Risk Management in Social Work

Preventing Professional Malpractice, Liability, and Disciplinary Action

Frederic G. Reamer

Columbia University Press

Risk Management in Social Work

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Pub Date: November 2014

ISBN: 9780231167833

384 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $40.00£32.95

Pub Date: November 2014

ISBN: 9780231167826

384 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $120.00£99.95

Pub Date: November 2014

ISBN: 9780231538435

384 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $39.99£32.95

Risk Management in Social Work

Preventing Professional Malpractice, Liability, and Disciplinary Action

Frederic G. Reamer

Columbia University Press

This new text is based on Frederic G. Reamer's key reference for practitioners, Social Work Malpractice and Liability: Strategies for Prevention. Rooted in his own experiences as an expert witness in court and licensing board cases, the volume introduces the concepts of negligence, malpractice, and liability before turning to the subject of risk management. Reflecting on recent legal cases and research, Reamer identifies a variety of problems in the social work field relating to privacy and confidentiality, improper treatment and delivery of services, impaired practitioners, supervision, consultations and referrals, fraud and deception, and termination of service. He also explores the unprecedented ethical challenges created by new digital technologies—such as online counseling, video counseling, and practitioners' use of social networks and social media—and describes current issues relating to HIPAA compliance and access to electronic health records (EHR) and health information exchanges (HIE).He concludes with practical suggestions for social workers named as defendants in lawsuits and respondents in licensing board complaints.
Written by one of our premier scholars in social work ethics, this book provides students and practitioners with a comprehensive view of the practical ways of addressing ethical issues in practice. It features the following seven key steps for ethical decisionmaking: consulting colleagues; accessing supervisors; integrating the NASW Code of Ethics into practice; keeping up-to date on relevant laws, policies, and regulations; reviewing professional literature; obtaining legal counsel; and carefully documenting decision-making steps—all essential skills for twenty-first-century social work practice. Michael J. Austin, Unviersity of California, Berkeley
Frederic Reamer's work is a significant contribution to the field. Containing vital details on changing ethical issues and laws related to cybertherapy, social networking, social media, and healthcare ethics, this book is a must-have for practitioners and managers and is perfect for advanced classes in both clinical and administrative social work education. Deborah Borman, Northwestern University School of Law
Original and authoritative.... With its strong emphasis on prevention, and the sound promotion of a prophylactic perspective, Risk Management in Social World, in my judgment, will be accepted as the definitive text on the topic. Clearly written, with detailed notes and useful references, full legal citations, and a masterful application of our profession's Code of Ethics, Frederic Reamer's newest text quite simply is a gift to all of us who are members of the social work profession. Journal of Teaching in Social Work
Preface
1. Professional Risk Management: An Overview
Professional Malpractice and Liability
Key Concepts in Risk Management
The Elements of Malpractice and Liability
Process Versus Outcome and the Standard of Care
Damages in Liability Cases
2. Confidentiality and Privileged Communication
The Concept of Privacy
Common Confidentiality Issues
The Concept of Privileged Communication
Responding to Subpoenas and Court Orders
Unintentional Disclosure of Confidential Information
3. The Delivery of Services
Clients' Rights
Informed Consent
Clinical Assessment and Intervention
Negligent Intervention
Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships
Managing Boundary Risks
Undue Influence
Suicide
Involuntary Civil Commitment
Protective Services
Defamation of Character
Digital Technology and Social Media
4. Impaired Social Workers
The Nature of Impairment
Extent of Impairment
Causes of Impairment
Sexual Abuse of Clients
Practitioner Substance Abuse
Response to Impairment
Risk Management Strategy
The Challenge for Social Work
5. Supervision: Clients and Staff
Client Supervision
Staff Supervision
Supervision Case Law
Supervision of Volunteers
Liability and Social Work Education
Preventing Supervisory Liability
6. Consultation, Referral, Documentation, and Records
Consultation in Social Work
Referral in Social Work
Social Work Documentation and Records
Evolution of Social Work Standards
Risk Management Standards and Guidelines
7. Deception and Fraud
Self-interested Deception and Fraud
Deception and Fraud Motivated by Altruism
8. Termination of Service
The Concept of Abandonment
Premature Termination
Prevention Strategy
9. Responding to Lawsuits and Ethics Complaints: The Role of Prevention
In the Event of a Lawsuit or Licensing Board Complaint
The Role of the Expert Witness
Preventing Lawsuits and Licensing Board Complaints: Good Practice
Preventing Lawsuits and Licensing Board Complaints: Good Ethics
Ethical Dilemmas and Decision Making
Conducting an Ethics Audit
Appendix: Sample Forms
Notes
References
Legal Citations
Index

Read "Professional Risk Management," an excerpt from the first chapter:

About the Author

Frederic G. Reamer is professor at the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College. His many books include Social Work Values and Ethics; Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in the Human Services; Teens in Crisis: How the Industry Serving Struggling Teens Helps and Hurts Our Kids (with Deborah H. Siegel); and Criminal Lessons: Case Studies and Commentary on Crime and Justice.