Informed consent

Informed consent means that a social worker or another professional will not intervene in a client’s life or release confidential information about him unless that client has freely consented

— Dolgoff, Harrington, & Loewenberg, 2012, p. 160

Social workers are bound by the NASW Code of Ethics (2008) to provide informed consent with every client. A signed informed consent form protects the client and the social worker. It exemplifies the profession’s respect for its clients, allows for self-determination, and is the cornerstone of good social work practice. Sometimes, though, reporting of confidential information is mandated by law.

By Day 3

Post a description of the importance of confidentiality when working with your client. How does the principle of confidentiality impact the therapeutic relationship? Then, explain your understanding of mandated reporting and how it empowers vulnerable populations.

Required Readings

Daley, M., R., & Hickman, S. (2011). Dual relations and beyond: Understanding and addressing ethical challenges for rural social work. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, 8(1). Retrieved from

Gonyea, J. L., Wright, D. W., & Earl‐Kulkosky, T. (2014). Navigating dual relationships in rural communities. Journal of marital and family therapy, 40(1), 125-136.

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Halabuza, D. (2014). Guidelines for social workers’ use of social networking websites. Journal Of Social Work Values & Ethics, 11(1), 23-32.

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Mattison, M. (2018). Informed consent agreements: Standards of care for digital social work practices. Journal of Social Work Education, 54(2), 227-238.

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Code of ethics. Retrieved from

Reamer, F. G. (2011, November 30). When bad things happen to good social workers: The perils of ethics mistakes. Social Work Today. Retrieved from

Reamer, F. G. (2017). Evolving ethical standards in the digital Age. Australian Social Work, 70(2), 148-159.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Sawyer, S., & Prescott, D. (2011). Boundaries and dual relationships. Sexual Abuse: Journal Of Research And Treatment, 23(3), 365-380. doi:10.1177/1079063210381411

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Optional Resources

Use this link to access the MSW home page, which provides resources for your social work program.