applied to a social workers 'use of self' within the client-worker relationship, casework relationship is of particular significance to social work education and. The Client-Worker Relationship. RELATIONSHIP: the emotional interaction between people – the emotional bond. “Relationships never end, they just change.”. As social work professionals, we need to be senstitive to the communication exchanges we engage in with our clients. At the best of times.
Yet, when working with clients, social workers must maintain clear boundaries to assure professional integrity and responsibility. On any given social work credentialing board Web site, one will see frequent cases in which there have been complaints filed against social workers resulting in imposed fines, penalties, licensure sanction, suspension, or revocation. In some instances, workers have been imprisoned for misconduct for violation of confidentiality, falsification in record-keeping, malfeasance, and so forth.
However, this article will explore the issue of client relationships and ethical boundaries for those working in social work, with a particular focus for those in child welfare.
Yet, in retrospect, Reamer suggested that boundary violations and boundary crossings have to be examined in the context of the behavioral effects the behavior has caused for either the social worker or client. He posited a typology of five central themes in which boundary issues may arise: In addition, the clinical issues of managing dual relationships and management of transference and countertransference are factors that cannot be ignored in this discussion.
Workers in child welfare are often found in dual client relationships. Inside our respective roles and responsibilities, to move a client forward, we must engage a client in the process of change. This is an integral part of the client engagement strategy, which must be established in the early phase of the relationship. Unfortunately, many professionals in our field have difficulties in the area of client rapport building.
Throughout our profession, thousands of men and women work with vulnerable families and children. Many of our clients have been subjected to abuse, neglect, or other forms of violence or maltreatment.
Some report stories of abandonment, domestic violence, emotional abuse, or other wrenching experiences. Some even report having difficulty with intimacy as a result of their reported pain. Subsequently, instead of helping, the social worker may start the path of hurting the client while disclosing or sharing his or her own personal experiences. In child welfare, immediate supervisors must play a vital role in modeling, coaching, and engaging in frequent discussions with workers on topical issues of client engagement, rapport-building, and assurance of proper boundaries in the worker and client relationship.
Social work schools, child welfare training, and other continuing education programs also have a responsibility in providing education and information on the management of client relationships and examination of ongoing ethical issues. In some instances, it may be a labor relations matter, or a training or coaching issue between the worker and supervisor. Why might a caseworker risk contamination of the client engagement process or actual working relationship?The worker client relationship (CH-03)
There is no definitive or even easy answer. From others, it may be suggested there are always persons in any given profession who will violate the code of conduct rules and standards, despite any degree of training, supervision, or administrative oversight.
As social workers, we have a responsibility to examine the issues of client relationships and ethical boundaries. How relationship can and should be used to help persons with problem has been a serious concern of not only social work but of Other professions too like that of psychiatry, psychology etc.
Social work always recognised the importance of human interaction and attempted to use relationship in a conscious and deliberate manner to benefit the people it worked with.
Social work literature is full of description of relationship from various angles only because of its great importance in a helping process.
Richmondin her earliest work, has pleaded for an intensive study and use of social relationship in social casework. None can deny the utility and importance of human relationship in promoting change and development. When relationship is established and used by a social worker consciously, purposefully and deliberately to help client sit is called z professional relationship. In fact, relationship is the channel of entire casework process. It is the medium through which knowledge of human nature and social interaction are used, and through which, they are given the opportunity to make choices, both about receiving and using the help.
Professional relationship is formed with a particular purpose and it terminates once that purpose is served. This is in addition to the normative purpose of all professional relationships, i.
It is the individualised purpose which is unique to every relationship and is set to be achieved in each case.
Relationship: In Social Work and Characteristics of Relationship
This purpose sets and determines how persons in the professional relationship will behave towards one another. The conscious, purposive and deliberate efforts to develop a helping relationship contains elements of: It means that we involve ourselves deeply in the affairs of client without getting obsessed by it.
Keith-Lucas observes that concern implies serving the interest of the client. Concern for other includes meanings expressed in concepts like understanding, warmth, unconditional respect, and liking etc. Our knowledge, skills and experience are to be used to foster movement in the client towards the desired and consciously determined purpose.
It is this purpose that improves the social functioning within the orbit of social work profession and guides the relationship with the client. The purpose of establishing relationship is known to and accepted by both worker and client. Relationship is established around this purpose. Persons frequently tend to anticipate what gains, losses or experiences will accrue to them out of a particular event or contact with a person.
We all experience how expectations of the future affect our behaviour in the present, and which, in turn, influences our future behaviour and our sense of security and well-being. Expectations are major determinants of behaviour. This warrants clarification about the expectations in precise terms each has from the other.
In general, three types of expectations are always found in the client-worker relationship. The second is, what are the expectations of the client from the worker? In other words, the expectations of the worker and that of the client should be in accord as to what will be going on between them in the transactions between them.
The more discrepancy between what the clients expects and what happens in the client-worker transactions, the lesser are the chances for the client to continue in the relationship.
Client Relationships and Ethical Boundaries for Social Workers in Child Welfare - posavski-obzor.info
The third expectation is of positive results following the interaction with the worker. The worker must confirm or work out these expectations to seek deeper involvement and continuance of the client in the helping process. Thus, one tries to know what the client feels and experiences without getting lost in the process.
Empathy communicates that the worker understands the depth of the feeling of the client and that he is with him. It requires an imaginative capacity.
Comments like the following communicate empathy: The helper can be effective in communicating empathic understanding when he: Communication plays a very vital role in establishing relationship and is most important of all. To be genuine and congruent, the worker relies on his moment to moment felt experiences in his relationship with the client.
A genuine and congruent relationship consists of a consistent and honest openness and behaviour matching with the verbalised intentions and values of social work. The worker should be consistent in his communications and behaviour towards the client. If he says that he is honest, he must accept it when he commits mistakes.
Similarly, his claim to help the client must get expressed in his efforts.
Client Relationships and Ethical Boundaries for Social Workers in Child Welfare
Congruence implies workers being what he feels inside. The Indian scriptures emphasise this when they exhort men to be consistent in their thinking, talking and acting upon. It means, then, that we must try to translate our inner feelings into behaviour if it does not show up properly. Rogers has emphasised this as one of the most important factors others being empathy and positive regards for effecting change m clients. Acceptance, as usually understood, is to accept like the person but not all his actions.
Some authors explain this in terms of receiving what the clients offer of themselves with a respect for their capacity and worth, belief in their capacity to grow and change, and with awareness that their behaviour can be understood as a means to cope with the situations.