HSP 3330 – ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN HUMAN SERVICES
INTRODUCTION: As noted above, my name is. My Doctorates is in Counseling Education and Supervision, and my Master’s degree is in Community Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. I have conducted psychotherapy with families, couples and individuals for over ten years. I have worked in public and private, as well as intensive outpatient settings. My most recent clinical position involved directing over 6 different outpatient programs, which included completing mental, and substance abuse evaluations, family therapy and couples therapy.
Required Prerequisites: HSP 2030 or other class related to counseling theory. Students who have completed the 5 Human Service Core Classes will be better prepared for the topics covered in this class.
Welfel, E. R. Ethics in Counseling & Psychotherapy. (2013). Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.
Lane, D. K. The Legal Guide to Practicing Psychotherapy in Colorado. You may use 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 or 2017 Available from Bradford Publishing at 17th and Wazee
If you as waiting for your student loan you can print a copy of the Mental Health Statute prohibited activities; you will need this to complete case studies.
This course surveys ethical, legal and professional issues facing the human services professional. The course is designed to teach a process of ethical decision-making and to increase awareness of the complexities in the counseling field – codes of ethics, legal considerations, standards of practice, certification, licensure and role identity of counselors. Students enrolled in this class are given assignments to develop critical thinking skills. The course satisfies the requirement for jurisprudence training for the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies and the ethics requirement for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division. Students who apply for state certification must access the jurisprudence exam on the DORA website and submit the completed exam with the application.
By the end of this class, students might not have definitive answers. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to
1. Define terms applying to ethical, legal and moral concepts in the helping professions.
2. Describe the difference between moral and ethical standards.
3. Describe the difference between standards of practice and ethical standards
4. Describe issues that might arise in agencies as a result of conflicting expectations of administrators, supervisors and clinicians.
5. Compare and contrast subjective and objective data and assessment.
6. Identify potential consultants and resources necessary to making legal and ethical decisions.
7. Recognize that every professional situation has many dimensions and document the information utilized in making a recommendation.
8. Describe the relevance of confidentiality regulations to the helping professions.
9. Describe the difference between supervision and consultation
10. Demonstrate the use of critical thinking skills and documentation to identify and support a response to legal and ethical questions.
11. Identify the common mistakes made in Human Service agencies and the ethical standards that apply to these situations.
12. Describe the reasons for maintaining contact with their professional organization and the standards set by that group
13. Describe the multicultural and diversity issues that impact an ethical and/or legal situation.
14. Describe the ethical, confidentiality standards governing helping professionals who interact with the courts and with police departments.
Attendance and Participation
This course is designed as a dialogue. It is only through an open exchange of ideas in a safe environment that learning and growth occurs. Consequently, each student is responsible for contributing to a classroom climate that feels safe and comfortable for everyone, an environment in which each individual’s contribution is heard and valued. Individuals who are usually quite active in classroom discussions are asked to give space to others and not to dominate the discussions while individuals who are more reticent are asked to push yourselves to voice ideas and experiences. Because this course is interactive in nature, regular attendance and participation is a major portion of the grade. If a student misses a class session, it is that person’s responsibility to obtain the material presented in class including class assignments. It is also a student’s responsibility to come to class prepared (having read the required material), engaged in discussions with other students and consultants and prepared to participate in class activities. If a student must miss class, please contact the instructor and give a reason for missing class.
Class participation is based on actively engaging in class discussions and on being able to keep quiet and listen respectfully to the discussion of other students. Students are required to bring with them an example of an ethical dilemma related to the topic of discussion on the days assigned. On occasion, a dilemma might not relate to the current topic, but is of such significance that the student thinks it is import to bring it to the attention of the class. When actual situations within the student’s experience are shared, names and locations should be changed so confidentiality is not breached. Using the ethics class to work on personal issues or to solve problems arising at work or school is not appropriate. For resources to assist you in working on such issues please see the instructor during office hours.
Cell phones must be turned off during class. Missing more than 2 class sessions or arriving late or leaving class early will result in significantly lowering of the course grade. A student cannot pass this class if 4 or more classes (25% of the class meetings) are missed; missing 4 classes will result in an F. Missing 3 classes will result in a drop in letter grade.
For College and Department Policies, See attached page for policies on Special Needs, Religious Holidays, Grades of Incomplete and NC Policy. Please note the new NC policy.
*Pay attention to due dates for Case Studies. LATE PAPERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
*Papers/Case Studies that do not meet the basic requirement of 3 to 5 pages not including cover page and reference page WILL NOT BE GRADED, YOU WILL RECEIVE 0=F
All case studies must include the consultant information.
Evaluation and Grading:
One examination will be given. The first will cover the information from the book and class up to that point in the course. The final will be a 10 page requiring students to apply ethical and legal principles. Questions will cover text, lecture and handout information. No make-up exams are given.
Final examinations will not be returned to students.
Points may be accumulated through test scores, class participation, case studies and reflection paper. There are no special projects to raise grades and the grade corresponds to the total number of points earned.
Grades will be calculated on the basis of
Examination 100 points
3 Case Studies 50 points each
Reflection Paper 50 points
Final Paper 100 points
Participation and Attendance is highly expected in this class. Please review the class attendance policy. Total points
A = 400-360
B = 359-320
C = 319-280
D = 279-240
F = 239-below
*There are no special projects to raise grades and the grade corresponds to the total number of points earned.
The focus is on being able to utilize ethical guidelines, assess the situation, and think through what is required and to discuss the questions objectively in the third person. Students may state their own opinions as long as they support the opinion with objective data from the code of ethics, texts, lectures, or other references rather than intuitive reasoning. When citing personal opinion, it can be worded as “In the opinion of the author …..” A bibliography showing references cited is required.
Case Studies: There will be three case studies completed over the semester – see calendar for due dates. Case studies are numbered in the order in which they are to be submitted. Three or four questions will be given on the bottom of each scenario as a guide. All case studies responses will be written in third person. Do not write a narrative; the grade is based on your ability to apply critical thinking skills in analyzing, applying ethical standards and supporting the reasons for your decisions.
*Case Studies papers are 3 to 5 pages which do not include the cover page or reference page.
*Each case study paper will require a consultant. The information taken from the consultant will need to be intergraded into the body of your case studies. There are three required subtitles, Ethics, Legal, and Moral Issues, however you may choose to have add additional subtitles as needed; example; Possible Outcome, Summary, etc.
*There is an additional page that is required, this page addresses why this consultant was chosen, what is their experience and education in this field, what was the most important thing you learned from this consultant, and would you choose this consultant again. There must also be contact information for your consultant on this page, example; phone number, address or email information.
Reflection Paper: Each student is responsible for at least one field experience during this summer semester. You may choose to observe and write about
1. A court hearing related to a social or mental health issue. The actions and recommendations of social workers, caseworker, and other specialists who report to the court can be observed in this setting.
2. There is a few mental health board meetings being held during this 17 weeks you may choose to attend. These boards’ reviews make decisions related to grievances filed against persons licensed by the state of Colorado. The times and date of board meetings can be found at the website, dora.state.co.us; mental health division.
Again, as stated above for each case study, the student is required to find a consultant who has expertise related to the facts of the situation and to describe how the consultation affected the decisions made concerning the actions taken in the case study. The purpose of this activity is to establish the pattern of consulting peers about ethical issues. Some students wait until a few days before the case study is due before finding a consultant and then have difficulty finding one. Plan ahead. Read the case study and begin work on it at least 2 weeks before it is due. Once issues are identified, find a person who will be the consultant for what you have written.
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