Case Study on Ethics and Dual Relationships in Social Work Essay

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Ethics Case Study: Juan S.

The social worker in this case study worked at the ABC Children’s Wellness Center. An ESL teacher at a local elementary school referred Juan S. to her. Juan came to the center with his mother, Silvia.

Before seeing Juan and his mother, the social worker called the ESL teacher who referred Juan to her to discuss the case. The teacher reported that Juan was showing little interest in classroom activities or his peers, and always seemed exhausted. He was irritable and frequently became physically aggressive toward classmates who made fun of him for being so small and thin (sometimes calling him “mosquito”). She also stated that he often appeared to be daydreaming, and when she tried to talk to him, he seemed
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Juan was present during that shooting, and barely escaped with his own life. Silvia then made the decision to take her remaining two children to America, and contacted her cousin who lived in Brownsville, TX to help her slip across the border. The cousin was able get someone to smuggle Silvia, Jaime and Juan across the border at the cost of $10,000. They crossed the border on foot and were met by someone who hid them under the hay placed in the feeding troughs of a cattle truck. They were left there for two days without food or water in 98-degree weather while the truck made its way to the Texas-Arkansas border. There they were picked up by her cousin who placed them on a bus to W. Palm Beach Fl where another cousin lived. Silvia must now pay back the $10,000 she owes her cousin.

The mother indicated that the family was having great difficulty financially because, without papers, Silvia and Jaime were having trouble finding jobs, and Silvia was afraid to apply for public assistance. She had recently obtained a job as a housekeeper and nanny for a wealthy family with 3 young children. The family, however, did not pay her each week as promised, and when they did pay her, they sometimes paid less than the agreed amount. Sylvia was afraid to complain because she feared the family might turn her in to the immigration authorities. She was searching for other work but had not found anything. Jaime worked as
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