Is it ethical for a social worker to ignore a client’s phone calls?
I terminated my counseling relationship with a social worker several years ago. I am now realizing that I would like to begin counseling again. The social worker’s voicemail message says that he returns calls in 24 hours, but he hasn't called me back. I called him on the weekend and made it clear that I want him to call me back. Can he just ignore me?
In addition, mental health providers have an obligation to follow through with their own communication standards. For example, if the social worker in this case has an outgoing voicemail message that promises returned calls within 24 hours, he has an obligation to follow through on that promise.
All that being said, it is also worth remembering that mental health professionals are just people too. It is possible that he had an unforeseen emergency that kept him from from returning your call promptly.
In the end, I agree with Sherry's advice. If you feel this social worker is not a good fit for you, you probably should trust your gut and find someone else who is a better fit.
- 180 views
Yes, your former social worker should return your phone call.
It is the professional ethic to do so and plain human decency to do so.
If he doesn't, there is nothing you can directly do about the fact of his ignoring you.
There are formal complaints you can make, which you can consider doing.
What matters most is receiving social work service.
Stick with looking for another social worker who is willing to help you.
The self-doubts you mention may be worth examining.
They do not, however excuse the social worker mishandling himself.
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