent?
• District or administration requesting that you share
your notes or documents on a student….
• Any others………..?
STEPS FOR MAKING ETHICAL
DECISIONS
• Identify the problem
• Apply the ASCA and ACA Ethical Codes and the
Law
• Consider the student’s chronological &
developmental levels
• Consider the setting, parental rights, & minor rights
• Generate potential courses of action
• Consider the potential consequences of all options
and determine a course of action
• Evaluate the selected course of action
• Implement the course of action
WEB 2.0 TOOLS FOR
SCHOOL COUNSELORS
• Weebly: http://education.weebly.com
Weebly is a tool that lets you create a dynamic
website for your school counseling program with
ease.
• Glogster EDU: http://edu.glogster.com
Glogster EDU is a creative expression platform that
allows you or your students to create a GLOG, or
online multimedia poster. How about having
students in individual or group counseling create a
GLOG for self-expression? You can even create a
GLOG for your school-counseling program’s
website!
WEB 2.0 TOOLS FOR
SCHOOL COUNSELORS
• Poll Everywhere: http://www.polleverywhere.com
How about jazzing up your next guidance lesson with
a poll that students can complete in real time, via the
web or even their cell phones! The polls can be
embedded into a PowerPoint or a Prezi.
• Scribble Press (free): http://www.scribblepress.com
iPad Apps for School Counselors
A story creation app that contains pre-made stories.
Students fill in the blanks with their information. A
great individual counseling resource
RESOURCES
•ACA Code of Ethics (2005). Retrieved June 6, 2006, from
http://www.counseling.org.
•Bloom, J., & Walz, G. (2000). Cybercounseling and cyberlearning: Strategies and
resources for the new millennium. Alexandria, Virginia: American Counseling
Association.
•Carey, J., & Dimmitt, C. (2004). The web and school counseling; Computers in the
Schools, vol.21, no3/4, pp 69-79 : The Haworth Press, Inc.
•Carlson, L.A., Portman, T.A.A., Barlett, J.R. (2006). Professional school counselor’s
Approaches to technology. Professional School Counseling, v9, n3, p252-256, Feb.
American School Counselor Association.
•Hayden, L., Poynton, T.A., & Sabella, R.A. (2012). School counselor’s use of
technology within the ASCA national model’s delivery system. Journal of
Technology in Counseling, vol 5, issue 1, June.
•Issacs, M. L. & Stone, C. (2001). Confidentiality with minors: Mental health
counselors’ attitudes toward breaching or preserving confidentiality. Journal of
Mental Health Counseling. 23/4, pp.342-367.
•Lawrence, G., & Robinson Kurpius, S.E. (2000). Legal and ethical issues involved
when counseling minors in nonschool setting. Journal of Counseling &
Development. 78, pp.130-136. American Counseling Association.
•McCurdy, K.G., & Murray, K.C. (2003). Confidentiality issues when minor children
disclose family secrets in family counseling. The Family Journal: Counseling &
Therapy for Couples and Families. Vol. 11, 4 Oct. 393-398.
•Mitchell, C.W., Disque, J.G., & Robertson, P. (2002). When parents want to know:
Responding to parental demands for confidential information. Professional
School Counselor 6:2 Dec . American School Counselor Association.
•National Board for Certified counselors. (1997). Guidelines for the new world of
webcounseling. NBCC NewsNotes, 14(2), 1-2. Retrieved June 6, 2006, from
http://www.nbcc.org/extras/pdfs/recert/newsletters/newsnotes_14-2.pdf.
•Remley, T.P., Hermann, M.A., Huey, W.C. (Eds) (2003). Ethical and legal issues in
school counseling (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: American School Counselor
Association.
•Stone, C. (2005). School counseling principles: Ethics and law. Alexandria, VA:
American School Counselor Association
•The WebCounseling Site. (2006). Retrieved June 6, 2006, from
http://webcounseling.tripod.com/cgi-bin/in.pl.

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