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Professional Ethics and Code of Conduct

The following Professional Ethics and Code of Conduct was established in August 2004, adopted in June 2005 and subsequently updated in 2011. All those with the CSAYC are required to sign an attestation to follow the code.

Article 1:

Moral and Legal Standards

The Credentialed Sexually Abusive Youth Clinician/Professional (herein referred to as the CSAYC/P) shall behave in a legal, ethical, and moral manner in the conduct of their profession, maintaining integrity and avoiding any behavior that would cause or potentially cause harm to others in the present or future.

Rules of Professional Conduct

R1.1 The Credentialed Sexually Abusive Youth Clinician/Professional (CSAYC/P) will obey all laws and statutes of the legal jurisdiction in which they practice.

R1.2 The will understand and abide by the Indiana Association of Juvenile Sexual Offender Practitioners (IN-JSOP) Rules of Conduct described in this code.

R1.3 The CSAYC/P will be familiar with and observe the legal limitations of the services they offer clients. They will discuss these limitations with the clients and/or legal guardians they serve in order to facilitate open and honest communications and avoid unrealistic expectations/outcomes.

R1.4 The CSAYC/P will be familiar with the legal parameters relevant to their practice as well as the possible disparities that may exist between legally mandated professional standards and the professions Code of Ethics. When disparities exist, the CSAYC/P will follow the legal mandates of the jurisdiction in which they practice and formally communicate such disparities to the Ethics Committee of the Indiana Association of Juvenile Sexual Offender Practitioners (IN-JSOP). In the absence of any legal guidelines, the Code of Ethics is binding.

R1.5 The CSAYC/P will not engage in any acts of omission or dishonesty or any other acts of a deceitful or fraudulent nature in their professional duties. The CSAYC/P will not allow the pursuit of personal benefit or financial gain to interfere with the exercise of professional judgment. The CSAYC/P will not abuse the relationship with a client to promote their personal or financial gain of that of an employer.

R1.6 The CSAYC/P will not advocate, sanction, participate in, cause to be accomplished, carry out through another, or condone any act which they themselves are prohibited from performing by the Code of Ethics.

R1.7 Moral and ethical behaviors are a personal matter for the CSAYC/P to the same Degree as they are for any other Indiana citizen — except when they would Interfere with client values and/or standards of this Code.

R1.8 The CSAYC/P will respect the rights and reputation of any agency, institution, or organization with which they are associated when making oral or written statements. In those instances where they are critical of policies, they will attempt to create change through constructive action within the organization or agency.

R1.9 The CSAYC/P will refuse to participate in any employment practices that are inconsistent with moral and legal standards regarding the treatment of employees or the public. The CSAYC/P will not condone such practices that result in illegal or otherwise unjustifiable discrimination on any basis in hiring, promotion or training.

Article 2:

Practitioner — Client Relationship

The CSAYC/P shall respect the dignity and integrity of the client and protect the welfare of the individuals and groups with whom they work. The primary obligation of the CSAYC/P is to the client and all activities shall be considered as to the client’s best interest as the number one priority.

Rules of Professional Conduct

R2.1 The CSAYC/P will communicate in clear terms to the client and/or legal guardian The purposes and goals of the practitioner — client interactions and any limitations that may affect the professional relationship.

R2.2 The CSAYC/P will not misrepresent their role or their competencies to clients. If requested, the JSOP will provide information regarding their credentials and will refer clients to other specialists as their needs dictate.

R2.3 The CSAYC/P will be very aware of their own needs and values as well as of their potential influence over clients and others such as employees, subordinates, students. The CSAYC/P will avoid exploiting the trust or dependency of any person. The CSAYC/P will make every effort to avoid dual relationships that could impair their professional judgment or increase the risk of exploitation. Examples of dual relationships include but are not limited to treatment of employees or their family members, students, supervisors, friends or relatives. Sexual intimacy with a current or former client is unethical and is prohibited by the Code.

R2.4 The CSAYC/P will respect and honor the rights of clients to consent to treatment. The CSAYC/P will inform clients or their guardians of any factors that may affect the decision to participate in treatment and they will obtain written consent for treatment once these individuals are fully informed of these factors. The CSAYC/P who works with minors or other individuals who are not able to give informed voluntary consent will take special care to protect the interest of these clients.

R2.5 The CSAYC/P will recognize that the family is usually an important factor in the client’s treatment and will strive to enlist their understanding and participation as appropriate to assist the client in meeting agreed upon treatment goals.

R2.6 The CSAYC/P provides therapeutic, teaching, consultation, research, and supervisory services only within the context of an agency or organization’s policies and procedures for staff management and staff supervision. The CSAYC/P may only act as an independent professional if the CSAYC/P possesses an active behavioral health license in the State of Indiana that allows the parameters of private practice.

R2.7 When providing assessment, evaluation, treatment, counseling, supervision, consulting or other related services, the CSAYC/P will use language that is fully understandable to the recipient of those services.

R2.8 The CSAYC/P will not engage in discrimination against individuals or groups based on age gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or any other basis proscribed by law.

R2.9 Where differences in age, gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, language, or socioeconomic status significantly affects the CSAYC/P’s work, the CSAYC/P will obtain the proper training, experience, consultation or supervision necessary to ensure their competencies or they will make an appropriate referral.

R2.10 The CSAYC/P does not knowingly engage in behavior that is harassing or demeaning to persons with whom they interact based on factors such as age, gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, language, or socioeconomic status.

R2.11 The CSAYC/P recognizes that their personal problems and conflicts may interfere with their effectiveness as a treatment provider. The CSAYC/P will refrain from providing services when their personal circumstances may compromise the delivery of quality services.

R2.12 The CSAYC/P makes reasonable efforts to plan the facilitation of ongoing services in the event that the CSAYC/P’s services are interrupted by factors such as personal illness, relocation, termination of employment, unavailability or financial limitations.

R2.13 The CSAYC/P does not abandon clients. The CSAYC/P terminates a professional relationship when it becomes clear that the client is no longer benefiting from services, is no longer in need of services, or is being harmed by continued services.

R2.14 Prior to termination, except where precluded by the client’s conduct, the CSAYC/P attempts to discuss the client’s views and needs, provides appropriate transition services, and takes all other reasonable steps to facilitate the transfer of services to another provider based on the client’s continued treatment needs.

Article 3:

Client and Treatment Advocacy

The CSAYC/P shall serve as advocates for bio-psycho-social treatment of juveniles exhibiting sexually maladaptive or sexually aggressive/assaultive behaviors.

Rules of Professional Conduct

R3.1 The CSAYC/P is obligated to promote access to treatment for juveniles in need of specialized treatment services including transportation, program development, and community communication so that clients will not be excluded from treatment opportunities.

R3.2 The CSAYC/P will strive to eliminate attitudinal barriers, including stereotyping and discrimination toward juveniles manifesting sexually maladaptive behaviors.

R3.3 The CSAYC/P will be aware of all actions taken by cooperating agencies and professionals and will act as an advocate for clients to ensure quality care and effective service delivery.

Article 4:

Professional Relationships

The CSAYC/P shall act with integrity and professionalism in their relationships with colleagues, organizations, agencies, institutions, and referring sources in order to provide clients the opportunity for positive treatment outcomes.

Rules of Professional Conduct

R4.1 The CSAYC/P will promptly supply all information needed for a cooperating agency or professional to serve a client as authorized by the client and/or guardian.

R4.2 The CSAYC/P will not knowingly offer professional treatment services to a client who is receiving such services from another provider without first notifying the previous provider and requesting exit information/activities be accomplished.

R4.3 The CSAYC/P will not discuss the competency of other providers or agencies in a disparaging way with clients, the client’s family, or other professionals working with the client.

R4.4 The CSAYC/P will not use their professional relationship with supervisors, colleagues, students, or employees to exploit them sexually or otherwise. The CSAYC/P will not engage in nor condone sexually harassing behaviors in the workplace.

R4.5 The CSAYC/P who becomes aware of an ethics violation by another CSAYC/P will attempt to resolve the issue informally with that CSAYC/P provided that the misconduct is minor in nature and appears to be due to lack of sensitivity, knowledge, or experience. If the violation is more severe in nature and not amenable to informal resolution, the CSAYC/P will bring the violation to the attention of the agency involved, the IN-AJSOP, Child Protective Services, or other governing bodies as appropriate.

R4.6 CSAYC/Ps who employ or supervise students or other professionals will provide or ensure appropriate and safe working conditions, timely evaluations, constructive consultation and training, professional support, and suitable professional experience opportunities to facilitate professional development.

Article 5:

Public Statements

The CSAYC/P shall adhere to professional standards in establishing fees and promoting their services.

Rules of Professional Conduct

R5.1 The CSAYC/P will not accept a fee or any other form of compensation for their work from clients/guardians when clients are entitled to their services through an agency, institution or other benefit structure.

R5.2 The CSAYC/P will neither give nor receive commissions, rebates or any other form of remuneration when referring clients for professional treatment nor shall any CSAYC/P offer financial compensation or other gifts in attempt to solicit business or services.

R5.3 The CSAYC/P who describes treatment services to the public will present such information fairly and accurately, avoiding misrepresentation through sensationalism, exaggeration or superficiality. The CSAYC/P is guided by their obligation to aid the public to form valid opinions and make informed choices and judgments.

Article 6:

Confidentiality

The CSAYC/P shall respect the confidentiality of information obtained from clients or guardians in the course of their work.

Rules of Professional Conduct

R6.1 The CSAYC/P will inform clients and guardians of the limits of confidentiality at the onset of the treatment relationship.

R6.2 The CSAYC/P will take reasonable action, inform responsible parties, or warn persons at risk of harm if a client indicates or the client’s condition indicates that there is a clear and imminent danger to another. The CSAYC/P will take such action only after informing the client of what must be done.

R6.3 The CSAYC/P will not forward any confidential information or protected health information to another person, agency or potential employer without the written permission of the client and the guardian.

R6.4 The CSAYC/P will take all reasonable efforts to safeguard client information in the maintenance, storage and disposal of client records.

R6.5 The CSAYC/P will obtain written consent from clients and their legal guardians prior to taking pictures, videotaping or otherwise recording the client. In the event a guardian gives permission against the client’s wishes, the CSAYC/P will not act against the client’s wishes.

R6.6 The CSAYC/P will persist in claiming the privileged status of confidential information obtained from clients where communications between the CSAYC/P and the client have been afforded privileged status under the law.

Article 7:

Assessment and Treatment Plan Development

The CSAYC/P shall promote the welfare of clients in the selection, use, and interpretation of assessment measures as they pertain to the treatment process.

Rules of Professional Conduct

R7.1 The CSAYC/P who administers, scores, interprets, or otherwise uses behavioral assessment techniques/measures does so only within the competencies of their profession and in a manner consistent with the research or other evidence of the usefulness of the measure.

R7.2 CSAYC/P assessments, recommendations, reports, and related statements are based on information and techniques sufficient to provide substantiation for their findings/statements.

R7.3 The CSAYC/P recognizes the limits for which judgments or predictions can be made about individuals.

R7.4 The CSAYC/P develops a treatment plan based on behavior change principles and includes in the treatment plan an evaluation strategy for the effects of treatment. The CSAYC/P involves the client and family in the planning of the treatment program.

R7.5 The CSAYC/P recommends behavior intervention and relationship-building strategies in treatment rather than punishment whenever possible. When negative reinforcement or punishment is necessary, the CSAYC/P ensures that all other positive reinforcement strategies have been exhausted or are otherwise ineffective.

R7.6 The CSAYC/P ensures that all clients are treated with dignity and respect in the treatment process and that they are informed of and able to exercise their rights as clients.

R7.7 The CSAYC/P fully explains all treatment interventions or recommended changes to the treatment plan to the client and guardian. The CSAYC/P ensures that treatment interventions are only utilized when the client and/or guardian agrees to the plan or plan changes.

R7.8 The CSAYC/P functions as part of a multidisciplinary team whenever possible. The CSAYC/P ensures that the treatment plan is reviewed on a regular basis by all treatment professionals involved with the client.

Article 8:

Research Activities

The CSAYC/P shall assist in efforts to expand knowledge needed to serve the sexually maladaptive youth more effectively.

Rules of Professional Conduct

R8.1 The CSAYC/P ensures that research efforts meet rigid standards of validity and protection of confidentiality.

R8.2 The CSAYC/P will obtain consent and be aware of and responsive to all pertinent safety, ethical, legal and scientific guidelines when conducting research with human subjects.

R8.3 The CSAYC/P will credit those who contribute to research and publications in Proportion to their contributions to the research project.

R8.4 The CSAYC/P recognizes the openness and honesty are essential to relationships between professionals and clients. When a study’s methodology requires concealment or deception, the JSOP will ensure that the participants understand the need for such action.

Article 9:

Competence

The CSAYC/P shall establish and maintain their professional competence at a level that ensures their clients will receive the benefit of the highest quality of services the profession is capable of offering.

Rules of Professional Conduct

R9.1 The CSAYC/P will function within the limits of their defined role, training, and technical competency, accepting only those positions for which they are qualified.

R9.2 The CSAYC/P will continually strive to remain aware of developments, concepts, and best practice guidelines that are essential in the provision of high quality treatment services through reading, attending professional meetings/trainings, and taking course in instruction.

R9.3 When a question of competence arises, the CSAYC/P will seek competent professional assistance to determine if they should limit, suspend, or terminate their professional activities.

Article 10:

Ethical Responsibility to Colleagues

The CSAYC/P is responsible for accurate reporting of information to the professional community.

Rules of Professional Conduct

R10.1 The CSAYC/P does not fabricate data or falsify results in their reports or research. If the CSAYC/P discovers errors in their information they take reasonable steps to correct the information through retraction, erratum, or other appropriate actions.

R10.2 The CSAYC/P does not present portions or elements of another’s work as their own. The CSAYC/P does not omit data that might alter other’s interpretation of their work or the treatment process in general.

R10.3 The CSAYC/P who educates other professionals will perform these educational activities based on careful preparation so that their work is accurate, up-to-date, and scholarly. The CSAYC/P will maintain high standards of knowledge and skills by presenting information fully and accurately and by giving appropriate recognition of alternative viewpoints.

Article 11:

Ethical Responsibility to Society

The CSAYC/P promotes the general welfare of society through the treatment and rehabilitation of juveniles who express sexually maladaptive behaviors.

Rules of Professional Conduct

R11.1 The CSAYC/P complies with these guidelines in the provision of public statements relating to their professional services, products, or publications. Public statements include but are not limited to paid and unpaid advertising, brochures, printed matter, directory listings, personal resumes, interviews or comments for use in the media, statements in legal proceedings, lectures, oral presentations, and published material.

R11.2 The CSAYC/P does not make public statements that are false, deceptive, misleading, or fraudulent, either because of what they state, convey, or suggest or because of what they omit. The CSAYC/P claims as credentials only degrees that have come from accredited universities/colleges, are recognized credentials by the IN-AJSOP, and are directly related to the behavioral/mental health/social work field of study.

R11.3 The CSAYC/P does not present credentials intended to promote, advertise, or otherwise attract business through titles, business cards, signature lines, or otherwise that are not relevant to the practice of juvenile sexual offender intervention or that may be false, deceptive, incomplete or misleading. Such credentials must be obtained from accredited institutions or recognized state credentialing associations and are based on legitimate curriculum coursework and supervised work experience

R11.4 The CSAYC/P recognizes that only the Indiana Association of Juvenile Sexual Offender Practitioners (IN-AJSOP) can credential a provider in the State of Indiana to provide these specialized treatment services. Each CSAYC/P will defer to the IN-AJSOP as the governing body and authority for granting credentials through the certification process.

Acknowledgements: Referenced documents, statements and sources for the development of this Code are as follows: Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors, National Academy of Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselors, the Ethical Standards of the American Association of Counseling and Development, the Indiana Association of Behavioral Consultants Code of Professional Ethics.