Make sure you have completed the Riverbend City scenario, Riverbend City: HPDP Program Design, and read the Ethical Standards for Human Services Professionals before beginning this discussion.

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Make sure you have completed the Riverbend City scenario, Riverbend City: HPDP Program Design, and read the Ethical Standards for Human Services Professionals before beginning this discussion.

For this discussion, present at least two professional standards and their application in this scenario. Choose the professional standards and describe how each is linked to specific behaviors and interactions in the Riverbend City scenario. Were these ethical standards maintained or were these behaviors and interactions questionable?


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Riverbend City: HPDP Program Design Mission

Welcome to Riverbend City

Expository text: The ongoing communication problems between the Hmong community and Riverbend City Medical Center (RCMC) were punctuated painfully during the train derailment; especially through the altercation with the Vang family.

An embarrassing article about the altercation in the Free Press prompted hospital CEO Eugene Pittman to investigate a successful Merced, California program. In Merced, the medical community has been teaching principles of Western medicine to Hmong shamans [traditional spiritual healers].

The shamans act as a bridge between medical professionals and the Hmong community. When consulting with Hmong patients, the shamans instruct the patients in Western medicine and also perform traditional rituals.


When creating a Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Plan (HPDP) for a diverse population, it’s important to carefully consider cultural norms and needs. It also sometimes becomes necessary to “think outside the box” and consider ideas that may seem unorthodox.

As you read about this proposed HPDP, consider the degree to which you feel this proposal will be effective. What steps should the hospital take to maximize the effectiveness of this HPDP?

Riverbend Medical Center: CEO’s Office

Eugene Pittman invites Beatriz Garcia-Chavez, CNO, and Shannon Moe, Nurse Training Manager, to discuss the proposed Hmong shaman training program.

Eugene expresses his frustration about the hospital’s poor communication with the Hmong community.

EUGENE PITTMAN: This disaster really brought to light how poor our relationship is the Hmong community. It is a situation that must change.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: The nurses are frustrated too, Eugene. Everyone was very upset when that Free Press article came out last week. We felt like we did everything we could during the disaster to accommodate the diverse needs of our patients-especially considering how short staffed we were. But that article made us look like we weren’t even trying.

EUGENE PITTMAN: I know that’s not the case, Beatriz. [Sighs] But yes, that article needs to be a wakeup call for the hospital. Clearly we’re not meeting the needs of our Hmong patients, and we need to try something new.

SHANNON MOE: I’m so glad you brought the Merced shaman liaison program to our attention, Eugene. It looks promising. I’m wondering what we would need to do to make the program work here?

EUGENE PITTMAN: I don’t know, Shannon. That’s what I want you and Beatriz to help me figure out. What I do know is that this hospital failed to communicate properly with the Hmong population during a crisis, and now the press is at our throats. We have to do something, and the Merced program has seen a lot of success

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: The Merced program is pretty unorthodox. Are you comfortable with that?

EUGENE PITTMAN: [Laughs] Not entirely! You know I tend to be conservative when it comes to experiments like this. But in this case, we may just need to think outside the box.

Beatriz explains that the nurses have concerns about the proposed Hmong shaman program.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: I’m definitely intrigued by the idea a Hmong shaman program, and so are the nurses. But I have to say that the nurses do have some concerns.

EUGENE PITTMAN: What are their concerns, Beatriz?

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: Well, everyone seems fine with the idea of training shamans about germ theory and other Western medicine concepts. It’s been a struggle to get some of our older Hmong patients to agree to the most basic procedures, like getting their blood drawn. So we’d all like to learn more about how shamans can act as liaisons. However, the nurses are concerned about letting the shamans perform rituals in the hospital.

SHANNON MOE: Rituals? What kinds of rituals?

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: To tell you the truth, I don’t know what’s accurate and what’s hearsay. I’ve heard that shamans do everything from burning incense to letting hens walk on their patients’ chests.

SHANNON MOE: Eww! Why would they do that?

EUGENE PITTMAN: This is clearly something we need to investigate. My limited understanding of the Merced program is that the shamans do perform some rituals as part of the spiritual counseling of patients. We would certainly need to investigate what these rituals are, and whether there are some rituals that aren’t appropriate at this hospital.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: The nurses would really appreciate that information.

EUGENE PITTMAN: Beatriz, I’d like to hear more about the nurses’ concerns. I’d also like to hear about their experiences working with the Hmong community. Let’s organize some focus group sessions with our nurses.

Shannon is asked to conduct focus groups in the Hmong community to better understand the community’s experiences with the hospital.

SHANNON MOE: So Eugene, in your email you said you wanted me to conduct some focus group interviews with the Hmong community. Could you tell me more about what you’re looking for?

EUGENE PITTMAN: Well, I’d like to hear what they have to say about the shaman program idea. I’d also like to get some feedback about their experiences with our hospital.

SHANNON MOE: [Tentatively] Okay, then. I do have a lot of experience with focus groups, but I’ve never interviewed people from the Hmong community before. What do I do if they don’t speak English?

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: You’ll need an interpreter. Actually, I met a woman recently who’s a community organizer in the Shoals neighborhood. Why don’t I give you her card? The two of you could conduct the focus groups together. Even if language isn’t an issue, I’m sure it will help to have someone from the community working with you as a liaison.

SHANNON MOE: [Relieved] Thanks, Beatriz! That would make me a feel a lot more credible. And I’m sure the community members would be more at ease.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: Absolutely. It would also help to conduct the interviews somewhere in the Shoals neighborhood, like in the new Latimer Community Center.

EUGENE PITTMAN: That sounds fantastic! Make it happen, Shannon.

Freepress Article – Optional Content

Riverbend City Medical Center: Hospital Meeting Room

Beatriz Garcia-Chavez interviews RCMC nurses about the proposed shaman training program and about their experiences with Hmong patients.

ER Nurse Sheila Meeks and her manager, Carl Lauderback, share their thoughts on the shaman program.

SHEILA MEEKS: I’m really glad you took the time to ask the nurses about this new idea. What was it you called this Hmong healer person… A shaman? [makes a disapproving noise] I don’t want to sound close-minded, but that makes me nervous.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: What makes you nervous, Sheila?

SHEILA MEEKS: Well, look at what happened with that Vang boy. There must have been over a dozen cousins and aunts and uncles and distant relatives all over the emergency room. With all the chaos going on after the chemical spill, that was the last thing we needed. So now are we going to have to accommodate a shaman on top of all these other people who want to be involved in a patient’s care?

CARL LAUDERBACK: Sheila, I for one am willing to give this a try. We need to do something to show the Hmong community that that this hospital isn’t the enemy. The incident with the Vang family was a major embarrassment.

SHEILA MEEKS: I’m embarrassed about what happened with the Vang family too, Carl. I’m just worried about having another person involved in patient health care decisions.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: Sheila, have you had encounters like this with other Hmong patients, where large groups of family members wanted to be involved in medical decisions?

SHEILA MEEKS: Well, not to the same extent, but yes. Every so often we have a case where family members want to take an injured person home to treat them. We’ve had to release some patients that needed our help. [sighs] I know, not all Hmong patients are this uncooperative. Mostly our interactions with them are just fine. But some of them act like Western medicine is evil. Especially those of whom haven’t been in America for long.

CARL LAUDERBACK: Sheila, I understand where you’re coming from. Believe me. What I’m hoping is that these shamans act as a bridge between us and the Hmong community. This is an urban hospital, Sheila, and we’ve got a diverse population. We need to find ways to help our patients trust us.

Beatriz asks nurse managers Rachel Fox and Christine Sassman about their experiences with Hmong patients.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: I’d like to hear more about your experiences working with the Hmong community.

RACHEL FOX: Well, usually things go just fine. It’s not like we see the Hmong people as problem patients. But sometimes there are conflicts, especially with older patients who haven’t been in this country for long. And I’ve noticed there are conflicts sometimes when Hmong patients need surgery.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: Can you give an example?

RACHEL FOX: Well…just last month, I consulted with a young Hmong woman who needed a kidney. One became available, and she had to go against the wishes of her family members to get it. It was very stressful for her. There was this gathering of family members in the room discussing options. And they were just kind of ignoring her. It was so odd. It doesn’t seem like women are treated very well in their culture.

CHRISTINE SASSMAN: Actually, Rachel, I watched a documentary about this issue. I don’t think this is a gender thing. Caring for family members who are sick in this way is considered to be an important act of love. I think a male patient would have been treated similarly.


CHRISTINE SASSMAN: Yeah. And the surgery issue is a culture thing too. If I’m remembering this right, the traditional Hmong belief is that there are multiple souls that live in the body. I think they believe that one of the souls can be released during surgery, and that the body might come back in the next life deformed.

RACHEL FOX: See, I didn’t know that. I do know that drawing blood is seen as a really big deal.

CHRISTINE SASSMAN: Yeah. I think some of them don’t understand that blood is renewable. That’s why I think this shaman program is such a good idea. The shamans could teach patients about procedures like blood tests. And we could learn more about the traditional Hmong ways of doing things.

Novice ER nurse Jessica Jameson is opposed to the proposed Hmong shaman program.

JESSICA JAMESON: I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to bring those Hmong witch doctor people into the hospital. I mean, I don’t want to come off as being racist, but I hear these people do animal sacrifices! Can you imagine someone bringing a goat into the emergency room and cutting its head off?

CARMELA DEGENARO: Jessica! That’s crazy. Where did you hear that?

JESSICA JAMESON: I don’t know. On the News, I think.

SAMANTHA CARTER: Jessica, you can’t believe everything you see on TV. What I’m worried about incense. I heard that they want to burn it for patients. I don’t want disrespect their traditions-but isn’t that going to be a problem because of oxygen and smoke detectors?

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: Samantha, that’s a good point. The incense question has come up before in Merced. I’m not sure how they resolved it, but we might be able to burn incense in designated areas.

JESSICA JAMESON: But that’s so weird! Why would anyone want to burn incense at a hospital? You know, like I said, I don’t want to sound racist… but this is America. These people need to leave their weird voodoo practices in the jungle.

CARMELA DEGENARO: Jessica, that’s enough! You should be ashamed of yourself.

JESSICA JAMESON: [meekly] Um…I’m sorry…

CARMELA DEGENARO: Your generation doesn’t know anything about the Vietnam War. The Hmong people are heroes. They fought alongside our soldiers in Southeast Asia. You need to have some respect and compassion. These people are dealing with the challenge of living in a completely different culture. The least we can do is try to understand where they’re coming from.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: [after a brief uncomfortable silence] That’s precisely what we hope to accomplish if we implement this shaman program. We hope the shamans can serve as a bridge between the Hmong community and the hospital.

SAMANTHA CARTER: You know… Carmela, I hate to admit it, but I do have some reservations about this as well. I’m sure no one’s going to sacrifice an animal in the ER…but I guess I just want to know what kinds of procedures they will do. It seems wrong to have people who aren’t medical professionals treating patients here. I worry about sanitation and safety issues. And I could see a shaman unintentionally hurting someone because he isn’t trained.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: You raise some very legitimate concerns, Samantha. We need to work out a lot of details. But please be assured that no one is going to be working with patients in the hospital unless they’re carefully trained. That’s what they’ve been doing in Merced. The shamans all go through a training program.

SAMANTHA CARTER: Well, that’s good to hear. I would certainly be willing to give this a try. Especially since they tried this in California and it worked. It’s all about helping people, right? Jessica? What do you think?

JESSICA JAMESON: I don’t know, Sam. This sure isn’t what I learned in nursing school.

Shoals Neighborhood: Latimer Community Center

With the help of community organizer Pa Foua Lee, Shannon Moe interviews members of the Hmong community about their experiences with health care.

Seventeen-year-old Jason Vang and his mother, Bo, discuss their altercation with the hospital after the train derailment.

JASON VANG: The whole experience in the hospital was so weird! I was just trying to help, and they treated me like I was a juvenile delinquent or a gang member or something. My little cousin Lue was hurt. He doesn’t speak English very well yet, and I knew he was scared. Since the high school is close to the hospital, my mother called me and told me to get down there right away to help. I still don’t understand why the hospital wouldn’t just let me into his room to see him.

SHANNON MOE: Well, you’re underage, Jason.

BO VANG: See, we don’t see things that way. My son is seventeen years old. I was already married when I was his age. He’s not a child. And he got straight As on his report card last semester. Jason is perfectly capable of acting on behalf of our family.

SHANNON MOE: I’m sorry, Mrs. Vang. I do understand. But the hospital had to treat Jason as a minor because that’s what he legally is. Also, he wasn’t immediate family.

BO VANG: See, I don’t even know what that means. Immediate family? For us, we’re all immediate family. Our cousins came to America this year, and they need our help. So we help them. Their poor little boy was hurt in the chemical accident. Should I care less about an injured child because he’s not my own son?

JASON VANG: Yeah, I don’t get it either. The people in the hospital acted like we were a bunch of freaks. But all we wanted to do was take care of Lue. I mean, I know there are things about the Hmong that you’re not used to, and that’s cool. But what’s so weird about helping an injured little kid?

BO VANG: I hear Americans talking about family values. But they don’t seem to be talking about my family.

Kao Sua Fang, an elderly Hmong woman, discusses her negative experiences with the health care system.

KAO SUA FANG: I don’t like to go to the doctor. Things are so strange there.

SHANNON MOE: What do you mean, Mrs. Fang?

KAO SUA FANG: In my village, when people got sick, they treated the soul. Here, everything is about treating the body. When I go to the doctor in America, I feel like they are looking at my body only. They are not looking at me as a person.

PA FOUA LEE: I’m sorry to hear that, Auntie. I know you’ve been to Riverbend City Medical Center. Do you feel that the people there have respectful to you?

KAO SUA FANG: No. Some of them call me by my first name. I don’t understand that. Also, they think Hmong people are dumb.

PA FOUA LEE: Why do you say that?

KAO SUA FANG: Because our ways are different. My cousin, she was staying in the hospital, and a shaman came in and tied her wrists. The shaman explained to the nurses that he was protecting her from evil spirits. The nurses were very polite. But then later, in the hallway, I heard them talking about us and laughing. I think I heard them use the word “stupid.”

SHANNON MOE: Oh my goodness. Mrs. Fang, I’m so sorry that happened.

Gao Na Lor, an elderly Hmong shaman, shares her experiences.

GAO NA LOR: Thank you so much for inviting me to the community center today. I’m happy to answer any questions you have.

PA FOUA LEE: We are so honored to speak with you, Auntie. Your story is so interesting. Can you tell Shannon how long you’ve been a shaman?

GAO NA LOR: Since I was 13 years old.

SHANNON MOE: Thirteen? Oh my goodness. I didn’t know children could be shamans. Actually I was surprised that women could be shamans.

GAO NA LOR: Oh yes-men, women, and children. We are chosen. When I was thirteen, I became very sick and almost died. A shaman came to visit my family. He looked me over and told my family I was chosen, and then he performed the shaman ceremony.

SHANNON MOE: That’s amazing. Do you mind if I ask what kind of healing you do?

GAO NA LOR: Well, I’m a very different kind of healer than the ones in your hospital. I’m afraid what I do might be hard for you to understand. We believe that a person gets sick, there’s a connection to the spirit world. When a sick person comes to me for help, I negotiate with the spirits on behalf of the person’s soul. We call this pauj dab.

SHANNON MOE: Wow. So people come to you instead of going to a doctor?

GAO NA LOR: Oh, not so much anymore. People go to me and to the doctor. I go to the doctor sometimes myself. My high blood pressure is down!

PA FOUA LEE: Oh good, Auntie! The hospital is thinking about trying a new program. They want to work with shamans to help patients communicate with doctors, and vice versa. What do you think of this?

GAO NA LOR: Well…I think that’s a good idea. But will the hospital be open to hearing about our traditions? Are they going to try to teach me that my ways of healing are wrong?

SHANNON MOE: Oh, no, Mrs. Lor. We want to teach you more about Western medicine so you can communicate this information to patients. But we also want to make arrangements so that you can perform some of your rituals in the hospital.

GAO NA LOR: Oh, good. That sounds like something I might like to try. I have been in Riverbend City for a long time now-almost 30 years. I always look for ways to bring the old and new together.

Riverbend City Medical: Center CNO’s Office

Eugene, Beatriz, and Shannon discuss the next steps for developing the Hmong shaman program.

Eugene, Beatriz, and Shannon discuss the next steps for developing the Hmong shaman program.

EUGENE PITTMAN: The first thing we need to do is to implement the administration and monitoring of the program. This program is plenty controversial, and we need to make sure we have a handle on what’s going on from the get-go.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: I agree, Eugene. Although I am wondering if it would be a good idea to develop target goals and objectives first.

EUGENE PITTMAN: Could you elaborate, Beatriz?

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: Well, I just think we should figure out first what it is we want to accomplish. What are our specific goals for the Hmong community? Right now, it’s unclear if our objective is to improve health in the community in some way, or just to improve communication and trust between the Hmong community and the hospital. I think we need to figure this out.

EUGENE PITTMAN: That’s a very good point. Shannon, what do you think?

SHANNON MOE: Well, I’m not sure what order we need to do things. But I really think we should get more feedback from the Hmong community. I learned so much from the focus groups from them. Plus, I think we need to diagnose health-related concerns. I’m under the impression that diabetes is a growing problem for them, but I don’t know that for sure. We can figure that out by talking to people in the community as well.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: Absolutely, Shannon. And on a related note, we need to assess the long-term health and social benefits of this program on the community.

EUGENE PITTMAN: Both of you make excellent points. I still think the first thing we need to do is to figure out how we’re going to administer and monitor the program. After we do that, I think the next step should be to implement the program structure. We need to figure out the details, like where we’re going to hold the shaman courses, and who’s going to teach them.

BEATRIZ GARCIA-CHAVEZ: And what information we want to teach.

EUGENE PITTMAN: Exactly. We need to figure out how the program is going to work before we make it happen.

SHANNON MOE: OK, then. So, where do we start?

Freepress Article – Optional Content


Congratulations! You have successfully completed the HPDP PROGRAM DESIGN MISSION.

You have now seen the beginnings of a Health Promotion and Disease Prevention program that will be tailored to a minority population. While all HPDPs need to follow a similar series of steps, preparing an HPDP for a minority population requires careful consideration of the particular cultural norms and needs of the group in question.

As you create your own HPDP for this course-and in future situations-consider the types of steps that Eugene, Shannon, and Beatriz took as they began this program.


  • Content adapted from: Kline, M.V., & Huff, R.M. (2007). Health promotion in multicultural populations: A handbook for practitioners and students (2nd ed). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.


Simulation Subject Matter Expert:
Ann Leslie Claesson, PhD, BSN
Subject Matter Expert:
Tayray Jasmine PhD, MSN, RN
Interactive Design:
Matthew Johnson, LaVonne Carlson, Chris Schons, Justin Lee, Pat Lapinski, Mark Bune, Tara Schiller, Marc Ashmore
Media Instructional Designer:
Felicity Pearson
Instructional Designer:
Felicity Pearson
Project Manager:
Melanie Laudenbach, Jesse Rosel, Karen Dodd, Julie Greunke
Tom Kapocius
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


Human services is a profession developed in response to the direction of human needs and human problems in the 1960’s. Characterized by an appreciation of human beings in all of their diversity, human services offers assistance to its clients within the context of their communities and environments. Human service professionals and those who educate them promote and encourage the unique values and characteristics of human services. In so doing, human service professionals uphold the integrity and ethics of the profession, promote client and community well-being, and enhance their own professional growth.

The fundamental values of the human services profession include respecting the dignity and welfare of all people; promoting self-determination; honoring cultural diversity; advocating for social justice; and acting with integrity, honesty, genuineness and objectivity.

Human service professionals consider these standards in ethical and professional decision making. Conflicts may exist between this code and laws, workplace policies, cultural practices, credentialing boards, and personal beliefs. Ethical-decision making processes should be employed to assure careful choices. Although ethical codes are not legal documents, they may be used to address issues related to the behavior of human service professionals.

Persons who use this code include members of the National Organization for Human Services, students in relevant academic degree programs, faculty in those same programs, researchers, administrators, and professionals in community agencies who identify with the profession of human services. The ethical standards are organized in sections around those persons to whom ethical practice should be applied.


Responsibility to Clients

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STANDARD 1 Human service professionals recognize and build on client and community strengths.

STANDARD 2 Human service professionals obtain informed consent to provide services to clients at the beginning of the helping relationship. Clients should be informed that they may withdraw consent at any time except where denied by court order and should be able to ask questions before agreeing to the services. Clients who are unable to give consent should have those who are legally able to give consent for them review an informed consent statement and provide appropriate consent.

STANDARD 3 Human service professionals protect the client’s right to privacy and confidentiality except when such confidentiality would cause serious harm to the client or others, when agency guidelines state otherwise, or under other stated conditions (e.g., local, state, or federal laws). Human service professionals inform clients of the limits of confidentiality prior to the onset of the helping relationship.

STANDARD 4 If it is suspected that danger or harm may occur to the client or to others as a result of a client’s behavior, the human service professional acts in an appropriate and professional manner to protect the safety of those individuals. This may involve, but is not limited to, seeking consultation, supervision, and/or breaking the confidentiality of the relationship.

STANDARD 5 Human service professionals recognize that multiple relationships may increase the risk of harm to or exploitation of clients and may impair their professional judgment. When it is not feasible to avoid dual or multiple relationships, human service professionals should consider whether the professional relationship should be avoided or curtailed.

STANDARD 6 Sexual or romantic relationships with current clients are prohibited. Before engaging in sexual or romantic relationships with former clients, friends, or family members of former clients, human service professionals carefully evaluate potential exploitation or harm and refrain from entering into such a relationship.

STANDARD 7 Human service professionals ensure that their values or biases are not imposed upon their clients.

STANDARD 8 Human service professionals protect the integrity, safety, and security of client records. Client information in written or electronic form that is shared with other professionals must have the client’s prior written consent except in the course of professional supervision or when legally obliged or permitted to share such information.

STANDARD 9 When providing services through the use of technology, human service professionals take precautions to ensure and maintain confidentiality and comply with all relevant laws and requirements regarding storing, transmitting, and retrieving data. In addition, human service professionals ensure that clients are aware of any issues and concerns related to confidentiality, service issues, and how technology might negatively or positively impact the helping relationship.


Responsibility to the Public and Society

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STANDARD 10 Human service professionals provide services without discrimination or preference in regards to age, ethnicity, culture, race, ability, gender, language preference, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality, or other historically oppressed groups.

STANDARD 11 Human service professionals are knowledgeable about their cultures and communities within which they practice. They are aware of multiculturalism in society and its impact on the community as well as individuals within the community. They respect the cultures and beliefs of individuals and groups.

STANDARD 12 Human service professionals are aware of local, state, and federal laws. They advocate for change in regulations and statutes when such legislation conflicts with ethical guidelines and/or client rights. Where laws are harmful to individuals, groups, or communities, human service professionals consider the conflict between the values of obeying the law and the values of serving people and may decide to initiate social action.

STANDARD 13 Human service professionals stay informed about current social issues as they affect clients and communities. If appropriate to the helping relationship, they share this information with clients, groups and communities as part of their work.

STANDARD 14 Human service professionals are aware of social and political issues that differentially affect clients from diverse backgrounds.

STANDARD 15 Human service professionals provide a mechanism for identifying client needs and assets, calling attention to these needs and assets, and assisting in planning and mobilizing to advocate for those needs at the individual, community, and societal level when appropriate to the goals of the relationship.

STANDARD 16 Human service professionals advocate for social justice and seek to eliminate oppression. They raise awareness of underserved population in their communities and with the legislative system.

STANDARD 17 Human service professionals accurately represent their qualifications to the public. This includes, but is not limited to, their abilities, training, education, credentials, academic endeavors, and areas of expertise. They avoid the appearance of misrepresentation or impropriety and take immediate steps to correct it if it occurs.

STANDARD 18 Human service professionals describe the effectiveness of treatment programs, interventions and treatments, and/or techniques accurately, supported by data whenever possible.


Responsibility to Colleagues

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STANDARD 19 Human service professionals avoid duplicating another professional’s helping relationship with a client. They consult with other professionals who are assisting the client in a different type of relationship when it is in the best interest of the client to do so. In addition, human services professionals seek ways to actively collaborate and coordinate with other professionals when appropriate.

STANDARD 20 When human service professionals have a conflict with a colleague, they first seeks out the colleague in an attempt to manage the problem. If this effort fails, the professional then seeks the assistance of supervisors, consultants, or other professionals in efforts to address the conflict.

STANDARD 21 Human service professionals respond appropriately to unethical and problematic behavior of colleagues. Usually this means initially talking directly with the colleague and if no satisfactory resolution is achieved, reporting the colleague’s behavior to supervisory or administrative staff.

STANDARD 22 All consultations between human service professionals are kept private, unless to do so would result in harm to clients or communities.


Responsibility to Employers

STANDARD 23 To the extent possible, human service professionals adhere to commitments made to their employers.

STANDARD 24 Human service professionals participate in efforts to establish and maintain employment conditions which are conducive to high quality client services. Whenever possible, they assist in evaluating the effectiveness of the agency through reliable and valid assessment measures.

STANDARD 25 When a conflict arises between fulfilling the responsibility to the employer and the responsibility to the client, human service professionals work with all involved to manage the conflict.


Responsibility to the Profession

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STANDARD 26 Human service professionals seek the training, experience, education and supervision necessary to ensure their effectiveness in working with culturally diverse individuals based on age, ethnicity, culture, race, ability, gender, language preference, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality, or other historically oppressive groups. In addition, they will strive to increase their competence in methods which are known to be the best fit for the population(s) with whom they work.

STANDARD 27 Human service professionals know the limit and scope of their professional knowledge and offer services only within their knowledge, skill base, and scope of practice.

STANDARD 28 Human service professionals seek appropriate consultation and supervision to assist in decision-making when there are legal, ethical or other dilemmas.

STANDARD 29 Human service professionals promote cooperation among related disciplines to foster professional growth and to optimize the impact of inter-professional collaboration on clients at all levels.

STANDARD 30 Human service professionals promote the continuing development of their profession. They encourage membership in professional associations, support research endeavors, foster educational advancement, advocate for appropriate legislative actions, and participate in other related professional activities.

STANDARD 31 Human service professionals continually seek out new and effective approaches to enhance their professional abilities and use techniques that are conceptually or evidence based. When practicing techniques that are experimental or new, they inform clients of the status of such techniques as well as the possible risks.

STANDARD 32 Human service professionals conduct research that adheres to all ethical principles, institutional standards, and scientific rigor. Such research takes into consideration cross-cultural bias and is reported in a manner that addressed any limitations.

STANDARD 33 Human service professionals make careful decisions about disclosing personal information while using social media, knowing that they reflect the profession of human services. In addition, they consider how their public conduct may reflect on themselves and their profession.


Responsibility to Self

STANDARD 34 Human service professionals are aware of their own cultural backgrounds, beliefs, values, and biases. They recognize the potential impact of their backgrounds on their relationships with others and work diligently to provide culturally competent service to all of their clients.

STANDARD 35 Human service professionals strive to develop and maintain healthy personal growth to ensure that they are capable of giving optimal services to clients. When they find that they are physically, emotionally, psychologically, or otherwise not able to offer such services, they identify alternative services for clients.

STANDARD 36 Human service professionals hold a commitment to lifelong learning and continually advance their knowledge and skills to serve clients more effectively.


Responsibility to Students

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STANDARD 37 Human service educators develop and implement culturally sensitive knowledge, awareness, and teaching methodologies.

STANDARD 38 Human service educators are committed to the principles of access and inclusion and take all available and applicable steps to make education available to differently-abled students.

STANDARD 39 Human service educators demonstrate high standards of scholarship in their scholarship, pedagogy, and professional service and stay current in the field by being members of their professional associations, attending workshops and conferences, and reviewing and/or conducting research.

STANDARD 40 Human service educators recognize and acknowledge the contributions of students to the work of the educator in such activities as case material, grants, workshops, research, publications, and other related activities.

STANDARD 41 Human service educators monitor students’ field experiences to ensure the quality of the placement site, supervisory experience, and learning experience towards the goals of personal, professional, academic, career, and civic development. When students experience potentially harmful events during field placements, educators provide reasonable investigation and response as necessary to safeguard the student.

STANDARD 42 Human service educators establish and uphold appropriate guidelines concerning student disclosure of sensitive/personal information which includes letting students have fair warning of any self-disclosure activities, allowing students to opt-out of in-depth self-disclosure activities when feasible, and ensuring that a mechanism is available to discuss and process such activities as needed.

STANDARD 43 Human service educators are aware that in their relationships with students, power and status are unequal. Human service educators are responsible to clearly define and maintain ethical and professional relationships with student; avoid conduct that is demeaning, embarrassing or exploitative of students; and always strive to treat students fairly, equally and without discrimination.

STANDARD 44 Human service educators ensure students are familiar with, informed by, and accountable to the ethical standards and policies put forth by their program/department, the course syllabus/instructor, their advisor(s), and the Ethical Standards of Human Service Professionals.

For more information regarding Ethical Standard please email the  NOHS Ethics Chair

Upcoming Events

Mon Nov 15, 2021 Human Services Today – Deadline for Article Submissions

Category: Human Services Today

Tue Nov 30, 2021 Human Services Today, Volume 2 | Issue 4 Published

Category: Human Services Today

Mon Dec 13, 2021 NOHS Board of Directors Meeting

Category: NOHS Board of Directors

View Full Calendar

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March 24, 2021 “ Mass Shootings add to mental health issues already affected by COVID-19 ” by Dr. Samuel Rothman & Dr. Tarun Jain, via abcNEWS

February 2021 “ Celebrating Black History Month ” by Google

February 2021 – “ The Art of Making Tough Decisions in a Crisis ” by Stress & Resilience Institute

February 12, 2021 – “ Sociologists Propose Shift to “Neuroecosocial” Paradigm of Mental Health ” by Michah Ingle, MA via Mad in America

February 8, 2021 – “ As Demand for Mental Health Care Spikes, Budget Ax Set to Strike ” by Matt Volz via Kaiser Health News

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