Chapter 02

Chapter Two Objectives: Fiduciary Responsibilities

Click here to download PowerPoint slides for this chapter.

Knowledge (Declarative Knowledge)

By the end of this chapter you should possess declarative knowledge about:
  1. What is meant by the fiduciary model of practice
  2. What is meant by sociological authority
  3. The difference between confidentiality and privileged communication
  4. What is meant by professional standards of care
  5. The conditions that lead to malpractice
  6. The statues that govern the practitioner"s duty to report, protect, and warn
  7. The statues that govern the clients right to privacy, right to consent to treatment, right to consent to release of information, right to treatment in the least restrictive environment and right to refuse or withdraw from treatment.
  8. How to assess capacity to consent; for adults and minors.
  9. The statutes governing consent: health care decisions acts; deemed consent
  10. The statutes of involuntary admission for psychiatric care when the client poses a danger to self or others.
  11. The statutes governing protection of the unborn
  12. The statues governing child and elder abuse and neglect
  13. The statutes governing domestic violence
  14. What is meant by authentic contracting (between worker and client) in the helping process.

Skills (Application of Knowledge- Procedural and Tacit Knowing)

By the end of this chapter you should demonstrate beginning competency in implementing the fiduciary model of practice by being able to:
  1. Conduct clinical practice in accord with the legal statutes governing social work practice generally and specifically in accord with your agency setting and field of practice.
  2. Inform  (at initial contact/intake) the client of his/her rights and your duties as a professional social worker.
  3. Maintain client confidentiality to the extent legally possible
  4. Maintain client anonymity in all student assignments
  5. Document and keep client records consistent with agency protocol


  1. Appreciate the fact that licensing and the legal context of social work practice exist to    protect the client.
  2. Appreciate that ethical dilemmas often occur between client self-determination and    the practitioner"s duty to report, protect, and warn
  3. Honor and adhere to the principles of confidentiality and privileged communication    to the extent legally possible.
  4. Appreciate the need for malpractice insurance
  5. Respect the fact that students practice on the license of their field instructor.
  6. Appreciate the difficulty associated with establishing an authentic contract based on    client trust and willingness to self-disclose.
  7.                                        .          

    Website Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy
    Please send comments or suggestions about this Website to