Ethics Forum: Rural Social Work Practice
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Management of dual relationships and confidentiality in social work practice is an essential ethical task for all professionals. Practitioners face special challenges presented by the choice of practice environment and the differential client and community expectations that may be inherent in rural practice. This article addresses the challenge through an analysis of dual relationships, boundary management, and confidentiality in rural practice environments across micro and macro practice activities and settings. The nature of the ethical challenge of dual relationships and the preservation of confidentiality and privacy are explored and an analysis of special practice issues in the rural environment is provided. Tools and suggestions for rural practitioners are presented to use in the ethical management of boundaries with clients, colleagues, and organizations.
Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics