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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ethical Framework for the Use of Technology in Supervision

By LoriAnn S. Stretch, DeeAnna Nagel and Kate Anthony

Ethical and Statutory Considerations

Supervisors must demonstrate and promote good practice by the supervisee to ensure supervisees acquire the attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary to protect clients. Supervisors and supervisees must research and abide by all applicable legal, ethical, and customary requirements of the jurisdiction in which the supervisor and supervisee practice.   The supervisor and supervisee must document relevant requirements in the respective record(s).  Supervisors and supervisees need to review and abide by requirements and restrictions of liability insurance and accrediting bodies as well.

Informed Consent

Supervisors will review the purposes, goals, procedures, limitations, potential risks, and benefits of distance services and techniques. All policies and procedures will be provided in writing and reviewed verbally before or during the initial session. Documentation of understanding by all parties will be maintained in the respective record(s).

Supervisor Qualifications

Supervisors will only provide services for which the supervisor is qualified.  The supervisor will provide copies of licensure, credentialing, and training upon request.  The supervisor will have a minimum of 15 hours of training in distance clinical supervision as well as an active license and authorization to provide supervision within the jurisdiction for which supervision will be provided. Supervisors providing distance supervision should participate in professional organizations related to distance services and develop a network of professional colleagues for peer and supervisory support.

Supervisee and Client Considerations

Supervisors will screen supervisees for appropriateness to receive services via distance methods. The supervisor will document objective reasons for the supervisee’s appropriateness in the respective record(s).  Supervisors will ensure that supervisees screen clients seeking distance services for appropriateness to receive services via distance methods. Supervisors will ensure that the supervisee utilizes objective methods for screening clients and maintains appropriate documentation in the respective record(s).

Supervisors will ensure that supervisees inform clients of the supervisory relationship and that all clients have written information on how to contact the supervisor.  Written documentation of the client acknowledging the supervisory relationship and receipt of the supervisor’s contact information should be maintained in the respective record(s). Supervisors will only advise the supervisee to provide services for which the supervisee is qualified to provide.
Clients and supervisees must be informed of potential hazards of distance communications, including warnings about sharing private information when using a public access or computer that is on a shared network.  Clients and supervisees should be discouraged, in writing, from saving passwords and user names when prompted by the computer.  Clients and supervisees should be encouraged to review employer’s policies regarding using work computers for distance services.

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