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RE: SOCW6103- Discussion 2 – Response to 2 Students

Respond to the postings of two of your colleagues who chose a different law than yours and respond in one or more of the following ways: (be detailed in response, use sub-headings and use 2 peer-reviewed APA references)

  • Ask a probing question about the duty to warn and protect law that your colleague chose.
  • Offer and support an opinion on the importance of the law that your colleague chose.
  • Choose a law that one of your classmates created and discuss how it may be in harmony or conflict with core values of your profession and what you see the potential outcomes/consequences might be related to its implementation.

Response to Ucbechi

According to Taleff (2010), client threats to harm others should be taken seriously and should be reported. Each state has a different policy regarding whether you are mandated the duty to warn. I know in the state of Nevada, we are required to warn other when there is a threat to harm other, or the person has an active plan. The project lastly that I selected is federal regulations specifying restrictions concerning the disclosure and use of patient records pertaining to substance abuse treatment that federal programs maintain (Edwards, 2016). Sometimes we can be careless with client information but when working with the client with substance use or addiction. An example to support the protection law for the client who is struggling with addiction. At my current place of employment, some of the children who are in Substance abuse program are also in child welfare, and some of the children do not want their foster parent to have access to what discussed in treatment.

Describe either an addendum that would strengthen the existing law or a new law that you would create and enact to further protect the rights of clients impaired by addictions

It required that addiction service providers not to share client treatment-related information to third parties without the client’s consent, but at the time this could be overturned by laws and court orders (Edwards, 2016). There is a stigma associated with active addiction and sometimes are not accepted by the community. In the duty to warn, I would addendum the aspect of keeping from sharing client information. Protecting the client should be the first think of the list. To maintain a client’s privacy or confidentiality entails that information learned regarding the client should not be openly shared (Saxon, Jacinto, & Dziegielewski, 2006). There are many areas we shouldn’t share information regarding.

What inequity or limitation are you attempting to address?

The limitation I am trying to address is the lack of direction on the duty to warn. I know that it varies from state and I feel that it should be the same all-over United states. Gain some clarification could help with being able to provide care for this client and putting their safety first. Having to call our board to gain an understanding of what our role would be when it comes to the duty to warn present some challenges because if we do not make the call to get clarification, we could take the wrong action.

What outcomes would you like to see if your law passed

The outcome I would like to unification on what the law protects and the best way to address the problem when some are a threat to harm a third-party individual. Having a more spelled way in our to warn the client is essential to know.


Edwards, L. (2016). APHSA issues comment on confidentiality of substance use disorder

patient records NPRM. Policy & Practice, (4), 5. Retrieved from…

Saxon, C., Jacinto, G. A. ., & Dziegielewski, S. F. 2. S. D. ed. (2006). Self-Determination and

Confidentiality: The Ambiguous Nature of Decision-Making in Social Work Practice. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 13(4), 55–72.… 13n04-04

Taleff, M. J. (2010). Advanced ethics for addiction professionals. New York, NY:

Springer Publishing Company.


Response to Warren

Post a summary of the duty to warn and protect law that you selected.

Duty to warn is basically if a client reports they are a danger to themselves or others, a provider would have to notify either police or other agency staff, and possibly the third person in which the client says they intend to harm (Hepworth, Rooney, Rooney, Strom-Gottfried, 2013). Therefore, if a provider comes to know that a potential threat is there, the provider is to act and warn the victim, and possibly notify the police and or hold the perpetrator in a facility for further evaluation (Hepworth, Rooney, Rooney, Strom-Gottfried, 2013).

Then explain issues or events that necessitated the creation of the law. Be specific and provide examples to support your response.

The duty to warn law was started around 1974 with the case Tarasoff vs Regents of the University of California (Walcott, Cerundolo, & Beck, 2001). The situation was when a student reported to a school counselor his intent to harm another student believe to be his girl friend, then the professional did report to the police however, the police found there was no cause to hold the student, and let him go. Upon the victim returning from a trip, the student murdered his girlfriend, the family turned around and sued the school. The court found that the school should have notified the victim but failed to do so (Waltcott, Cerundolo, & Beck, 2001). This is where the duty to warn starts from.

Additionally, describe either an addendum that would strengthen the existing law or a new law that you would create and enact to further protect the rights of clients impaired by addictions.

Walcott, Cernduolo and Beck (2001) discuss the implications of not only duty to warn, but also duty to protect as possible outcomes from the Tarasoft case, and cases since 1974. Therefore, based on these post-1974 cases of clients being injured or killed, duty to warn has expanded to this duty to protect which has then been proven that providers will be responsible for foreseeable of harm as well (Walcott, Cenduolo, & Beck, 2001). Continuing, then a policy or law which clearly defines specific guidelines for what constitutes a third-party and what is the meaning of foreseeable circumstances would be valuable to the provider who would need to perform warnings. Professional ethics go offer guidance, but there is no clear cut guidelines for duty to protect and even in various duty to warn situations.

Burkemper (2002) argues there is clear information and guidelines for cases which involve child abuse and how a provider should respond, but when considering a situation with HIV, direction is not as clear. For example, when a person-A is infected with HIV and engages in unprotected sex with person-B, there is not clear ethical guidelines and surely not legal direction when this is happening (note based on the this article from 2002).

What inequity or limitation are you attempting to address?

I am attempting to address the lack of unclear direction and reporting guidelines. Burkemper (2002) notes there are laws and legal directions in cases which involve child abuse, but the law is limited when it comes to a situation with HIV. Therefore, it may be helpful to develop clear guidelines and laws in a variety of situations in which would need to be address with the second party or third party considerations. If the APA can create guidelines for mental illness solely based on observations and self-reporting, it would stand to reason a similar organization would be able to develop criteria for reporting duty to warn or duty to protect.

What outcomes would you like to see if your law passed?

As stated before, clearer guidelines for providers in specific situations maybe more helpful when knowing what to do in regards to reporting. What should providers know, do, and what are they held accountable for? These could be spelled out with greater clarity. Therefore, the outcomes would be better training and direction in what to do in regards to duty to warn or duty to protect in cases which are not as easy to identify the correct action.


Burkemper, E. (2002). Family therapist’s ethical decision-making processes in two duty-to-warn situations. Journal of Martial and Family Therapy 28(2), 203-211.

Hepworth, D., Rooney, R., Rooney, G., & Strom-Gottfied, K. (2013). Direct social work practice: Theory and skills (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Walcott, D., Cerundolo, P., & Beck, J. (2001). Current analysis of the Tarasoff duty: An evolution towards the limitation of the duty to protect. Behavioral Sciences and the Law 19, 325-343.

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