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F23-502 Ethical Considerations and Strategies for Addressing the Issues of Confidentiality in Social Work Practice

Total Credits: 6 including 6 Ethic CEs

500 Ethics
Gisele Ferretto, LCSW-C
Course Levels:
7 Hours 30 Minutes



 This workshop focuses on strategies for identifying and addressing common, yet complex ethical issues concerning confidentiality that social workers face in their practice. To provide services, it is often necessary to share and obtain information from community partners serving individuals, yet confidentiality practices are confusing and complicated. Workshop content will include an overview of the Maryland Statute and Regulations that govern the confidentiality of health, mental health, substance abuse, social service, and educational records; the requirements for release of information; child maltreatment or imminent harm information; privileged communication; and clinician’s personal notes. The presenter served on the national committee to revise the new NASW Confidentiality and Information Utilization Issue Statement and will include an overview of these national confidentiality standards.  

*This workshop meets the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners' ethics requirements. 



Gisele Ferretto, LCSW-C Related Seminars and Products

University of Maryland School of Social Work

 Gisele Ferretto, MSW, LCSW-C has over 35 years of social work experience in both clinical and macro practice areas. Her areas of expertise include: policy and leadership development, field education, child welfare practice, professional ethics, supervision, confidentiality, and curriculum development.  Ms. Ferretto is considered a subject matter expert on the issue of confidentiality in social work practice. Most recently she was a contributing author for the Confidentiality and Information Utilization NASW Policy Statement recently published in Social Work Speaks 12th Edition: National Association of Social Workers Policy Statements 2021–2023. She once served on the Maryland Legislative Summer Study Committee that first established the language for the law that governs both health and behavioral health records for the state (Md. Health-General Code Ann. § 4-301 et seq.)  

Agenda & Learning Objectives


8:50 – 9:00  

Log On/Registration  

9:00 – 10:45  

Overview of the Concepts and Ethical Principals Related To The Sharing And Obtaining Of Confidential Information 

Exploration of the Functions Served By An Ethical Code and Model for Ethical Decision Making 

10:45 – 11:00  


11:00 – 12:00  

Identification of The Statute, Regulations and Policy concerning Confidentiality & Professional Licensing  

General Principles of Confidentiality, Three Types of Permitted Disclosures and Informed Consent 


12:00 – 1:00            


1:00  - 3:00                 

Relevant Confidentiality Laws for Social Work Practice  

Public Information Act 

Medical Or Mental Health Information  

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment  

LDSS (Economic Assistance) Records 

Child Abuse or Neglect 

Court: Disclosure Pursuant to a Subpoena; Privileged Statements; CINA  

Required Disclosures: Report Child Abuse and Neglect, Vulnerable Adults and  Duty To Warn 

Education Records 

Sharing Information Between Agencies That Serve Children And Families      

3:00 – 3:15  


3:15 – 4:30                              

Relevant Confidentiality Laws for Social Work Practice continued 

Practice Activity        

4:30 pm                              



Upon the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the rationale and elements of narrative ethics, including voice, perspective, audiences, plot, character, conflict, and resolution.   

  • Be able to engage clients, supervisees, and colleagues in meaningful discussions of ethical issues by applying narrative ethics to situations related to professional boundaries, conflict of interest, cross-cultural conflicts, intimate partner abuse, confidentiality, and other ethical issues.  

  • Be able to engage clients, supervisees, and colleagues in situation-based discussions of ethical issues taking agency, professional role and responsibilities, client situation and culture, and other contextual factors into account.   

Bibliography & References


COMAR 10.42.03 Code of Ethics. 

National Association of Social Workers’ (NASW, 2017) Code of Ethics).  

Confidentiality in Social Work: Issues and Principles Suanna J. Wilson. The Free Press, New York, 1978 

NASW Issue Statement on Confidentiality and Information Utilization, Social Work Speaks, 10th edition. NASW Publications 2019.  

Course Completion & CE Information

Category I Maryland BSWE Requirement

The Office of Continuing Professional Education at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education programs. This workshop qualifies for {6} Category I Continuing Education Units for ethics. The Office of Continuing Professional Education is also authorized by the Maryland Board of Psychologists and the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to sponsor Category A continuing professional education.

Please refer to the tab "Live Interactive Webinar Policies & FAQs" for UMSSW Office of CPE policies regarding all live interactive webinar related matters.

Target Audience

Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists

We welcome anyone interested in the topic!


Late Fees and Refunds

Fee & Registration:

Cost is $130 and includes CE credit. Registering after September 8, 2023 will incur an additional $20 late fee. Cancellations* must be received 24 hours in advance prior to the workshop to receive a refund or an account credit.


*ALL cancellations will be subjected to a $35.00 administration fee.

Live Interactive Webinar Platforms


The Office of Continuing Professional Education hosts Live Interactive Webinars through two platforms: Zoom and WebEx.

Both platforms offer high quality and user-friendly webinar platforms for our registrants.


System Requirements:

  • Operating Systems: Windows XP or higher; MacOS 9 or higher; Android 4.0 or higher.
  • Internet Browser: Google Chrome; Firefox 10.0 or higher.

Our system is not compatible with the Safari web browser.

  • Broadband Internet Connection: Cable, High-speed DSL and any other medium that is internet accessible.

**Please have your device charging at all times to ensure that your device does not lose power during the webinar.


Course Interaction Requirements:

To participate in Live Interactive Webinars, you MUST have a device that allows you to view the presentation on screen and hear the instructor at all times. We do not allow participants to call-in from their phones or mobile devices and solely listen to the presentation. Participation in Live Interactive Webinars is mandatory.

Webinar Policies & FAQs

Click The Link to View The Webinar Policies & FAQs