Module 3 Professional Ethics, Cultural Competence and Attitudes

  1. Discuss the ethical dilemmas, including what exact standards (on the NOHS website) apply to the situation

Ethical dilemmas likely to arise from the two scenarios include: 

  1. Client refusal of care, both Sophie and Patrick may refuse any help or treatment despite their condition. In this case, the social service provider must be directed by a code of ethics that supports client informed consent and self-determination. However, the social worker also must protect the client’s wellbeing and health. Hence, the need to apply educational background and training for the client’s good.
  2. A sexual relationship with a client is not allowed as they risk exploitation and causing harm to the client (Wark & Kerewsky, 2013). However, the social worker may face an ethical dilemma where the client transfers their emotions to the professional. However, the professional must use wisdom and acquired knowledge to control such advances because of the client’s vulnerability.
  3. What choices does the human service professional have in the situation, and what would be the consequences be for each choice?
  4. Identify and build on the clients’ and community strengths. Focusing on the client’s strength implies supporting the client to engage in activities based on their top strengths often throughout their everyday lives. The approach is more likely to increase their happiness and life satisfaction and promote recovery from their social or psychological problem.
  5. Human service professionals must get informed consent before providing services to their clients in the therapeutic relationship (Wark & Kerewsky, 2013). Inform consent create trust between the provider and the client and help the client to understand their condition and possible treatment option, which can also aid in recovery.
  6. What choices would you make in the situation, and how would you work with Sophie and Patrick in the future?

To work with Sophie, the human service professional will need a one-to-one counseling session with the client focusing on the themes related to sexual behavior and substance abuse, the main issues affecting the client. The social worker can introduce the client to STI and HIV knowledge, change perceived peer-group norms, and cognitive-behavioral skills instructions such as using condoms, refusal assertion, and conversational skills. It is not easy to drastically change one’s sexual behavior, but the therapist begins by advising on safety measures when engaging in sex and the consequences of unprotected sex (Hall, 2018). The social worker can also propose psychiatric services and rehabilitation with the consent of Sophie’s parents.

To work with Patrick, it is first advisable to help identify and develop a social support network for depression. Such include people the client finds comfortable talking to if he feels overwhelmed and demotivated. Patrick should also have enough sleep because depression is draining. Adequate sleep, about 8 hours a day, can help manage mood disorders for the patient (Alsubaie, Stain, Webster, & Wadman, 2019). Patrick should also avoid environments that promote negative energy, including the internet and negative individuals.


Alsubaie, M. M., Stain, H. J., Webster, L. A. D., & Wadman, R. (2019). The role of sources of social support on depression and quality of life for university students. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth24(4), 484-496.

Hall, P. (2018). Understanding and Treating Sex and Pornography Addiction: a comprehensive guide for people who struggle with sex addiction and those who want to help them. Routledge.

Wark, L., & Kerewsky, S. D. (2013). Revising the Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals: A Discussion. In 2012 NOHS National Conference Proceedings (p. 20).