Galactic Hot Dogs
 
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Code of Honor

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: A 13-year-old girl came to me and said she is being severely physically abused and told me about personal family problems. I explained that I cannot offer treatment to anyone under the age of 18 without parental consent, and that I am obliged to report suspected child abuse to the state department of child welfare services. The student feels betrayed. What - if anything - should I do next?

A: You don't indicate whether or not you're a professional counselor or, if you are, what kind. If you are a counselor, your question points to the need for a disclosure statement no matter where you are employed. Counselors who work in agencies typically have printed statements which outline with whom they can work and their responsibilities to their clients. School counselors either have printed disclosure statements or talk with students about the limits to their confidentiality before working with them individually.

Now that you know about the abuse you must inform your local child protective services office. The safety of this child comes first. You can keep confidential all of the other information the child shared with you. If you are not allowed to provide treatment to an underage client, suggest that the girl ask her parents for consent for treatment or offer to meet with them with her to ask for consent. If your call to protective services has irreparably damaged your relationship with this girl, help her with a referral to another counselor in your community.

There are many professional codes of ethics offered by different professional counseling groups for their members/certificants. You may want to check the American Counseling Association, the American School Counselor Association, and the National Board for Certified Counselors websites, for answers to questions about counselor ethics.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Teens and E-Cigarettes: 6 Things You Must Know
For the first time in a generation, tobacco use has risen among the nation's youth, due to the rising use of e-cigarettes. Learn more about the dangerous and addictive e-cigarette trend, and get tips to talk to your teen.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, brought to you by Galactic Hot Dogs.

Printable Lists of the Top 100 Baby Names
Need help with baby name ideas? Use our printable list of the top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2015 to help you brainstorm and narrow down your favorites.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks