Relationship and Boundary Issues in Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

The second act of the social worker that has a strong link with the given theme is when the social worker offered job/work to the client at his place for looking after his children. These two exhibited activities of the social worker are being and outside the scope of the social work ethics based on which these activities are defied as giving nonprofessional services to the client. These activities are also a set of favors being done with the client. A solution to the family not paying the client for her work is what should have been done by the social worker. Second main evidence from the case that clearly highlights the fact that altruistic gestures are being shared between the client and the social worker is when as a token of appreciation and thanks, the client gives a cake to the social worker. One of the main facts that need to be added here is that in the line of social working, exchanging gifts with the clients is considered unethical and nonprofessional based on which it clearly shows that the social worker is being unethical in his acts of social work.

3. Unanticipated Circumstances

Reamer has defined this dual relationship theme by arguing the fact that the professional efficiency of the social worker is very much affected by the connections that he may have with the acquaintances of the client, and these concoctions can include certain affiliations as well as memberships. Thereby there are two main scenarios being highlighted by Reamer in these cases. Either the client himself is one of the connections of the social worker or the client is connected to the connection of the social worker. In both the cases, the situation that is faced by the social worker leads to a social pressure to which certain social workers submit (Reamer, 2003, p. 126).

Link with the Case

It has been mentioned in the case that the family for which the client was working for was not paying her the rightful amount of payment that she deserved. When the social worker came to know that the family that has been mentioned by the client is a well-known acquaintance, instead of finding a solution to the stubborn behaviors of the family towards the poor client, the social worker asked the client to work for him. The main professional duty of this social worker was to devise a solution to the client against the family not paying her well. However, going out of the professional codes, the social worker acts unethically offering her a new job at his place keeping in mind his own advantages.

Code of Ethics by the National Association of Social Workers

In this section, the activities of the social worker will be analyzed in accordance to the ethical codes and standards that have been defined by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

1. Service

One of the most important ethical code defined by the National Association of Social Workers is service according to which the social workers without taking into consideration their own personal advantages and without accepting any kind so favors and gifts from their clients, are to help the clients who are in need. Utilizing all the resources that have been provided to the social workers by the state, it is important that complete security and justice is provided to the clients along with the help that they need. It is important that the social workers remain within the professional lines while helping their clients (Zastrow, 2009, p. 570).

In the case of the social worker mentioned in the case, it can be seen that personal benefits and advantages have been prioritized rather the security and well-being of the client in the end. Instead of provision of solutions to the problems being faced by the client, the social worker found a solution to his own minor problem. Additionally, the buildup of client and social worker relationship is marked by an exchange of favors and gifts between the client and the social worker. These have been regarded unethical in the professional social worker ethical guidelines.

2. Commitment to Clients

Clients, as defined by the NASW are to be the main priority of the social workers. It is to be realized by the social workers that the main priority is the interests and the needs of the clients themselves. In these cases, the main priority of the social worker should be to give more importance to the needs of the clients rather than personal benefits and needs. It is important that the social workers should let their clients know that the powers that they have been given by the state to help them will be used by all legal means as the needs of their clients are more important and are a priority (Zastrow, 2009, p. 573).

It is important to highlight here that the six-year-old son of the client needed long-term therapy to be released from the trauma. Instead, only 12 sessions, short-term therapy sessions are being provided by the social working agency for the child that is obviously lesser than what the child needs. These conditions are not verbally cleared out to the client by the social worker based on the fact of his personal gains. These gains included having a Spanish speaking caretaker of his children at his place, language trainer for his children keeping in mind the fact that Spanish would be the next language that the children of the social worker can learn based on the presence of the client in his house is one fact prioritized by the social worker. It can be added here that by working in the social worker's home, there might be chances of improvement in the financial condition of the client. However, one important question that rises in this case is that the social worker has not made any agreement to the fact of paying her more money as compared to the family for which the client worked previously. Thereby here, it can be proven that the development of dual relationships in social work is unethical.


The case has shown that personal benefits rather the benefits of the client herself were more prioritized by the social worker. The only solution that the social worker had for his client was a temporary job at his place, which is nonprofessional and unethical. In these cases, it can be added here that the three main needs of the client that included the well-being of her child, his better education, the education, and a better job for her teenage son and their financial situation, none of these three issues have been provided a solution by the social worker. This shows that the social worker has failed to give any importance to the needs of the client and is more bent towards his own personal gains and benefits. These can show that the building up of the dual relationships with the clients in the line of social work in unethical.


Reamer, G.F. (2001). Tangled relationships: managing boundary issues in the human services, Foundations of social work…

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