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F20-506 Ethical Consideration and Strategies for Addressing the Issues of Confidentiality in Social Work Practice

Total Credits: 3 including 3 ASWB Ethics

500 Ethics |  800 Online
Gisele Ferretto, LCSW-C
Course Levels:
3 Hours 15 Minutes
Target Audience:
Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists




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, and yet confidentiality practices are confusing and complicated. Content will include: An overview of the Maryland Statute and Regulations which govern confidentiality of health records, mental health records, substance abuse records, social service records, education 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 NASW committee to revise the NASW Confidentiality and Information Utilization Issue Statement and will include an overview of these national standards. In addition, risk management strategies will be identified.



Gisele Ferretto, LCSW-C Related seminars and products: 1

University of Maryland School of Social Work

Social Worker, LCSW-C and alum of SSW. Currently Faculty Liaison and Clinical Instructor at SSW; her responsibilities are with the Title IV-E Education for Public Child Welfare program. Over 25 years’ experience in the human services field including direct service, staff development and training, administration and teaching – many of those years with the MD St. Dept. of Human Resources. She has been instrumental in organizing the SW advocacy day in Annapolis which has brought visibility to SW issues through work with MSW students and legislators. She has been a Board Member of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development of the Archdiocese of Baltimore since 1983 serving in a variety of capacities.  Her current focus is on local activities of this national foundation where she offers technical assistance and promotes community organizing and economic development with low income individuals. Pleased to have her contribute her expertise in the area of social work advocacy to the CPE program.

Agenda & Learning Objectives

09:00 Registration
09:00 - 10:30
  • Overview of Concepts and Ethical Principals related to the sharing and obtaining of confidential information.
  • Exploration of the functions served by an ethical code Identification of the statute, regulations, and policy concerning confidentiality.
  • General principles of confidentiality: three types of permitted disclosures and informed consent.
  • Review of NASW
  • Confidentiality and information utilization issue statement.



10:30 - 10:45                                        

10:45 - 12:15
  • Relevant confidentiality laws for social work practice.
  • Child abuse and neglect information and other social services information, Court related issues.
  • Required disclosures: reporting child abuse and neglect, vulnerable adults, and duty to warn, education records and sharing information between agencies that serve children and families.
12:15 Questions & Adjournment


Upon the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Distinguish the basic elements, concepts and terms concerning confidentiality and the restrictions and practice implications of the release of confidential information.
  • Explore the use of statute, regulations, and social work standards, which govern the protection of the various kinds of information obtained during the social work practice.
  • Apply professional values and ethical concepts to workplace situations including the following issues: Imminent harm, informed consent, duty to warn, and record keeping.
  • Explore strategies when responding to ethical issues and dilemmas concerning confidentiality practice.

Bibliography & References



Maryland Statutes reviewed: from

Public Information Act (PIA) State Government, § 10-612, et seq.
Human Services Article §1-201et seq (LDSS)
Human Services Article §1-202et seq (CA/N)
Human Services Article §§1-208, et seq. (among state agencies) 
Health General §8-601 (Drug & Alcohol)
Health General, §4-301, et seq. (Medical/ Mental Health) especially §4-306
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
Courts and Judicial Proceedings, §5-609 (Duty to Warn)
Family Law §5-711 (cps/medical)
Human Services Article §1-208 et seq
Health General §20-102
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. §  1232g (FERPA)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 
Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 3-827
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. 

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.

Late Fees and Refunds

Fee & Registration:

Cost is $65 and includes CE credit. Registering after November 20, 2020 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 Common Questions




1. Are the webinars live?

Yes. The webinars are live and interactive – they are not pre-recorded. You should treat the webinars as if you are attending an in-person course in a classroom setting, which means Live Interactive Webinars require proper classroom etiquette. The instructor will always require your participation and attention.


2. Who are you authorized by?

While most licensing boards (Social Work, Professional Counselors and Psychologists) accept CE credits provided by Accredited Schools/Colleges of Social Work, licensees are responsible for determining where specific courses meet their jurisdiction’s requirements.  State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit.


The Office of Continuing Professional Education is approved by the following organizations:

  • The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program, Provider number 1611, which is accepted by most States and Provinces.
  • The Maryland Board of Social Worker Examiners (BSWE).
  • Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.
  • DC Department of Health: Professional Counseling and Social Work.
  • Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychologists (and many others)

**Not every course is approved by each organization. It is the responsibility of the participant to check the approval statement on the website to determine which CE approvals are being offered for each course.


3. Which CE category do webinars satisfy?

Live Interactive Webinars are Category I CEs in Maryland. Live Interactive Webinars are equivalent to face-to-face workshops and meet Maryland BSWEs standards.


4. What are the platforms we use to host our webinars?

Please visit the next tab.


5. How do I receive my CEs at the end of the webinar?

CE certificates will be made available to all participants who attend the webinar in full, and completes the evaluation found in their registration profile.


Failure to perform each step may result in a participant’s inability to receive CE credit.


6. What if I’m running late to join the webinar or must leave the webinar early?

According to ACE standards, full attendance is required to receive CE certificate. Therefore, if you arrive to the webinar late or leave the webinar early, you will not receive a CE certificate, partial credit is not offered for any of The Office of Continuing Professional Education workshops or webinars.


7. What if I am having technical difficulties during the webinar?

If you are have technical difficulties during the webinar, please do not notify the Instructor of these issues. Instead, please notify The Office of Continuing Professional Education department as soon as possible. There are three options you can choose from:

  • Email the Webinar Assistant at
  • Tech Support: 877.602.9877
  • Private message the Webinar Assistant during the webinar


8. What specific equipment do I need to attend the webinar?

The specific equipment that is essential to participating in a webinar is the following: working computer, tablet, or smart phone and speakers on your computer. Headphones would provide you with the best quality audio experience to listen to the instructor’s lectures. To ensure that your device does not lose battery midway through the webinar, please have your device plugged in and charging at all times. If this situation does happen where your device dies, you may rejoin the webinar and make sure to notify the Webinar Assistant of the situation. However this will affect the number of CEs received.


9. How do I register for webinars?

You can register for any webinar through our website, which is located on the University of Maryland School of Social Work, Continuing Professional Education website homepage at


10. What if I get kicked out of a webinar and cannot get back in?

While this should not happen, you can enter back into the webinar through your account profile by clicking “Launch Webinar”. You are given a few minutes to sign back in. Failure to return in time, will result in not receiving CE credits.


11. What do I do if I have a complaint/grievance?

The Office of Continuing Professional Education works hard to offer innovative workshops. We also take all complaints seriously. If you have a complaint, please contact our office IMMEDIATELY.


Refunds or Credit Letters will not be issued for fully attended workshops. Please see our Grievance Policy on the homepage of our website.


12. Do we offer ADA Accommodations?

We do! If you are requesting ADA accommodations, please contact us via email at least two weeks prior to the course date. Requests after that date may not be fulfilled.


Instructors reserve the right to dismiss participants who are not adhering to the Code of Conduct.


For questions, concerns, or to request special accommodations, please call: 410-706-1839.


For financial questions or concerns, please call: 410-706-5040

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