Explain the purpose of professional ethical standards for helping professionals.

Case Study: The Carter Family

Details: Use the case study in the email and the NOHs website if I need to make some copies from my textbook let me know.

This is a two-page assignment. It needs an introductory and conclusion paragraph.

CASE STUDY • The Carter Family

The Carter family came to our attention after Jason, a thin, pale, and intense 13-year-old got into a particularly vicious fight. The other members of this middle-class family are Jason’s parents, Doug and Lois Carter, and his 10-year-old sister, Christie. Jason was referred by his teacher because of fighting and other behavioral difficulties. He frequently disrupted his classes by harassing and fighting with other children and by talking back to teachers. His short attention span and apparent inability to sit still were the focus of a subsequent neurological examination, but no neurological impairment was indicated. Next Jason underwent an evaluation at school, consisting of a standard social history, psychological tests, and an intake interview.

The findings suggested that poor family communication and ineffective discipline might be the source of Jason’s problem behavior. On the basis of this information, family therapy was strongly recommended. Referral to the neurological clinic, contact with school personnel, the social history, and the intake interview were all accomplished by a school social worker assigned to the case. She was also responsible for the family casework and referred Jason and his family to a mental health clinic that provided individual and family therapy.

Lois Carter, a chronically depressed European American woman, was torn by guilt over her perceived failure to rear a child who could function adequately at home and in school. She also seemed to have considerable unspoken anger, which was frequently directed at Jason. Mr. Carter, an engineer, was also a cauldron of unexpressed anger. Emotionally locked out by his wife’s depression, he seemed to resent Jason and to continually put the child in a double bind by subtly sending the message that his acting out was just a case of “boys will be boys” and at the same time reprimanding him for his behavior. He seemed unwilling or unable to follow through with punishment. In part, this behavior was an acting out of his own angry feelings toward his wife.

Mrs. Carter was the second daughter in her family of origin. She described her parents, who live only a mile from the Carters, in ambivalent terms. Her father was a chronic drinker, and he physically and emotionally abused his wife and children. He suffered brain damage as a result of drinking and had mellowed considerably in recent years. Mrs. Carter’s mother was a passive-aggressive woman who turned to religion for comfort in her later years. Lois had an older sister who had twice married and divorced. After repeated attempts, the sister attained a college degree and now worked as an elementary school teacher. Mrs. Carter’s two brothers expressed the family dysfunction more obviously. The youngest brother had committed suicide several years earlier. The other brother continued to live with his parents. At 30 he was unemployed and unmarried and existed on a small payment for service-connected emotional disability.

Doug Carter, of English and French descent, was the older of two brothers. His father, a bookkeeper for a small manufacturing firm, was a harsh, critical, and sarcastic parent. His mother was a pleasant though ineffectual woman who “adored” Mr. Carter’s younger brother. A paternal grandmother, now deceased, lived in the home while Mr. Carter was growing up, and she tended to favor him. Mr. Carter and his brother had been very competitive as children and now have no contact. His parents reside in another state and contact with them is infrequent.

Christie was described by both parents as a “very good girl” who never caused any problems. She did well in school, was helpful at home when asked, and had a “nice little group” of girlfriends.

Both Jason and Christie Carter had been adopted as infants. Jason was considered the identified problem (patient), and Christie was regarded as a perfect little angel.

A counselor saw the family weekly for therapy that focused on their style of communication. During the first six sessions, the family discussed setting limits and the need for more direct communication. They reached an impasse, however, because the family members refused to listen to one another. Jason frequently pointed out, for instance, that his sister instigated many situations by teasing him. His parents refused to acknowledge that Christie could possibly do such a thing and reprimanded Jason for not listening to them and for trying to get his sister in trouble. Christie sat quietly and primly, in silent agreement with her parents. At the end of six sessions, the counselor felt that she was making little headway in helping the parents listen to Jason or to each other. Christie indicated little willingness to modify her secure position in the family structure. Jason continued to disrupt his classes and behave outrageously at school, in the neighborhood, and at home.

Case Study: The Carter Family

For this assignment, you will read a case study in your text, identify ethical issues present in the case study, apply NOHS Ethical Standards to those issues, and explain how those standards guide the worker’s behavior in their work with this family.

Begin by reading the case study “The Carter Family” on page 63 in Chapter 3 in your textbook. Then, go to the NOHS website and review the Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals.

Assignment Directions

Please use the Unit 3 Assignment Template to address each of the following:

Define ethics and confidentiality. Explain the purpose of professional ethical standards for helping professionals.
Considering the case study, identify one ethical concern and one confidentiality issue related to working with the Carter family. Examine what makes each issue a concern.
Quote a specific NOHS Ethical Standard related to the ethical concern you identified and one specific to the confidentiality issue you identified. Explain how those standards apply to each concern.
Identify two additional NOHS Ethical Standards that relate to the child family advocate’s work with this family. Analyze how those two standards will guide the advocate’s work with the Carter family.


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Explain the purpose of professional ethical standards for helping professionals.


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