HIPAA, Social Media, and Technology
A Guide for Mental Health Professionals

Chapter 3: An Introduction to Social Media Standards for Mental Health Professionals
Part 1: Social Media Risks for Social Workers
On Legal Liability

Let's say you have a young client who has a history of self-harm and has experienced abuse at the hands of their parents. If that client posts something about harm or self-harm, you could be liable if you don't report it.

The NASW reports New browser window icon. that the Supreme Court ruled in DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Service that social workers can't be liable for failing to properly investigate child abuse reports. But if your relationship with the young client is established specifically for the purpose of protecting that child from abuse or negligence, you could be held liable for failing to investigate it, based on some states' rulings.

Next: On Informed Consent

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