Consent and confidentiality: exploring the ethical challenges of working with young people [CONFERENCE PAPER]

Consent and confidentiality: exploring the ethical challenges of working with young people [CONFERENCE PAPER]
Zoe Morris, Nicholas Gamble
International School Psychology Association Annual Conference 2021, 13-16 July 2021
Abstract
Working with young people, particularly within schools, is complex work for psychologists and counsellors, both ethically and legally. Little is known about the process by which psychologists and counsellors determine the capacity for young people to provide their own consent for services – yet this process is undertaken everyday by school psychologists. This paper aimed to explore role that context and client characteristics may play in assessing a young person’s capacity. This paper presents findings from a study of 108 practitioners working in Australia. Participants responded to questions related to how they undertake an assessment of capacity in a young person and what factors are considered to support or negate capacity to consent. Responses provided insight into practitioner reasoning and decision-making processes when facing ethical dilemmas with young people as clients. This paper will explore current practice, highlight common challenges for school psychologists, and integrate with current guidelines and policy.

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