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Case Study of Wadesville Community - Boundaries & Ethics

Case study of Wadesville Community

Transcript:
Jules Cooper - Probation Officer

Analyze the issues of trust in Jules Cooper's ethical decision-making. Analyze issues of boundary-setting and confidentiality in her ethical decision-making. From your personal and professional perspectives, which issue should dominate ethical decision-making out of these three: trust, boundaries, or confidentiality? From a parent's perspective, did Jules Cooper do the right thing?

I am Jules Cooper, age 35. I was born in South Carolina. I am currently a Probation officer. I also do
volunteer work at the local Juvenile facility, doing intakes and mental health counseling. I earned my BA
in Criminal Justice and am currently working on a Masters in Human Services. I was a police officer for 5
years in the community.

I see first hand what these kids are up to. Many of the kids confide in me. I am never quite sure if they
are telling me the truth. But I keep what they say to my self. I figure that these kids are troubled and
their parents are probably the reason why. They need someone to talk to. Why not me? I have, on rare
occasions, divulged some of this information to community leaders but never used names. I am aware of
suicidal kids, drug dealers, kids who are prostituting, and kids who are violent to their boyfriends and
girlfriends. I feel that I was called by God to do this work. I am passionate about these kids.

I have 5 kids of my own, 3 of whom attend Wadesville High. Two are honor students. One is pregnant.
The twins, age 5, were born HIV positive. I am HIV positive. It's a long story about a relationship gone
wrong. I am on a regimen and doing really well.

I made a lot of bad choices in my life. I want to help the kids that I am in contact with to see the error of
their ways. If my experiences and education can help one kid, then I will feel the HIV is my burden to
bear in lieu of that help.

I want to get that Masters degree in order to open my own Christian Counseling Center. I have been
diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and had some substance abuse issues. I am getting
treatment at the Free Clinic. I can overcome these obstacles and use my experiences to help others.

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Jules Cooper's history makes her prone to trust issues, possibly because she is able to relate to the experiences and accounts that she comes across, which also includes lies and opportunistic statements made by individuals in desperate circumstances. There is possibly a a re-experiencing of routines and issues that she herself may have confronted as a youth, which is "short of bluntly" touched upon with her rather troubling past and HIV-positive status. It could be argued that her trust issues might be influencing her ethical decision-making as she is not too trustful of the rather serious nature of the accounts that she hears in her line of work. To further explore this matter, the question about boundary-setting and confidentiality are also important seeing as they are related.

In terms of boundary-setting, she is taking some obvious liberties, which she believes to be within reason by virtue of her experience. This links back to the "hands-on" culture of Wadesville, but it also raises some questions about ethics and inappropriateness, not necessarily in terms of how she listens to the children but in how she has placed her own terms in what she should be keeping confidential what she should be reporting. She is within her bounds in terms of boundary-setting as a counsellor, but she may also be neglecting some of her obligations to report certain issues.

Confidentiality in this case worsens the scenario, even though Jules Cooper ...

Solution Summary

Wadesville Community Case Study

Individual profile: Jules Cooper - Probation Officer

Jules Cooper's history makes her prone to trust issues, possibly because she is able to relate to the experiences and accounts that she comes across, which also includes lies and opportunistic statements made by individuals in desperate circumstances. There is possibly a a re-experiencing of routines and issues that she herself may have confronted as a youth, which is "short of bluntly" touched upon with her rather troubling past and HIV-positive status. It could be argued that her trust issues might be influencing her ethical decision-making as she is not too trustful of the rather serious nature of the accounts that she hears in her line of work. To further explore this matter, the question about boundary-setting and confidentiality are also important seeing as they are related.

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