• Liz is the case manager in a prison that performs a
psycho-educational group for inmates getting ready to
re-enter society. But there is a problem almost none of
the inmates are making any growth in the group and are
resistant to change.
• So, Liz decided to let the prisoners make up there own
mind, on whether they want to come or not, based on if
they come, they must participate and that their
attendance and progress is reported to the warden, and
is an aspect in discharge decisions.
- Now there is one inmate that is driven to thrive in spite
of where he is right now. He participates and is
motivated, which makes the other inmates terrorize him,
and one prison guard calls him a “butt- kisser”. The only
reason he is telling us his fear right now is because he
wants credit for the class, but he is scared that the other
inmates and the prison guard are going to retaliate
•In the prison rules; an
employee of the prison must
give a statement to the warden
of any threats or violence
- Case Manager: To facilitate a group that provides psycho-
education to the inmates to prepare them for society re-entry,
as well as take attendance and record their progress and
report it to the warden. But their primary purpose is to
ensure the wellbeing of every client.
• Prison Guard(s): The relationship between prisoner and
prison officer is the fundamental building block to safe,
decent, and secure prisons.
• Warden: Their job is to oversee all the operations of the
prison. As a part of their job they need to be administrator,
negotiator, accountant, peacemaker, psychologist, crisis
manager, and knowledgeable about ALL the state and federal
laws/ rules/ regulations.
• Society as a whole: If the inmates are not
rehabilitated and have not learned the proper coping
tools they will go back to there old ways, which would be
crime and violence, and this threatens each and every
person in society.
• Families: Their families want them back home, but the
reality is, that if they do not learn a new way of living
they will end up back in jail, and their families will end
up disappointed and sad, yet again.
• Friends: Their old friends will have to GO! All they
have to offer them is a life of crime and violence. The
inmates need to make new friends that have the same
life style that they are trying to make for
themselves, which would be a law abiding one.
state that you
must tell the
your loyalty to
or to your
told you this in
other inmates and
tells case managers
of threats even
though he is scared
calls inmate a
other inmates to
do the same.
• Every inmate that is in the psycho-educational
support group, whether or not they are
participating does not matter, they are still a
client until they do not come to the group
• Independence or freedom, as of the will
or one’s actions.
• Self- determination- A client does have
the right to do what they want, except
when to prevent serious, predictable, and
forthcoming harm to a client or other
identifiable person. In this case there is
an identifiable person, but the other
inmates are not the ones that told you
that they are actually going to go through
with the threats.
• 1.) If the inmates do not want to
participate the case manager can not
make them participate.
• 2.) It is the inmates and the prison
guards choice to threaten and call the
other inmate who does participate, a
Beneficence and non-maleficence
• Doing good, not evil or harm.
• 1.) By allowing the threats and
the name calling the case
manager is going against this
• 2.) By going to the warden it
may cause more harm than
good because then the other
inmates would know that the
butt-kisser told of the threats
and then there would be
retaliation against the buttkisser.
Who is the Client?
• Even though the inmate that
came to you, you probably
favor because he is the one
that is participating and is
motivated in group, he is not
your only client. All members
of the psych-educational group
are your clients, and you must
look out for all of their best
Responsibility to prison vs.
responsibility to client
• The prison is the one that is
paying you. But your clients
are the inmates. So, it is up to
your value system who comes
first. Would you rather lose
your job and not follow all the
rules that they have set up
because it is not in the best
interest in the client, or would
you rather keep your job?
• This inmate came to you in confidence that you
wouldn’t tell anyone that he was being threatened
and being called a butt-kisser. If you do tell the
warden, which it is a part of the rules that you do,
the inmate might receive retaliation from the other
inmates, which wouldn’t be in the best interest of
• Is there is a signed informed consent by this inmate
to talk to the warden? If so, you have every right to
go to the warden and tell. But you do have an ethical
duty to tell the client that you are going to talk to the
-Personal morals vs. ethical duties
If my moral was to always have the best interest
in mind for the client, than I would NOT do my
ethical duty of reporting the threats to the
warden because I would feel that it would do
more harm than good. On the other hand, if my
moral was to always follow the rules than I would
report the threats and ignore my ethical duty to
do what is best for my client.
What could affect the Case Manager
decision making on this case?
• Personal Values: If your personal values were accountability/ discipline and order then you
would stray towards making the decision of going to tell the warden of the threats even
though it might not be in the best interest of the client. But if your personal values were
respect/ empathy/ compassion then you would NOT tell the warden because the inmate
told you this information in confidence and if you did tell it might not be in his best
interest. What about the value of loyalty? Where would your loyalty lie, with your employer
or with your clients? These are all realized value systems which leaves room for exceptions
to settle contradictions among values and realistic circumstances.
• Beliefs: The belief that all people are all good inside could lead a case manager to believe
that the Butt- Kisser inmate will not get retaliated on, once you tell the warden. A case
manager that believes that good people do bad things sometimes and need help, would
weigh out the pro’s and con’s of telling the warden and discuss it with the butt- kisser
Experiences: Depending on if the case manager had a positive experience, when expressing
their worries about the threats to the warden, or a negative experience will determine what
the case manager will do. If it was negative the case manager wont go to the warden
probably, if it was a positive outcome the case manager probably will.
Attitudes: How does the case manager feel about prisoners? Does she like them? Can she
empathize with them? How does the case manager feel about the warden? Does she like
him? Does she think he runs the prison fairly? How the case manager feels and thinks
about these people will affect the decision making process.
1.) SOCIAL WORKERS’ ETHICAL
RESPONSIBILITIES TO CLIENTS
• 1.01 Commitment to Clients : Social workers’ principal duty is to encourage
the wellbeing of clients. Clients’ interests are come first.
• 1.02 Self-determination: Social workers value and encourage clients right to
self-determination and help clients to identify and make clear what their goals
are. Social workers might limit a clients’ right to self-determination when, in
their professional judgment, the clients’ actions or potential actions can cause a
serious, predictable, and forthcoming risk to themselves or others.
• 1.03 Informed Consent (Part A): Social workers ought to use
comprehensible language to notify clients of the reason of the services, risks
correlated to the services, restrictions to services because of the requirements of
a third-party payer, applicable costs, sensible alternatives, clients’ right to
decline or remove consent, and the time frame covered by the consent. And their
should always be a chance for clients to ask questions.
• 1.06 Conflicts of Interest (Part A): Social workers ought to notify clients
when a valid or possible conflict of interest arises and take rational steps to find
a solution for the problem in a way that makes the clients’ interests the key
component and secures the clients’ interests to the utmost degree feasible.
1.) SOCIAL WORKERS’ ETHICAL
RESPONSIBILITIES TO CLIENTS
1.07 Privacy and Confidentiality
• Part A: Social workers ought to value clients’ right to privacy. One
ought not request private information from clients. Once your client
tells you something private, the principles of confidentiality apply.
• Part B: Social workers may divulge confidential information when
suitable with a valid consent from a client, or a person legally
sanctioned to consent on behalf of a client.
• Part C: Social workers ought to defend the confidentiality of all
information obtained during the course of treatment, except for
when disclosure is necessary to prevent serious, predictable, and
forthcoming harm to a client or other identifiable person.
• Part D: Social workers should tell clients, when possible, about the
disclosure of confidential information and the possible cause and
effects of the disclosure, if possible this should be done before the
disclosure is made.
2.11 Unethical Conduct of Colleagues
• Part A: Social workers ought to take satisfactory
procedures to depress and avoid putting a client in a
client in a unprotected situation, so it is our duty to help
correct the unethical demeanor of colleagues.
• Part B: Social workers ought to be educated about
recognized policies and procedures for managing worries
about the colleagues’ unethical conduct. One must be
acquainted with the national, state, and local measures
for managing ethical complaints. One needs to know the
policies and procedures of the NASW, licensing and
regulatory bodies, employers, agencies, and other
professional organizations that could be involved in
treating your client.
3.09 Commitments to Employers
Part A: Social workers usually ought to hold on to the commitments
made to their employers and their employing organizations.
Part B: Social workers ought to put effort into advancing the
employing agencies’ policies and procedures and the competence
and efficacy of their services they provide to clients.
Part C: Social workers must take practical steps to make certain that
their employers are sensitive of social workers’ ethical duty as it is
stated in the NASW Code of Ethics.
Part D: Social workers must not allow their employers policies,
procedures, regulations, or administrative orders hinder the ethical
application of social work. One must take realistic steps to make
sure that their employers practices are along the same lines as the
NASW Code of Ethics.
6.04 Social and Political Action
Part B: Social workers ought to continue to
develop options and chances for all people, with
particular consideration for vulnerable,
disadvantaged, oppressed, and exploited people
▫ Part A
▫ Part B
▫ Part C
▫ Part D
This tells you where your primary obligation lies, with your
client and their interests come first.
As a profession we promote self-determination, except when
there are potential actions that pose a serious, foreseeable,
and imminent risk to themselves or others, which in this case
is in question because there is identifiable victim but the
inmates who are going to do the harm never told you
themselves that they are going to do it.
We do not know if the butt- kisser inmate signed an informed
consent and if he did he could withdrawal it.
As a social worker we want to avoid conflicts of interests,
which could be between clients or clients and employers. This
part states that we should always have our clients best interest
What a client shares is privileged information and we can not
share it, except in very few exceptions.
If you are to disclose the information to the warden you
should tell the client you are doing so.
An ethical social worker should go up to the prison guard and
try to discourage the name calling and threats and correct his
behavior. One should also know all the policies and
procedures of how to handle a unethical professional, such as
the prison guard.
Social workers should stick to their commitments they made
with their employers, just because you do not like what is
happening around you don’t quit learn how to fix it and
improve your setting.
Your employers policies, regulations, procedures, and
administration should be consistent with the code of ethics, so
what you would find unethical they would as well.
Just because the population of people you are working with
are in prison they should have every opportunity everyone
else has, and should be treated equally.
1.) Talk over the situation with the Butt-kisser inmate and let him come up with some solutions, then when both of you agree
upon one, that is the one you will go with.
-Positive: Inmate will feel like he has some control over what is happening
- Negative: It might not be the best possible solution there is.
2.) Make a pro’s and con’s list with the inmate of what would happen in each scenario, one would be if you went to the warden
and told and the other would be if you didn’t.
- Positive: It lets the client see both sides of a situation
- Negative: The client might not care what one came out to be the best result and just wants to do his way anyways.
3.) Case Manager can just go and tell warden
-Positive: Hopefully there would be no more threats and name calling, and case manager wouldn’t lose her job.
- Negative: Took all control away from client and didn’t give him a say, and was not looking out for the best interest
of client, was looking out for herself.
4.) Case Manager could keep all the information to herself.
-Positive: Wouldn’t be breaking confidentiality.
- Negative: Threats and name calling would continue and inmate might get hurt badly.
5.) Keep your commitment to prison by providing psycho-educational group to the inmates, and doing what is best for the buttkisser inmate, which I will know by talking to him and seeing what he says and what he is most comfortable with. Then I will
go to the prison guard and try to discourage the name calling and the threats and then proceed to correct his behavior, but if
that doesn’t work I will follow the policies and regulations on what to do with an unethical prison guard.
- Positive: You are being ethical, you are looking out for the clients best interest, and might be able to get the name
calling and threats to stop from the prison guard.
-Negative: Prison guard will know that this particular inmate told on him to you and might cause the prison guard
to react in a negative way to the inmate.
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