Sexual contact with clients: assessment of social workers' attitudes and educational preparation.

Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, New York, NY 10023, USA.
Social work (Impact Factor: 1.15). 06/2000; 45(3):223-35. DOI: 10.1093/sw/45.3.223
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to assess social work students' attitudes about sexual contact with clients and their perceptions about their training and education in this area. The sample included 349 social work students in their final semester of an MSW program. There were relatively high levels of approval for sexual contact between social workers and clients in certain circumstances. Approval was not limited to circumstances in which professional relationships were terminated, were brief, or had involved only concrete services. Students with less social work experience and who thought class content on sexual ethics was inadequate were more likely to approve of sexual contact between social worker and client. Students did not feel that they had received adequate education or training on sexual ethics, and many felt unprepared to handle sexual feelings from or toward a client. Implications for education, training, and practice, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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