Businesses in the social services sector handle sensitive and personal matters on a daily basis. And while its goal is to provide help to those who are struggling in a wide array of personal ways, it is an industry that comes with a lot of built-in risk.
There are many different ways in which a social worker or a social service organization can be sued or undergo a major loss due to legal issues. It’s important to understand the risks these social service clients face in terms of the legal matters and how they can be affected as a whole.
First, social service organizations need to be encouraged to carry insurance that caters to their market or, if they already have coverage in place, be kept up to date on changes in the market that may affect their plan. Social Services Insurance programs help reduce losses through risk management and can provide the financial help needed to make it through drastic legal fallout from certain matters brought up.
Let’s see what some of those common causes of loss are in the social services industry.
Given the territory of what a social worker does, it’s very important to understand the fragility of working closely with people. Most errors don’t lead to serious problems, but in some cases where a social worker or the organization they work for makes a grave mistake it can lead to a testy legal battle.
Some complaints can include practitioners who demonstrate a lack of understanding when it comes to matters of privacy. From social media to email to access of records, social workers need to understand the legal reach they have when it comes to boundaries.
Social workers do their best to look out for their clients. However, there are moments where a lapse in judgement can lead to an ethical dilemma. Differences of opinion among social service workers can factor into arguments of how to go about communication or therapeutic practices with clients.
Getting Too Close
There have been times where social workers engage in personal and intimate relationships with their clients, which is not only ill-advised, but it can also lead to legal issues. The subsequent fallout from matters like this have effects on more than just the people involved and can also tarnish the name of the organization. Even if a relationship is not sexual, but here are exchanges of money or gifts, these can be conflicts of interest.
In some cases, social workers have caused issues due to being impaired in some way. From alcohol to drugs to mental issues, some social service professionals have carried their own personal problems into their job. Stressful working conditions, such as working in their industry, can help to make matters worse for them in terms of their preexisting problems.
Social workers should be fit to help others in more ways than one. Social organizations should be able to assist their workers to make sure they are equipped with what it takes to help others. If not, there could be losses that fall on an organization.
About Tangram Insurance Services
Located across the Golden Gate Bridge, just outside of San Francisco, Tangram is a full-service Managing General Underwriter and Program Manager offering specialty programs. We focus on industry-relevant coverage, competitive pricing, and practical business and risk management solutions for your clients. Since we are not all things to all people, we make sure to create outstanding custom-built solutions that matter to those businesses, and the brokers who serve those industries. Contact us at (888) 744-9810.