Work dating ethics
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This may lead to dating and social worker-client sex.
The Hippocratic Oath obliges physicians to keep “far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction, and especially from the pleasures of love with women and men.” In this same spirit, the National Association of Social Workers’ states: “Social workers should under no circumstances engage in sexual activities or sexual contact with current clients, whether such contact is consensual or forced.” (standard 1.09[a]) In recent years, various helping professions have added prohibitions concerning practitioners’ sexual relationships with former clients. For many years, Melvin provided clinical services to children and families, specializing in child behavior management problems, couples counseling, and family therapy. 5 Melvin was a clinical social worker in independent practice.Within three weeks, Melvin and Iris were involved sexually.Sadly, the pattern associated with Melvin’s unethical client involvement is not unusual among the small percentage of social workers who enter into inappropriate dual relationships.Melvin met with Ezra and his mother—sometimes individually and sometimes together—for approximately seven months.
For several months, Melvin, who recently divorced, felt attracted to Iris.
He found himself thinking about her on and off throughout the day.
Melvin went out of his way to spend extra clinical time with Iris during their counseling sessions; when possible, Melvin scheduled their sessions for the end of the day so that no other client’s appointment would force them to end the session after precisely 50 minutes.
The good news is that relatively few social workers become involved in such relationships. Do No Harm Sexual misconduct between clinical social workers and clients takes various forms.
It may include overt and explicit sexual behavior—such as sexual intercourse, oral sex, or fondling—or sexually suggestive behavior, such as using sexual humor and making suggestive remarks or glances.
The overwhelming majority of social workers maintain clear and professional boundaries with clients.