Lorrie Breshears, lecturer for the School of Social Work, along with foster parent Charyle Hahn, provided a lecture at the 13th Annual Resource Family and Social Worker Conference on March 6 at the Red Lion in Boise.
Breshears’ presentation, titled “Values in Action: Providing an Ethical Framework for the Child Welfare Team,” addressed the conflicting values in child welfare cases surrounding the sharing of confidential information. Breshears explained, “In the child welfare field, social workers are often the gatekeeper of information about the child.” There are 38 standards of practice in child welfare that outline what social workers should tell resource parents, foster and adoptive parents serving children in foster care. These standards are not entirely black and white because information to parent the child may include information about the birth parents that gets sticky. Breshears co-presented with Hahn to show both sides of the situation and discussed some common scenarios about what needs to be shared and why. They used two of the child welfare standards: the ‘foster parent agreement form, and the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics to guide the discussion.
The conference for foster parents and social workers working in child welfare was sponsored by the Idaho Child Welfare Research and Training Center.