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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Ethical Considerations for Mental Health Professionals  Working with Children and Families

by Pamela Sarte, PhD 3 CE Credits

When providing therapy or other psycho-social services to a child or family, certain ethical dilemmas often arise that are unique to the family eco-system.  This online CE course is designed to help mental health professionals working with families anticipate, prevent, and minimize the risks to clients that occur due to ethical dilemmas.  The course examines ethical issues as they relate to the unique relationship that forms between the clinician and members of the family in an effort to increase awareness of how relevant ethical codes may affect their clinical work.  Major topics included are client rights and responsibilities, informed consent, confidentiality, and managing boundaries while working as part of a treatment team.  Case studies  demonstrate how ethical dilemmas can occur quickly when a family or worker is unprepared for the possibility.  Participants will learn a variety of ways of approaching the resolution of an ethical dilemma, and will be prepared to anticipate and avoid the occurrence of unnecessary ethical conflicts within the family eco-system.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 3 Ethics continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction/Relevance
  • Brief Review of Relevant Ethics Codes
  • Clinical Scenarios for Your Consideration
  • Informed Consent
  • Multiple Relationships
  • Confidentiality Rights
  • Cultural Diversity and Changing Family Structures
  • Child Protection Issues
  • Caution When Using Technology
  • Suggestions for Best Practice
  • Web-Based Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Review current ethics codes pertaining to the fields of child therapy and family therapy across the 6 major mental health sanctioning bodies in the field (e.g., APA, ASWB, NASW, NBCC, ACA, AAMFT).
  • Recognize at least 5 prominent areas of ethical consideration that may arise when working with a child and/or family (e.g., informed consent, multiple relationships, confidentiality rights, cultural diversity/changing family structure, child protection issues).
  • Establish clinical procedures and best practices to avoid and/or resolve ethical conflicts in the family therapy environment by utilizing a detailed 3-stage approach that includes an educational component, a personal connection component, and an action plan.