Ethical Decision Making in School Mental Health

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Sep 30, 2010 - Social Science - 288 pages
Ethical predicaments are endemic for mental health professionals working in a host setting like schools. New interventions, evolving technologies, and a patchwork of ethical guidelines and legal codes create a constant stream of new ethical dilemmas. Quick answers and simple solutions are rare, but with the seven-stage model presented here, readers will learn to apply an ethical decision-making process that minimizes their liability while better protecting their students. Beginning with an introduction to the moral, legal, and clinical foundations that undergird ethical practice, the authors outline an ethical decision-making process to handle conundrums that includes seven major steps: know yourself, analyze the dilemma, seek consultation, identify courses of action, manage the clinical concerns, enact the decision, and reflect on the process. Each chapter describes these steps in detail, provides case examples to illustrate their application, and presents exercises that encourage readers to integrate them into their everyday practice. This handy guide is written for the school social workers, school psychologists, school nurses, and school counselors who are responsible for acting in their students' best interests, as well as post-secondary students studying to enter one of these professions. It will be a trusted resource for school services professionals seeking clear but nuanced guidance in resolving thorny ethical issues.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Chapter 1 Knowing Yourself and Your Professional Responsibilities
Chapter 2 Analyzing the Predicament
Chapter 3 Seeking Consultation
Chapter 4 Identifying Courses of Action
Chapter 5 Managing Clinical Concerns
Chapter 6 Implementing the Decision
Chapter 7 Reflecting on the Process

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

James C. Raines, PhD, LCSW, is Chair of the Department of Health, Human Services, and Public Policy at California State University Monterey Bay. He was Chair of the Standards & Practices Committee of the School Social Work Association of America from 2005-2008, where he envisioned and served as general editor for the SSWAA Ethical Guideline Series. Currently, he is President of the Midwest School Social Work Council. Nic T. Dibble, MSW, LSSW, CISW, is the State Consultant for School Social Work Services at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. He has provided training on ethics and professional boundaries for several years to pupil services professionals nationally.

Bibliographic information