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Dual relationships

This article focuses its attention on dual relationships and their increased challenges to the social workers. The article presents a practical approach towards training individuals on the ways through which they can cope with the challenges of dual relationships. According to the article, “a dual relationship is defined as a situation in which a college member, in addition to his /her professional relationship, has one or more other relationship with the client. ” (1) The article also outlines the need to address the issue of dual relationships as it mostly leads to boundary violations.

Ethical guidelines on dual relationships are put for the exclusive protection of the clients. Boundary violations which exist during dual relationships are likely to put the client in the harm’s way. The article outlines boundary violations as including “sexual misconduct and other misuse and abuse of the members’ powers. ” (2) The paper is based on a college setting and the various challenges facing social work practitioners. In a college setting, it is important that professionals identify, prior to the commencement of the counseling sessions, the possibility of conflict of interest.

This article presents its major arguments in regard to dual relationships through a number of case scenarios. The first scenario analyses the dilemma that a social worker may find him/herself in after being requested by a client to provide marital therapy in private rather than through the main forum within the self help organization. According to the article, in dealing with such a scenario, a social worker should put into consideration the principles of “integrity and competence. ” Integrity dictates that social workers shun avenues through which conflict of interest may arise.

Should the counselor opt to take the clients offer, a conflict of interest shall have arisen as the social worker will be serving his interests and not the interests of the client or of the organization. Scenario number two in the article involves a case where a social worker is requested “to supervise the field placement if a student who is a former client. ” In this scenario, there is a likelihood of the development of a dual relationship and also the influencing of the social workers decision by the prior knowledge of intricate details of the client.

The fact that both the client and the social worker had a previous professional relationship it is likely to have an “impact on her judgment and hence on her role as a field supervisor. ” (2) The social worker hence can decline the duties allocated to her or communicate to the client in regard to the appropriate boundaries to be set in the relationship. There are other scenarios in the article that go a long way in explicating the challenges that social workers face in their day to day activities. The author employs the use of ethical theories to bring out her view point concerning dual relationships.

Dual relationships are brought about by the inability of the social worker to draw a clear boundary in his or her interaction with the client. The article contains several case scenarios that can be used to exemplify the challenges that the social workers face and the effects that dual relationships can have on a client. The social role theory can be used to explain dual relationships by assisting the social workers pinpoint the relationships that are likely to harm the existing relationship with the client. Social role theory is all about the expectations that people have in regard to others in the society.

Should the professional relationship digress to another angle and be incompatible with the expectations of the client, the client is likely to be disillusioned. Indeed the issue of dual relationships continues to present social workers with insurmountable challenges. As mentioned in the article, one of the key reasons that make dual relationships to lead to ethical dilemmas is because of their potential to harm the client. It is important to mention that the relationship between the client and the social worker is not founded on an equal ground.

There is always the aspect of differential power which is to the disadvantage of the client. Clients during the interactive counseling sessions disclose private and discreet information about themselves, a relationship hence established outside the professional relationship puts the client at a disadvantage as the social worker does not disclose in return. It is of paramount importance that social workers understand the elevated position that they occupy in such a relationship and hence take all dutiful care not put the client into harm. J. K. M (2006).

Social work interventions in the prevention and management oif domestic violence. University of ibadan. Retrieved on November 21, 2008 from http://www. krepublishers. com/02-Journals/JSS/JSS-13-0-000-000-2006- Web/JSS-13-2-000-000-2006-Abst-Text/JSS-13-2-097-099-2006-354- Mojoyinola-J-K/JSS-13-2-097-099-2006-354-Mojoyinola-J-K-Text. pdf. This paper presents a detailed analysis of domestic violence and its impact on the family and the society. It begins by defining domestic violence as “an act carried out with the intention or perceived intention of causing physical pain, or injury to another person.

” (97) Domestic violence according to the article may range from physical abuse, sexual abuse and economic deprivation amongst others. It is mostly perpetuated against close members of the family or by intimate partners. In addition to the children and women, elderly parents are also prone to domestic violence through neglect by their children. According to the article, domestic violence may lead to a myriad of problems which range from substance abuse, hunger, mood swings amongst others. Domestic violence can be manifested through infidelity, sexual deprivation and “selfish approach to issues.

” (97) The article also outlines the importance of social workers to understand the resultant effects and consequences of domestic violence to individuals in the society. Children, the article notes, may be affected psychologically which may also lead to their poor health. For adult victims, domestic violence may result to a diminished self esteem or worse still to substance abuse. Social workers according to the article need to intervene and attend to the victims of domestic violence. Such victims may require medical treatment or counseling.

Counseling is important as it will help them deal with the psychological trauma. Social workers may also provide protection to the victims to escape from future incidences of violence. Social workers may also initiate programs aimed at educating women in the community as well as provide encouragement. Such steps amongst others will go a long way in addressing the problem of domestic violence in the community. The article takes a unique theoretical approach to explain the causes, factors and effects of domestic violence.

The article observes that domestic violence leads to both behavioral and physiological problems, foul moods and “feelings of frustration and inadequacy” (97). In explaining the nature of domestic violence, the article observes that it can happen through a number of ways which might range from denying sex to partners, economic deprivation as well as unfaithfulness. An analysis of the impact of domestic violence points to problems such as health in children, drugs abuse in the adults and negative impacts on the esteem of the abused individuals.

Indeed social workers have a leading role to play in addressing the issue of domestic violence. A look at the society indicates that women and children are the most affected by domestic violence. This is because in most cases, men are the worst perpetrators of violence. Women and children are at a disadvantage and are prone to adverse effects should domestic violence occur. It is hence important that social workers pay more attention to safeguarding their wellbeing. The society is highly patriarchal.

Resource allocation is mostly skewed to the advantage of men leaving a large proportion of women at the mercy of men. This dominant role played by men has led to the justification of some of the abuses that are meted out against women. Women are physically abused by their partners, together with children they face imminent danger of psychological abuses from a system that has been put forth to favor men. It is hence important for proper structures and laws to be put into place to aid in addressing the unique problems facing women.

Social workers can indeed play a great role in eradicating this vice by creating awareness in both men and women in regard to the negative repercussions that come with domestic violence. Domestic violence brings with it negative ramifications not just in women and children but also to the society in terms of reduced productivity. Social workers can go along way in remedying the situation through both counseling and community based education on ways to prevent domestic violence.


J. K. M (2006).Social work interventions in the prevention and management of domestic violence. University of Ibadan. Retrieved on November 21, 2008 from http://www. krepublishers. com/02-Journals/JSS/JSS-13-0-000-000-2006- Web/JSS-13-2-000-000-2006-Abst-Text/JSS-13-2-097-099-2006-354- Mojoyinola-J-K/JSS-13-2-097-099-2006-354-Mojoyinola-J-K-Text. pdf Pamela Blake. Practice notes: dual relationships- approach with caution. Retrieved on November 21, 2008 from http://www. ocswssw. org/sections/pdf/Dual%20Relationships. pdf.

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