Thursday, June 2, 2011


It seems that every couple of weeks or so either I or my staff get a call from a worried and sometimes frantic member with an ethical dilemma that needs immediate attention.  Usually the person identifies himself or herself as someone who has been practicing for many years, has experience with tough clinical issues and has never had a problem like the one they are presenting.  'What do I do?' is the question posed to us.

Now, the MA Chapter has a wonderful service for its members who are faced with potential and real ethical dilemmas.  The Chapter's Ethics Hotline committee members, composed of social workers, highly trained in identifying and addressing ethical issues. They do an exemplary job helping callers with their ethical dilemmas.  What I want to stress is that social workers have an opportunity and a responsibility to be aware of potential ethical pitfalls BEFORE they occur.  As professionals, we must be totally aware of, trained in and knowledgeable about these unexpected situations that can occur in anyone's practice; regardless of the number of years one has practiced.  We cannot be arrogant about our knowledge of social work practice.

With this in mind, I want to remind all social workers to look for opportunities to become fully trained in 'avoiding' and 'addressing' ethical dilemmas.  One of these opportunities is coming up on June 10, when the MA Chapter holds a Continuing Education program specifically geared to raising social workers awareness, not only of the potential pitfalls but also of how to deal with them.

This program titled, “Protect Your Clients and Yourself” is particularly relevant now, as it will focus on the problems associated with the use of social media in one's professional AND personal life. The MA Chapter President, Betty Morningstar and I will be attending as we view this training as crucial to our professional lives.

The workshop will take place at Lantana in Randolph, MA on the morning of June 10th (9-12:30) with registration starting at 8:30am. To learn more or sign up for workshop Click Here.

 Carol J. Trust

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