John Foster's Car On Fire Case Study

Decent Essays
In this specific scenario, Caroline failed to report John freely admitting that he wants to set his foster mother’s car on fire. Caroline also did not document this thoroughly in the case note. As a professional, if a case like this brings questioning and concern, it lies in caseworker’s duty to report this to either her supervisor or the CEO of the agency where she works.

In the National Association for Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, duty to warn is stated in section 4.06. Caroline failed in her duty to document and warn, which ultimately resulted in John lighting his foster’s car on fire.

As a caseworker, the client should always be viewed as a priority. Once John expresses his plan, the caseworker should have immediately told someone that works above her, like a supervisor. In any state, setting a fire to someone’s car is evidence of property damage and as a minor, it could be viewed as a felony. In completing the simple task of telling a supervisor and documenting the intent, this could have been avoided. Maintaining detailed moment-by-moment documentation of the conversation between the client and the caseworker is crucial to provide the best service. This could have helped the caseworker study his case report thoroughly to see if some of his behaviors in the past gave a clear indication of his actions.
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In this case, if I was the social worker, I would have immediately talked to my supervisor about the incident. I have learned that when people show you who they are, believe them the first time. In this case, taking Jack’s word seriously is crucial. When Jack made that comment the first time, it would have alerted me to continue asking him questions regarding his intent, documented his body language, analyzed his voice and facial expression, and followed up with my supervisor on my findings. In doing so, the supervisor and the caseworker could have acted
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