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Home    >    The Social Work Ethics Casebook, Revised 2nd Edition
The Social Work Ethics Casebook, Revised 2nd Edition
Cases and Commentary
Frederic G. Reamer
ISBN: 978-0-87101-598-3. 2024. Item #5983. 196 pages.
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Earn 6.5 CEUs for reading this title! For more information, visit the Social Work Online CE Institute.

First published in 2009, The Social Work Ethics Casebook was the first ethics casebook, including extensive cases and commentary, written exclusively for social workers. The second edition was published in 2018. This revised second edition reflects changes made in the 2021 Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers and includes discussion of new and updated ethics standards, especially pertaining to cultural competence and practitioner self-care.

This book’s realistic ethics cases provide a useful tool for discussing ethical dilemmas and ethical decision making. Following each set of cases, Reamer includes commentary highlighting key ethics concepts and references to relevant standards in the Code of Ethics. The casebook draws attention to ethical issues related to confidentiality and privacy, informed consent, client self-determination, professional paternalism, boundary issues and dual relationships, conflicts of interest, cultural competence and diversity, use of technology, termination of services, administration, practitioner impairment, commitments to employers, social work education and training, and more. Each section of the book also includes discussion questions designed to enhance readers’ understanding and application of important ethics concepts.

Special Features:

  • Complex ethical dilemmas cited in diverse areas of social work practice (such as mental health, healthcare, child welfare, family services, substance use disorders treatment, elder services, school social work, social work administration, policy practice, social work research, and evaluation)

  • Relevant standards in the NASW Code of Ethics highlighted throughout

  • Ideal format for use by social workers involved with teaching, supervision, training, continuing education, and consultation

The Nature of Social Work Ethics

The Evolution of Social Work Ethics
Codes of Ethics

Ethical Responsibilities to Clients

Commitment to Clients
Self-Determination and Paternalism
Informed Consent
Practitioner Competence
Cultural Competence
Conflicts of Interest and Boundary Issues
Privacy and Confidentiality
Access to Records
Sexual Relationships
Physical Contact
Payment for Services
Clients Who Lack Decision-Making Capacity
Referral for Services
Termination of Services

Ethical Responsibilities to Colleagues

Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Sexual Relationships
Impairment of Colleagues
Incompetence of Colleagues
Unethical Conduct of Colleagues

Ethical Responsibilities in Practice Settings

Supervision and Consultation
Education and Training
Client Records
Client Transfer
Commitments to Employers
Labor–Management Disputes

Ethical Responsibilities as Professionals

Professional Competence
Private Conduct
Dishonesty, Fraud, and Deception
Acknowledging Credit

Ethical Responsibilities to the Social Work Profession and the Broader Society

Integrity of the Profession
Evaluation and Research
Social Welfare
Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers
Relevant Literature

About the Author
Frederic G. Reamer, PhD, is professor emeritus in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College. His research and teaching have addressed a wide range of human services issues, including mental health, healthcare, criminal justice, public welfare, and professional ethics. Dr. Reamer has served as a social worker in correctional and mental health settings and has lectured extensively nationally and internationally on the subjects of professional ethics and professional malpractice and liability. Dr. Reamer received the Distinguished Contributions to Social Work Education award from the Council on Social Work Education (1995), the Presidential Award from National Association of Social Workers (NASW; 1997), the International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award from NASW (2012), and the Excellence in Ethics Award from NASW (2015). In 2016, Dr. Reamer was named a Social Work Pioneer by NASW. In 2023, he received the Mit Joyner Presidential Award from NASW.

Dr. Reamer’s books include Risk Management in the Behavioral Health Professions: A Practical Guide to Preventing Malpractice and Licensing-Board Complaints (Columbia University Press); Risk Management in Social Work: Preventing Professional Malpractice, Liability, and Disciplinary Action (Columbia University Press); Heinous Crime: Cases, Causes, and Consequences (Columbia University Press); On the Parole Board: Reflections on Crime, Punishment, Redemption, and Justice (Columbia University Press); A Guide to Essential Human Services (NASW Press); Moral Distress and Injury in Human Services: Case, Causes, and Strategies for Prevention (NASW Press); Criminal Lessons: Case Studies and Commentary on Crime and Justice (Columbia University Press); Social Work Values and Ethics (Columbia University Press); Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in the Human Services (Columbia University Press); Ethical Standards in Social Work: A Review of the NASW Code of Ethics (revised 3rd ed.; NASW Press); The Social Work Ethics Audit: A Risk Management Tool (NASW Press); Teens in Crisis: How the Industry Serving Struggling Teens Helps and Hurts Our Kids (Columbia University Press; with Deborah H. Siegel); Finding Help for Struggling Teens: A Guide for Parents and the Professionals Who Work with Them (NASW Press; with Deborah H. Siegel); Ethics Education in Social Work (Council on Social Work Education); The Foundations of Social Work Knowledge (Columbia University Press; editor and contributor); Ethics and Risk Management in Online and Distance Social Work (Cognella); Social Work Research and Evaluation Skills (Columbia University Press); The Philosophical Foundations of Social Work (Columbia University Press); AIDS and Ethics (Columbia University Press; editor and contributor); Ethical Dilemmas in Social Service (Columbia University Press); Rehabilitating Juvenile Justice (Columbia University Press; coauthor, Charles H. Shireman); and The Teaching of Social Work Ethics (The Hastings Center; coauthor, Marcia Abramson). Dr. Reamer serves frequently as an expert witness in litigation and licensing-board cases throughout the United States.
Earn 6.5 CEUs for reading this title! For more information, visit the Social Work Online CE Institute.