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Collaborating with Professionals

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Autor:   •  August 10, 2017  •  Coursework  •  1,532 Words (7 Pages)  •  28 Views

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Professional Collaboration

There are several professionals that are involved in the scenario for Mental Health Counseling.  In order to provide the most effective service to the client(s) in this case, there needs to be a continued group effort between the following individuals.

Counselor- The Counselor involved with the mother is ultimately responsible for ensuring all people are consulted appropriately and effectively.  Because the mother came to her for counseling as the first step, the added responsibility of added professions rests with her.  The Counselor would need to be sure to obtain consent from her client to consult with other professionals before taking it upon herself to do so.  Section D.2.b of the ACA Code of Ethics outlines the need for consent (ACA, 2014).  The Counselor needs to make sure to discuss with her client both verbally and in writing all of the rights and responsibilities of everyone involved, and ensure that she understands.  Upon receiving the consent it would be most effective to gather a group of individuals needed in each category to form an interdisciplinary team, if one did not already exist (Carney & Jefferson, 2014).  

School Teacher- The teacher for Jane and Johnny should be involved less than the other professionals, but the knowledge she has about the children’s daily behavior and things she may have observed could be very helpful in determining services they may or may not need, as well as the severity of any abuse or neglect that could be occurring.  It would also be helpful to consult with her in the future to see if she notices any progress being made with the treatment of the children.  Because Emma is only 3 and not currently in school there would not be that person to reach out to at this time, but once she gets enrolled in a daycare program this should be done for her as well.

Child Therapist- It would be essential that the mother’s counselor share notes with the child therapist on a regular basis.  It would be critical in the treatment of the children for their therapist to know of things occurring with the mother that would more than likely impact the children.  It would also be important for the Counselor to be aware of what is going on with the children so that she can continue to compare behavior of the children with the behavior of the mother, as well as evaluate if there is any reason to involve other authorities.

Social Worker- The Social Worker would need to be involved in the beginning of treatment, but only on an “as needed” basis going forward.  In order to make sure that all services available were being utilized, the Social Worker would need to meet with the mother for information gathering, and to build a relationship with her.  In the future when different things arise it would be beneficial for the mother to know there is a person she can go to for assistance and feel secure.

Psychiatrist- A psychiatrist is imperative in this situation to ensure that a proper diagnosis of the mother is made, and to rule out any underlying medical conditions.  It is also going to be necessary to seek a Psychiatrist to manage medication for the mother, as it is obvious at this point that she needs some kind of psychotropic medication to help stabilize her.  The Child therapist may need to involve the Psychiatrist at some point with the children as well, but that is not something that should be done based on only the information in the scenario.  If substance abuse is something that needs to be addressed, the Psychiatrist would be the most appropriate person to make that determination.  

After an initial meeting/consultation of all of these professionals, proper follow up and correspondence would need to be ensured.  Depending on the way the community mental health center is arranged, the social worker may actually serve as the point person instead of the counselor.  That is something that should be clearly established and noted from the beginning of treatment.

The fact that she has recently introduced her children to play therapy is a good sign that she is aware that her actions may have impacted the children in some way or another.  It would be important in maintaining an appropriate treatment plan, to determine if this action was done out of genuine concern for her children’s well being, or if it could be her manipulating the system into “free childcare” during her own sessions.  While it’s important to not to jump to conclusions in either direction it is definitely important to know her motivation in order to ensure the most effective treatment.

According to section B.2.a, it is within the counselors right, as well as an actual obligation, to disregard any and all confidentially agreements when it concerns protecting the client or another identified individual from harm.  For this reason the Social Worker would be within her rights to involve Child Protective Services without obtaining consent from the client, but I do feel that she should wait until consulting with the counselor before doing so, simply because there may be a valid explanation for the “seemingly disorientation” she observed.  Each of the professionals that are included in this case are Mandated Reporters in the state of Illinois, in regards to abuse and maltreatment of children, so when there is reason to believe that either are occurring then it is not only within their right, but it is also their obligation to report it to the proper authorities.  I do feel that it is important to consult with both the mother’s counselor as well as the child therapist before making a decision, due to the small about of information being used by the social worker to make this determination.  If collectively they decide that the children are in danger of any level of abuse or maltreatment, then it would be most effective for the team to meet and share information prior to making that call.  Reports made in Illinois are screened by social workers initially, to determine what should and should not be investigated(Illinois DCFS).  If the report is made prematurely be someone without all the information that exists, there is the chance it could be dismissed as not necessary to investigate. On the other end of the spectrum, if accusations are made without all of the facts being known and presented, the mother and her children could be put there an investigation that could potentially have a negative impact on any or all of them (Choy & Ryan, 2007).

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