As human service professionals there are times when confidentiality becomes part of the relationship when working with others. Whether this comes from agency policy or required by law, confidentiality is a cornerstone element across human services professions as it helps to build trust with others. Generally speaking, human service professionals have a responsibility to those with whom they work, but they also have a responsibility to their agency, to their profession, and to their community. Ethical dilemmas involving confidentiality arise when there are conflicts between responsibilities.
As noted above confidentiality is a cornerstone element across helping relationships; however, there are times confidentiality must be broken (also known as exceptions to confidentiality). The rules and laws of when this occurs vary by organizational policy and/or state law. They vary also between human services workers and clergy. Based on your understanding of this weekâ€™s material, what are the times when issues should be reported that require confidentiality to be broken? For someone you have been helping for quite some time and has significantly benefitted from your help, how would you feel about having to report this person when he or she reveals something that requires confidentiality to be broken? In other words, how would you feel being a mandated reporter? Elaborate as to why you think this way. For those who currently work for human service organizations or work in a ministry, what are the policies that exist regarding confidentiality?
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