informed consentNext in our romp through the NASW Code of Ethics is 1.03, Informed Consent. The section is a long one, a six-parter. It lends itself to questions about a variety of topics--communicating via a translator, third party consent, involuntary clients, etherapy, taping sessions. The answer to an informed consent question is always going to be more-or-less the same. Clients have the right to informed consent about treatment, no matter what. From the Code:

Social workers should use clear and understandable language to inform clients of the purpose of the services, risks related to the services, limits to services because of the requirements of a third-party payer, relevant costs, reasonable alternatives, clients' right to refuse or withdraw consent, and the time frame covered by the consent. Social workers should provide clients with an opportunity to ask questions.

Your job as a test taker is to identify an informed consent question when faced with one. Once you've done that, the answer will more than likely leap out at you. An example:

A social worker sometimes provides services via Skype to clients who have difficulty getting to the social worker's office. Before beginning etherapy, the social worker should provide:

A. An explanation of the benefits of face-to-face therapy.

B. Resources to help the client get to the social worker's office.

C. Help accessing a high-speed internet connection.

D. An explanation of the risks of etherapy.

How'd you answer? Since "risks related to the services" is a huge component of informed consent, D might've leapt out. And, in this case, that's because it's the right answer. Congratulations!

For more questions about Informed Consent and much more, sign up for SWTP practice tests.

November 5, 2015
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