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S23-502 Navigating Ethical Boundaries with Clients & Peers

Total Credits: 3 including 3 Ethic CEs

500 Ethics |  800 Online
Gisele Ferretto, LCSW-C
Course Levels:
3 Hours 15 Minutes



This three-hour workshop is focused on the development of strategies to address the common, yet complex ethical issues concerning boundaries that social workers and administrators face in their practice. Content will cover the following topics: Establishing and maintaining ethical boundaries; different types of boundaries; and the impact of boundaries on practice and client outcomes. Current legal references will be provided concerning relevant statutes and the ethical codes of practice for social work. Risk management strategies will also be identified. 



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, professional ethics, supervision and leadership, confidentiality, social work and field practicum education, child welfare practice, and curriculum development.  Ms. Ferretto provides consultation and training for private and public agencies in her areas of expertise. She has served on a variety of committees and boards at the local, state, and national level developing policy and program initiatives.

Currently, Ms. Ferretto is on the Faculty at the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW). During her tenure at the SSW she has held positions in the Office of Field Education, Title IV-E Education for Public Child Welfare Program, Child Welfare Academy, Family Connections Baltimore and Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS).  Prior to her positions at the SSW, she served as an administrator at the Maryland Department of Human Services in the following programs: Child Protective Services, Office of Equal Opportunity, and the Office of Staff Development and Training. Ms. Ferretto began her social work career as a Child Protective Services Worker at Baltimore City Department of Social Services.

Agenda & Learning Objectives


8:30am - 9:00am Registration
9:00am - 10:15am

Overview of Ethical Issues Associated with Establishing and Maintaining Boundaries

 Use of Professional Self and Professional Self as Described in The NASW Code of Ethics, Health Occupations §19 Social Workers and COMAR 10.42.03.

Identification of Personal Self and Personal Boundaries and Their Impact on Practice and The Professional Work Environment.

Dimensions of Self, Axes of Privilege, And Tasks of the Privileged and the Subjugated Self

10:15am - 10:30am Break
10:30am - 12:15pm 

Unconscious or Implicit Bias and Its Connection to Boundary Issues

Exploration of Boundary Issues, Dual Relationships, and Conflicts of Interest

Standard of Care and Risk Management Strategies

12:15pm Questions & Adjournment



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

  • Examine the purpose of the ethical codes and Use of Professional Self when establishing and maintaining appropriate professional boundaries  

  • Identify the concepts of dual relationships, boundary violations, boundary crossings, and establishing professional boundaries  

  • Review the Maryland statutes and regulations that govern boundaries and ethical professional behavior including Health Occupations §19 Social Workers and 10.42.03  

  • Learn strategies to establish boundaries and create an environment that is welcoming, respectful, therapeutic, and effective 

Bibliography & References


MD Board of Social Work Examiners

NASW National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics:

Bonosky, N. (1995). Boundary violations in social work supervision: Clinical, educational and legal implications. Clinical Supervisor

Brownlee, K. (1996). The ethics of non-sexual dual relationships: A dilemma for the rural mental health professional. Community Mental Health Journal

Celenza, Andrea (2007). Sexual Boundary Violations: Therapeutic, Supervisory, and Academic Contexts. Lanham, Md.: Jason Aronson.

Cooper, F. (2012). Professional boundaries in social work and social care: a practical guide to understanding, maintaining and managing your professional boundaries. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Gutheil, Thomas G., and Brodsky, A. (2008). Preventing Boundary Violations in Clinical Practice. New York: Guilford Press.

Hardy, Kenneth V. (2019) Tips and Tactics for Talking about Race. Psychotherapy Networker & PESI, Inc.

Hardy, Kenneth V: and

Perez, Elena. You Were Called Out or Called In—Now What? Nonprofit Quarterly, March 15, 2019.

Reamer, Frederic G. (2012) Boundary and Dual Relationship Issues in the Human Services.  New York: Columbia University Press.

Reamer, Frederic G. (2015) Risk Management in Social Work: Preventing Professional Malpractice, Liability, and Disciplinary Action.  New York: Columbia University Press.

Reamer, Frederic G. (2018). Ethical Standards in Social Work: A Review of the NASW Code of Ethics (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: NASW Press. 


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

All those interested in Topic Welcomed

Late Fees and Refunds

Fee & Registration:

Cost is $65 and includes CE credit. Registering after January 26, 2022 will incur an additional $20 late fee. *Cancellations must be received 24 hours in advance prior to the live interactive webinar to receive a refund or a credit letter.


*All cancellations will be subjected to a $35.00 administration fee

Webinar Policies & FAQs

Click The Link to View The Webinar Policies & FAQs



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.