Ethical Dilemmas in Community Based Work

In the readings, you will discover unique ethical concerns you may encounter working in a smaller community. You will explore the effects of obtaining personal benefits from your work with clients. This can be more likely to occur in smaller communities and can cause additional ethical issues to be aware of.

n addition, you will discover what to do when faced with unavoidable and unanticipated circumstances in working with clients, especially when living in a small community, and how best to address these issues.

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Cohn, T. J., & Hastings, S. L. (2013). Building a Practice in Rural Settings: Special Considerations. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 35(3), 228–244.

Fok, L., Payne, D., & Corey, C. (2016). Cultural Values, Utilitarian Orientation, and Ethical Decision Making: A Comparison of U.S. and Puerto Rican Professionals. Journal of Business Ethics, 134(2), 263–279.

Letourneau, J. L. H. (2016). A Decision-Making Model for Addressing Problematic Behaviors in Counseling Students. Counseling & Values, 61(2), 206–222.

Tarlow, K. R., Johnson, T. A., & McCord, C. E. (2019). Rural Status, Suicide Ideation, and Telemental Health: Risk Assessment in a Clinical Sample. The Journal of Rural Health : Official Journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association, 35(2), 247–252.

Turner, E., & Passmore, J. (2018). Ethical dilemmas and tricky decisions: A global perspective of coaching supervisors’ practices in coach ethical decision-making. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching & Mentoring, 16, 126–142.

National Organization for Human Services. (2015). Ethical standards for human services professionals.


It is essential to be aware of potential ethical problems that may arise in practice. Without such awareness, a human service professional can stumble inadvertently into a problematic situation from which it can be difficult to extricate themselves. Your discussion will focus on developing and enhancing your awareness in this area.


Please respond to the following:
1.    Describe your scenario and identify each of the problematic decisions made by the practitioner involved.
2.    Use one of the decision-making models (e.g., multi-perspectival model decision-making model process) in Letourneau’s (2016) article to resolve the dilemma.
3.    Create a plan of action for how to manage the situation from this point on.
4.    Research similar disciplinary scenarios in your FLORIDA and discuss how they were addressed by the regulatory board. If no such violations occurred in FLORIDA, you may use one from a nearby state.


Working in a small/rural community can provide unique challenges. To prepare for this journal, please watch the following video:
Burns, J. (2019, December 06). The hidden crisis in rural America [Video]. The Atlantic.

Please respond to the following questions:

1.    What do you feel are some of the main challenges of working in a rural community?
2.    What ethical challenges would be more present for human services working in a rural community?
3.    Discuss the impact of reduced resources on burnout and compassion fatigue for human services professionals.
4.    What burnout prevention strategies/self-care would you implement when working in a rural community? For more information on Ethical Dilemmas in Community Based Work check out :

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