Social workers often work in close communication with the court system, whether it is through Department of Social Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, custody battles, or an array of many other agencies and situations. Many times social workers will face ethical conflicts as they attempt to treat clients in a dignified and respectful fashion, yet are obligated to share certain information with the court system that may harm the social worker-client relationship.
Social workers also serve their clients well by telling them that they are legally responsible to break confidentiality if the client is at risk of harming himself or herself or others. For example, a child in DSS custody may confide in the social worker that his or her parents have abused or neglected him or her. (more…)