Ethical Concepts

In order to synthesize and apply content knowledge gained in this course, students will develop a series of four (4) case studies over the course of the semester. Each is worth 100 points toward your grade (400 total for all 4). These case studies should demonstrate not only students’ comprehension of ethical concepts (e.g. principles, laws, practices), but should also showcase students’ ability to think critically about ethical issues.
To complete these assignments, students will do the following:
A. Identify a specific ethical issue in human services practice. Examples include mandated group attendance and client social media requests. Look to your lesson content for ideas. These can be from any lesson and/or chapter.
B. Write a story (i.e. case study) about a fictitious scenario where this ethical issue arises. Be sure to fully explore the details with information about who, what, where, when, why, how, etc. The main character should be the human services professional who is faced with this situation. (10 points)
C. Use the 8-Step Ethical Decision-making Model to work through the situation (10 points each)

  1. What is the problem or dilemma? Describe in clear, detailed terms.
  2. What are the potential issues involved? Refer to principles and other course concepts.
  3. What ethical code sections pertain to this situation? (ACA, NASW, AAMFT)
  4. Do any laws or regulations apply to the situation? (as best you can tell)
  5. What guidance/advice might a supervisor or consultant give about this?
  6. List all of the possible decisions and/or actions the human services professional could take in the situation. What are all the potential paths?
  7. For each possible decision/action, identify the outcome. What would happen?
  8. Out of these, select one outcome that you think best demonstrates sound ethical reasoning. Explain your reasoning.

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