Disciplines:
  • Social Work
  • Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Kathleen Boland, ACSW, LCSW, PhD
Peer Reviewer(s): Laura Gibson, PhD, LCSW
Item#: B4214
Contents: 1 Course Book (62 pages)

Doing the Right Thing: Essential Ethics in Everyday Practice



Price $29.95
Item # B4214
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Social workers and mental health professionals need to be aware of ethical issues and dilemmas in their practice and follow a well-reasoned process that results in an informed and insightful ethical resolution to contemporary dilemmas. Practitioners must grapple with issues related to client autonomy, confidentiality, informed consent, and scarce resources. Careful ethical deliberation and professional competence in initiating discussions with clients about these issues are essential and required skills of helping professionals. This basic-level course is designed to address the ethical challenges encountered by the beginning practitioner as well as by professionals with advanced skills. The overarching theme throughout this course is that good professional practice requires an awareness of ethical issues that may arise in practice and demands a reasoned approach toward ethical analysis, decision making, and action. 

This course focuses on professional values and identity and the responsibilities of social workers and other professionals in providing ethically sound care to clients. The course provides information about a practitioner’s identification and resolutions of ethical dilemmas, including ethical decision making models, the inference of competing professional values on the decision making process, and required professional competencies. The codes of ethics and professional standards from the professions of social (NASW), psychology (APA), and counseling (ACA and AMHCA) are presented. The course provides a brief history of social work ethics and pays great attention to topics relevant to all human services and helping professionals such as boundaries, multiple relationships, informed consent, record keeping, uses of technology, unethical behavior or colleagues, and risk management strategies are reviewed.

Social Workers will receive 3 (Ethics) continuing education clock hours upon successfully completing this course.

3 NBCC hours will be awarded upon completion of this course.

New Jersey Social Workers -  This course has been pre-approved for 3 Ethics credits by the Assoc. of Social Work Boards (NJ CE course approval program provider #52).


Course Objectives
  • Describe the significance of identifying and analyzing ethical dilemmas.
  • Identify the influences of professional values and identity on ethical practice. 
  • Describe the historical evolution of social work ethics and the code of ethics.
  • Apply ethical decision-making models to guide resolution of ethical dilemmas.
  • Recognize ethical and legal issues in the therapeutic relationship that give rise to ethical dilemmas.
  • Identify ethical responsibilities in service delivery necessary to ensure sound ethical practice.
Kathleen Boland, ACSW, LCSW, PhD, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, PA, an MSW from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY, and a PhD in human development/social work from Marywood University in Scranton, PA. Dr. Boland is a professor of social work at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, where she has been on the social work faculty since 2000 and served as associate provost from 2007 to 2010. She previously served as a social worker in a number of community hospitals in Pennsylvania and New York, where she directed and coordinated social work activities for patients and performed quality assurance activities. Dr. Boland has written and lectured extensively on the many aspects of ethics and ethical decision making in social work practice. 

Laura Gibson, PhD, LCSW, is an assistant professor of social work at Brescia University in Owensboro, KY. She earned her PhD in social work from the University of Louisville. She has taught at the baccalaureate level, including courses on ethical considerations in social work practice. Dr. Gibson has written numerous book reviews related to social work values and ethics. She is a manuscript reviewer and book review editor for the Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics. She also writes test items for the Association of Social Work Boards licensing examination. 

    • Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from the date the course is ordered.
    • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
    • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
    • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.