Yesterday we looked at the NASW Code of Ethics revisions and how they impact the topics of sexual relationships, education and training, and conflicts of interest when it comes to the use of technology. This was the final installment of our four part blog series reviewing the most substantial changes made to the NASW Code of Ethics since 1996! Did you get yesterday's practice question correct? Find out below!
A social worker is a vocal supporter of a local politician running for office. The social worker makes several posts on her personal social media page that speak negatively about the opposing candidate and his party. A client that the social worker has been meeting with for several months leaves a voicemail referencing these posts and exclaims, “I didn’t know I was being counseled by some left wing nut job.” What should the social worker do to avoid future situations like this?
- Modify their social media settings so clients are unable to see their personal/political posts.
- Discuss their political views at the outset of therapy to ensure they align with their clients’ values.
- Trust that clients should not be viewing their personal social media pages.
- Acknowledge that this is an unavoidable occurrence and address it on a case by case basis.
The best answer for this question is A.
- The COE states that social workers should be aware that posting personal information can cause harm to clients. Social workers need to be cognizant of what they are posting that could be seen by clients and could subsequently damage the therapeutic relationship. Personal social media posts should be kept on private settings (A).
- It is inappropriate for the social worker to discuss their political views with clients (B).
- We cannot control what our clients choose to search on social media sites (C). It is important to keep in mind that anything we post publicly online could be seen by a client.
- This is not an unavoidable situation (D). While we cannot keep our clients from searching for us on social media, we can control what we choose to post privately vs. publicly and should be mindful of what we post.
Which answer did you choose? Does the rationale fit with your understanding of what the COE tells us about our responsibilities when using social media? If you have any further questions feel free to check in with a TDC coach. We are here to support you all along the way. And if you came up with the same answer-great job! You are right on the right track to getting licensed.
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