Chances are someone has asked you to keep a secret at some point in your life. But what if that secret involved someone harming themselves or another person who was in immediate danger? Would you feel compelled to tell?
Thankfully, this question of when to divulge information to outside parties is not a mystery in social work. There are strict laws that govern when a social worker must report to authorities a client’s disclosures. At the beginning of treatment, the social worker should inform the client of these limits to confidentiality in order to avoid any confusion or feelings of distrust.
In this Discussion, you examine the requirements of mandated reporting and your views about confidentiality.
- Describe at least two circumstances when you are legally mandated to break client confidentiality and disclose selected privileged information without the client’s consent.
- Identify a time when someone broke your confidence, and explain how it made you feel.
- Describe how your experiences related to confidentiality have shaped your view on mandate reporting.
Cummins, L., K., & Sevel, J., A. (2017). Social work skills for beginning direct practice: Text, workbook, and interactive web based case studies (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
- Appendix B, “HIPAA and Confidentiality Issues” (pp. 299-303)