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One professional restriction that seems contrary to the best interests of a client due to cultural differences is my companyâ€™s policy that forbids the counselors to pick-up any of our clients that may have trouble making it to school. All my clients have mishaps with their behaviors; hence, this is why they need a day treatment counselor to help manage their behavior. One particular client is every intelligent but normally finds himself in trouble at school during the time when he is in unstructured environments like recess, lunch, and especially on the school bus. Many days this client has been suspended off the bus and his mother does not have a car to get him to school. Even though he can attend school, without any reliable transportation he misses several days of schooling due to just his behavior on the school bus. He stays in a low-income area and public transportation is not an option for my client to get to school either. To add to that, he misses many other days due to other unknown reasons. â€œPoor and somewhat poor students (those who qualified for free lunch or for reduced-price lunch) and students with disabilities (those who had individualized education programs, or IEPs) were much more likely than their more affluent or non-IEP peers to miss a lot of school,â€ (Garcia & Weiss, 2018). I have no problem picking up any of my clients as long as it does not call for a major detour from my route to work so they do not have to miss getting an education. However, my company does not permit this type of assistance to our clients even though it would be very beneficial to my client to be in the classroom gaining more knowledge. â€œChildren who are chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are less likely to read on grade level by the third grade. For older students, being chronically absent is strongly associated with failing at schoolâ€•even more than low grades or test scores,â€ (â€œSchool Attendance…, 2019â€). Every day my client misses school that is another day my client may miss lessons that could be important to his future success.
I understand what ethical dilemmas that may arise from counselors being able to provide transportation to their clients. One ethical issue would be the client is the counselors responsibility; therefore, anything that happens to their client would be held against the counselor even if they were not to blame. This does include car accidents, a carjacking, the client jumping out of the car at a stop light, or any other action that results in that clientâ€™s safety being compromised. Another ethical concern would be the possibility that the counselor may mistreat their clients during the private car rides. There may be a fear that the counselor may engage in inappropriate behaviors with their clients. According to Virginia Education Association (VEA), there are multiple reasons why teachers/counselors cannot give students/clients a ride to school including, â€œBeing alone in your car with a student or students exposes you to accusations of inappropriate behavior or speech,â€ (â€œShould I Driveâ€¦â€). With no other authority present, this could lead to many legal issues if the clients report real or fake allegations against their counselor.
Another professional restriction that seems to contrary to the best interests of a client due to cultural differences is the companyâ€™s policy that forbids home visits to the clients. Part of being a great counselor is building a great relationship with the clients. In addition, counselors that use an aspirational ethic approach have a better chance of building a relation with their clients and they may view their counselor as someone that actually cares about their well-being. Allowing the counselors to make home visits will show that the counselor is willing to go the extra step. This also helps the client to be more comfortable talking to their counselor since they are in their own environment. This extra attention in their home may make it easier to implement virtue ethics as well because in school many times day treatment counselors may feel pressured to getting their clientsâ€™ classroom behavior in control. However, meeting the clients in their home may give the counselor more time to help them develop their overall characteristics instead of a specific behavior. The counselor now has the opportunity to give more detailed examples and help their client develop a better understanding of why they need to develop better characteristics like integrity, honest, loyalty, and personal responsibilities.
Similar to picking up clients, there are ethical concerns that may arise from counselors meeting with their clients at their home. Some clients live in low poverty areas as well as have many siblings. Due to the limitations of their parents, the clients may not get the attention they need at home to help them develop appropriates behavior. Conversely, we actually have this service available to some of our clients but it is only approved for certain clients based on various reasons. Also, this service requires the counselor to meet a minimum amount of hours per week, consequently, it basically extends the counselorâ€™s work day but just in a different environment. As a result, many day treatment counselors avoid the home treatment assignments due to the extra requirements and paperwork. Some counselors do not have an issue with meeting with their clients at home, but only when they have the desire or motivation to do so. This official visit helps them maintain their normal workload since report is not necessary. When it is required for the counselors to meet with their client, it may feel more like a job than a privilege. Another ethical issue is these home visits are unofficial; thus, the counselor does not record any data during these visits. The lack of information from these visits will lead to questions if these home visits are beneficial, necessary, appropriate, or crosses the line between the client-counselor relationships.
Garcia, E., & Weiss, E. (18, September 25). Student absenteeism: Who misses school and how missing school matters for performance. Retrieved June 07, 2019, from https://www.epi.org/publication/student-absenteeis…