Social Workers as Mandated Reporters: Conflicted Over Confidentiality? Part IV

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Social Worker ethics

I spoke with a social worker who pledged not to reveal to anyone what I shared with her. I found out a few days ago that she divulged that information to the VA and then I received a letter from the Veterans administration that they were told what the social worker said and now the VA is proposing a finding of incompetency which will be detrimental to me. What recourse do I have? What can I do to stop them?

Eileen Zirngibl more than 3 years ago


This is not a question we can answer on this site for your specific situation. However, be aware that there are limitations to confidentiality (as outlined in the article). Section 1.07 of the NASW Code of Ethics states, "(c) Social workers should protect the confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of professional service, except for compelling professional reasons. The general expectation that social workers will keep information confidential does not apply when disclosure is necessary to prevent serious, foreseeable, and imminent harm to a client or others." If you believe the social worker has violated professional ethics, there are steps you can take, such as (1) talking to your social worker to determine and better understand what happened, (2) talking to someone else within the social worker's agency, (3) reporting to the state licensing board, (4) reporting to the social worker's professional association. Which step(s) to take depend on the specifics of your situation. Also, the VA may have a process to appeal the determination, if you believe it is incorrect. more than 3 years ago

Privacy and Confidentiality

When you have been assigned a case involving rape, during your initial evaluation you realize that the rapist/perpetrator is a member of the victims family. regardless of age is there alternatives to look at in regards to privacy & confidentiality also among informed consent?

Leighann Marsh more than 8 years ago

Our privacy

What rights to privacy do we as sw have. How can we protect our own private lives from clients. I know that we should not self-disclose if this will harm the client but what actual protection do we have? Does a client's right to self determination trump our own right to privacy, and safety? Any in put is much appreciated!

Christina Dawn Briggs more than 8 years ago

SWs privacy

I'd need to know more about the situation, so feel free to contact me through my email at The quick answer is: of course, social workers have a right to privacy, but everything has limits.

Kathryn Krase more than 8 years ago

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