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Application: Vignette: Collaborative Crisis Intervention at a Domestic Violence Shelter
The collaborative nature of crisis intervention benefits clients in a variety of ways, but can also bring up various ethical issues and considerations. Human services professionals often are privy to the most personal, sensitive aspects of clients' lives. When a client's situation calls for collaboration, it may be unavoidable that some of these details are shared with other parties, whether they are medical professionals, police officers, lawyers, or employees in government agencies. In some cases, human services professionals may be able to secure the services or help of other people or organizations while maintaining the confidentiality of their clients' identities. In other cases, this may not be possible and it is thus the job of the human services professional to maintain the utmost in sensitivity and discretion. Guidelines from organizations including the National Organization for Human Services, the American Psychological Association, and the American Counseling Association can help human services professionals navigate this complicated ethical terrain. Above all, human services professionals have the responsibility to treat clients with respect, empathy, and nonjudgmental acceptance. They must keep the details of their interactions with clients confidential, except when these interactions indicate that the client or someone else is in immediate danger.
To prepare for this assignment:
- Review the articles, "Replacing the Revolving Door: A Collaborative Approach to Treating Individuals in Crisis " and "The Emergency Department and Victims of Sexual Violence: An Assessment of Preparedness to Help," noting how the principles of collaborative crisis intervention presented in these articles might be applied to other crisis situations.
- Review Chapter 5 in your course text, Crisis Intervention Strategies, paying particular attention to the legal, ethical, and moral principles of confidentiality in case handling.
- Review the National Organization for Human Services' "Council for Standards in Human Service Education," the American Psychological Association's "Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct," and the American Counseling Association's "ACA Code of Ethics," noting the ethical considerations that should be taken into account when working on a collaborative crisis intervention.
- Read the vignette that follows. As you read, consider the collaborative aspects of working at a domestic violence shelter, the challenges you might encounter in facilitating this collaboration, and the ethical issues that might arise.Vignette: Working at a Domestic Violence Shelter You are a case worker in a domestic violence shelter. You assist shelter residents with identifying community resources that they need. Such resources may include legal and law enforcement aid, transportation services, medical care, and other functions of living. Your shelter provides housing for the battered women and men as well as their children. The agency also provides individual, family, and group counseling services.
The assignment (2–3 pages):
- Identify the community partners with whom you might collaborate to provide services to your residents, and, for each, explain why this collaborative relationship might be necessary.
- Explain the role you might play and the actions you might take in facilitating these relationships.
- Explain which services might be most challenging to provide to shelter residents, assuming this shelter is located in your community, and why.
- Explain at least two specific ethical issues you might consider or have to address while working with the shelter residents.