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Ethical Issues When Working With Minors

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What are some ways ethical issues are more complicated when working with clients who are minors?

What resources, other than the ACA Codes of Ethics and consultation with peers, can counsellors use to resolve ethical dilemmas they encounter in their work with minors?

Please provide references.

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One of the main issues is the location in which the professional is working with his/her clients. There are codes of ethics and ethical guidelines available, however, there are legal implications in addition to understanding the ethical codes.

There are federal laws and regulations that the professional must abide by as well as state laws and regulations that must be followed within the United States. Due to the differing laws in each state, understanding the differences in the laws can be challenging especially for those professionals who may have clients in different states. Professionals should also stay up to date on any recent laws that were adopted and any recent amendments to the laws.

Another challenge involves whether the professional is working independently or within an agency. When working in an agency, there will more than likely be internal policies pertaining to confidentiality.

The professional should always document sessions and decisions made with clients in order to protect yourself and, in many cases, the client.

Thus, the issue of confidentiality is more complex when working with a client who is a minor. The minor may request that the information is not given to his/her parents and a breach of that request can cause more psychological strain for the client because the trust that was established between the professional and client has been destroyed.

It is important that the professional explain what she can and cannot do with respect to working with the client if he or she is a minor. At least, that will ...

Solution Summary

This solution will assist the student in identifying challenges in working with clients who are minors. The student will also have access to resources that outline guidelines, laws, and policies in dealing with the challenges faced for professionals working with minors.

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