re socw6070 response to 2 students ethics and the law wk 6

Due 07/06/2019 by 2PM EST

Respond to at least two colleagues in one of the following ways:

  • Expand upon your colleague’s response to the Bradley case.
  • Critique your colleague’s strategy for addressing the ethical dilemma he or she has described.

Sara Response

The social worker in the Bradley case is advocating for Tiffany Bradley to maintain her privacy without becoming “the poster child” for human trafficking and prostitution but the administrator is highly motivated to have her appear in their marketing materials with a picture of her face (Laureate Education, 2014). It appears as though the administrator is considering the Teen First program before the health of client which violates the social work code of ethics principle to respect the dignity and worth of the person which explains that as social workers we work to “promote clients’ self-determination.” (National Association of Social Workers, 2014). Even when the social worker addresses possible harm if Tiffany chose to go back to her pimp and sex working, the administrator continues pushing for the topic to be brought up with Tiffany anyway. This could cause the professional relationship between the worker and Tiffany to be damaged and possibly push her out of counseling into her old way of life even faster.

Leaders have an obligation to use their power for the common good rather than to further their own, or the organization’s agenda (Northouse, 2018). The administrator in the Bradley case is not acting as an ethical leader because her agenda is the Teen First program marketing pictures rather than the health of people. She is abusing her power to influence the social worker to use a client in a way the social worker has determined would cause more harm than good. In this situation, rather than using a member of the community that does not seem to be in a strong place within her treatment goals, I would suggest either holding a team meeting to discuss possible candidates that would be a better match, or using photos available on the internet of the target population the agency is attempting to reach. Each of these strategies would respect the health and well-being of client’s but also protect their treatment progress and not damage relationships. The social workers that are assigned to each client would have the best understanding of a client’s health and willingness to participate in advertising. One other way would be to solicit volunteers as a whole, rather than specifically targeting one client over another. In this scenario, the clients have the power to volunteer or completely ignore the request rather than being put on the spot and feeling as though they have some obligation to participate because their therapist or a manager is asking them to.

A hypothetical situation that could conflict with my personal and professional ethics is continuing to prescribe medications when the agency has proof that the client is misusing or abusing them either by taking more than prescribed to obtain different effects or selling them for profit. Medication diversion is something I feel strongly about because it can have such harmful effects both on the client getting the medication but also the larger community as potentially addictive and harmful medications are being put out into the community for little to no cost. Personally, I would seek to require clients to sign a contract that if they are found to be engaging in abuse or diversion of medications, they will not be able to get a prescription unless they fulfill some type of requirement including possible treatment. If the client is engaging in diversion, they are ultimately committing a crime and can be punishable by law. Harm reduction is important, but ethically, the greater good is being put at more risk than necessary when the issue is confirmed. In this situation, I would first go to my supervisor to discuss my beliefs and the values and vision of the agency. It is possible that I would need to gain perspective on a specific case or more information about the agency’s values overall. Ethics require that I continue to respect the worth and dignity of the client I am working with, but I would struggle to respect their treatment program if it continued to include medication prescriptions when it is confirmed that they are diverting. Supervision and leadership consultation would be my first step in addressing this issue which would help me determine the next steps.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014a). Sessions: Bradley (Episode 5 of 42) [Video file]. Retrieved from

National Association of Social Workers. (2014). Code of ethics. Retrieved from

Northouse, P. G. (2018). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Sage.


Hilda Response

The strategy you would use to address the Teen First director’s request if you were the social worker in the Bradley case.

           The Teen First director is using her power as a leader to encourage the social worker’s assistance. She is requesting that the social worker convince Tiffany Bradly to use her photo in the Teen First promotions (Laureate Education, 2014). The social worker has direct interaction with Tiffany’s and her opinion needs to be valued. The director is using her power to influence the social worker. The use of power by a leader can be negative and identifies the leader’s ethics (Northouse, 2018) The director’s approach to the social worker is passive aggressive and needs a direct strategic response. 

I would use an altruism strategy to address the Teen First director request. Altruism approach is to promote the best interest of clients even if it is at the detriment of the social worker (Northouse, 2013). As a social worker, I am aware that my refusal to advise Tiffany of the director’s request will have consequences. 

A hypothetical situation in which an organization’s decision conflicts with your personal/professional ethics but remains within the law.

The definition of homelessness for the purpose of housing can create a personal/professional ethics conflict. If a homeless person living in a tent sleeps at a friend’s house the night before a housing service appointment they are no longer considered homeless. They would not qualify for homeless housing services. This scenario is a bad for the client and the homeless program. If the social worker answers yes falsely to the question where did you slept last night? they can lose their government funding. If the social worker answers correctly the client will not receive housing and will go back to living in a tent.

           I would not risk losing the government funding and schedule another appointment for the next day and advise the client on government regulations. As a social worker, it is my responsibility to be honest with clients and truthful on all documents. Honesty also means being transparent and genuine with clients  (Northouse, 2018). Honesty and transparency will create a positive outcome for the client and for the organization.


Laureate Education (Producer). (2014). Sessions: Bradley (Episode 5 of 42) [Video file]. Retrieved from

Northouse, P. G. (2018). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Sage.

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed). Los Angeles: Sage Publications

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