This course provides an overview of general principles of professional liability and risk management issues related to the standard of care, confidentiality and privileged communication, scope of practice, and management of ethical dilemmas related to client care for California LCSWs and LMFTs. The course also provides legal and ethical insights related to therapy for families, couples, and groups. The course highlights the complexity of legal and ethical dilemmas by providing 10 case vignettes, through which readers learn how to best apply legal and ethical principles. However, the vignette discussions cannot represent a full and complete analysis, because the task of interpreting and applying legal and ethical standards is rarely, if ever, simple or clear-cut. In fact, handling such issues involves balancing multiple—and often competing—values, professional ethical standards, and legal mandates. Readers must pass the online posttest with a score of 80% or better to print a certificate of completion.
California License Renewal: This course can be used toward the mandated license renewal requirement of six hours of training in law and ethics for California LCSW and LMFTs.
California Pre-license Coursework in Law and Ethics: This course can be used toward the mandated 12-hour California law and ethics coursework for LCSW applicants.
After completing the course, readers will be able to do the following:
- Identify key legal principles pertaining to professional liability, risk management, unprofessional conduct, and related legal and ethical compliance issues.
- Identify effective strategies for avoiding and managing ethical dilemmas arising in complex case situations.
- Identify the scope and limitations of a clinical practitioner’s legal expertise as a basis for determining when legal consultation is needed.