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F23-504 Dual Relationships: Balancing Ethical Relationships

Total Credits: 3 including 3 Ethic CEs

500 Ethics
Veronica Cruz, LCSW-C
Course Levels:
3 Hours 15 Minutes



This workshop will explore the importance of understanding and balancing ethical responsibilities.  An emphasis will be placed in exploring dual relationships and boundary issues to enhance and improve ethical responsibilities and reduce ethical violations.  This workshop will discuss common practice areas that raise ethical dilemmas and explore the code of ethics and propose various ethical decision making models that can utilized to resolve these ethical conflicts.  Issues explored will be:  code of ethics, understanding direct service situations, exploring professional relationships and limitations, ethical framework  model, and best practice techniques. A focus will be on analyzing Criminal Law Article 3-301, Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners (Title 10, .03) to the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (1.06, 1.09. 1.16 & 1.17) . Participants will be able to engage in activities that will allow them to further analyze and apply the various codes of ethics to further understand dual relationships.  This is an interactive workshop were cases vignettes will be presented and participants will work in a group setting to further maximize their understanding of the concepts presented.  



Veronica Cruz, LCSW-C Related Seminars and Products

Cruz and Associates

Ms. Cruz is a bilingual (Spanish/English) clinical and forensic social worker who has worked with children, adolescents, and families for over eighteen years. Ms. Cruz was employed for ten years as a forensic social worker with the Office of the Public Defender in Montgomery County. In addition, from 2000–2014 she worked as an emergency room and psychiatric social worker. She has extensive experience in inpatient psych and partial hospitalization psych programs. Ms. Cruz specializes in criminal defense mitigation, dual diagnosis, crisis intervention, addiction, trauma, and working with diverse ethnic groups.        

Ms. Cruz is a graduate of the Catholic University of America with a B.A. in psychology and received her Master of Social Work, specializing in mental health and addiction, from the University of Maryland School of School Work. In 2014 she completed an advanced two-year post-graduate Forensic Social Work Certification through the University of Maryland Continuing Education Department. In 2008 she co-created the Forensic Social Work Committee for NASW and in 2010 became the sole chair, a position she maintained until 2016, when she resigned due to other professional obligations. She continues to advocate for legislative changes. Under her leadership, the committee successfully hosted two national forensic social work conferences and advocated for various legislative bills and reform. She maintains various professional memberships and affiliations.        

Ms. Cruz is an Adjunct Professor:       

  • In 2016, Ms. Cruz joined the University of Maryland (Shady Grove) School of Social Work, teaching Advanced Trauma.       

  • In 2015, Ms. Cruz joined the Catholic University of America School of Social Work, teaching Advanced Ethics.  

Agenda & Learning Objectives


1:00 - 1:15  Log On/Registration  

1:15 - 2:45  Overview of Dual Relationships  

2:45 - 3:00  Break  

3:00 - 4:30  Boundaries & Responsibilities, Multi-Media presentation & Group Discussion, Ethical Decision-Making Models, Group Activity: Case Vignettes           

4:30 Questions and Adjournment  


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

  • Examine and apply the various ethical principles and codes of ethics to further understand how to manage and/or avoid dual relationships.  

  • Demonstrate an understanding of issues related to dual relationships and boundary issues.  

  • Analyze and apply an ethical decision making model which incorporates the codes of ethics and Comar regulations to concepts of dual relationships and boundary issues.  

  • Summarize key elements of balancing ethical responsibilities in relationship to the concepts of dual relationships and boundary issues. 

Bibliography & References


Code of Ethics Board of Social Work Examiner (2019). Retrieved from 


Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (2017). Retrieved from   


Dolgoff, R., Harrington, D., & Loewenberg, F. M. (2012). Brooks/Cole empowerment series: Ethical decisions for social work practice. Cengage Learning.  


Edwards, B & Addae, R. (2015). Ethical Decision-Making Models in Resolving Ethical Dilemmas in Rural Practice: Implications for Social Work Practice and Education, Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics  


Gallina, Nancy (2010). Conflict Between Professional Ethics and Practice Demands: Social Worker’s Perception.Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, Volume 7, Number 2  


Imboden, Rachel (2020). Exploring the Relationship Between Ethics Stress and Burnout, Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, Volume 17, No. 1  


Reamer, F. (2018.) Ethical Standards for Social Workers’ Use of Technology: Emerging Consensus, Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, Volume 15, Number 2  


Topor, A., & Matscheck, D. (2021). Diversity, Complexity and Ordinality: Mental Health Services Outside the Institutions—Service Users’ and Professionals’ Experience-Based Practices and Knowledges, and New Public Management. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18.  


Valutis, S. & Rubin, D. (2016). Value Conflicts in Social Work: Categories and Correlates. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, Volume 13(1): 11-24.  

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 {3} 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 $70 and includes CE credit. Registering after October 13th 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

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