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Discuss the legal and ethical considerations when communicating in a community services workplace

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Discuss the legal and ethical considerations when communicating in a community services workplace

  1. Discuss the legal and ethical considerations when communicating in a community services workplace, relating to the following:
  2. Privacy, confidentiality, and disclosure.

As per the Information Privacy Act, 2014, community service agencies are expected to hold information collected from their clients for primary purposes in the strictest confidence. And must not disclose this information to third parties without their client’s consent unless there is an exception on the particular case. The ethical considerations for the staff members working in the community service require them to monitor the conversations they have regarding the patient’s information and handling of the records to ensure no unprohibited persons can get access to this information.

Discrimination in service provision by race, ethnicity, and gender lies in the purview of grossly unethical behavior. That is, discrimination is viewed as a behavior that goes beyond the bounds of society’s accepted moral standards. The community service standards establish the measures that ensure that all persons seeking service in the center are treated equally without showing any preference towards any specific party (Dempsey & Nankervis, 2006).

  1. Duty of care.

A duty of care is recognized when there is a relationship of power between two people. It involves the community services provider taking responsible care such that their actions do not harm the clients they attend to. Duty of care establishes the need for identifying potential risks in the service delivery then coming up with reasonable care strategies to address those risks. To duly exercise the duty of care, there needs to be an explicit provision for the type of care expected of the community service provider to set a standard of care obligation (Kennedy, 2009).

  1. Mandatory reporting.

Willis, Reynolds, & Rudge (2020) define mandatory reporting as, “The requirement of professionals who regularly come into contact with vulnerable population groups such as children, the elderly or the disabled, to report suspected or observed abuse or id there has been evidence of neglect” (p. 348). If a service provider forms belief on reasonable grounds that a client they are attending to is undergoing any form of abuse or neglect, then this ethics and legal code bind them to report such cases to the authorities. Failure to report such instances would have them contempt for the abuse of office.

  1. Informed consent.

All patients have the right to be given information about their health conditions and the proposed treatment options that the physicians intend to take. The client then should be given time to consider and make decisions about any form of medical treatment. The obligation of a community service provider, in this case, is to provide the clients with the necessary information to help them reach a decision. This includes giving them relevant information regarding their condition and answering any queries or concerns the client might have. Care providers are cautioned against providing any information that is meant to influence the client’s decision.

  1. Identify three special communication needs of personnel or clients at that workplace.
  2. The personnel in the community services workplaces are supposed to guide the clients through any activity or task by giving detailed and accurate information to the client concerning their case. In this process, the personnel is required to speak at a slower pace and pause between topics to give room for any questions or clarifications the client might need.
  3. Personnel is also required to make the clients feel as comfortable as possible through verbal and non-verbal cues. The staff is required to use a gentle tone and take full regard for the client’s feelings.
  4. When communicating, the person should ensure their verbal and non-verbal communication strategies are consistent. Abrupt changes in communication will confuse the client and might be translated to a lack of empathy or knowledge on the client’s particular case.
  5. Discuss the organization’s etiquette for communicating with:

Personnel in a community organization must always treat every customer with respect and demonstrate good manners. Etiquette demands that the staff make the clients feel valued and appreciated through listening actively, without interrupting and aiming to respond or resolve any concern raised. The fundamental strategy here is to give full attention to the client throughout the conversation to show interest in the client’s case and ask questions in case they do not understand any point (Burnard, 1992).

  1. Superiors and Employees.

When communicating with superiors and employees in an organization, one needs to pay close attention to the company culture and code of conduct. According to Burnard (1992), the person communicating should ensure they choose the right medium that bests suits the message they want to put across. Some vital information that might need to be on record should be passed through channels such as email that can be retrieved in case required. All communication in the workplace should be professional, and messages should be concise and clear, also when communicating to superiors, employees must consider the hierarchical structure of reporting whereas the superiors should be respectful to their juniors and be personable.

  1. Identify four possible communication barriers, restraints, or difficulties when communicating with clients and staff.
  2. Barriers of semantic. Every language has symbols, and that is used to transmit a message between parties. These symbols interact differently in a diverse communication context. Therefore, they can be barriers to effective when they are not clarified. Semantic barriers may include faulty transmission of a message or lack of clarity.
  3. Psychological barriers. According to Fielding (2006), the mental state of mind of the message sender and receiver determines whether the message will be relayed. Factors such as pain and emotional stress can be causes of difficulty when communicating with clients and staff.
  4. Organization policy. The procedures that govern the communication procedures in an organization can also be a barrier to effective communication. Strategies such as hierarchical positions affect the free-flowing of information in an organization.
  5. Personal restraints. The attitude of the parties communicating with each other can cause barriers to effective communication. Hesitation to communicate is a personal barrier that may stem from a lack of confidence in the parties relating, or lack of awareness on the importance of the message.
  6. Discuss the range of communication strategies that a workplace uses to communicate, including alternate strategies.

The strategies are such as keeping an open mind. When in communication, one should not hold predispositions of biases. Proactive listening is another strategy that will show the parties involved in the communicating process that there is interest in the topic of discussion. Non-verbal communication cues are crucial in the process.

Alternate strategies include note-taking and maintaining a personal touch.

  1. Explain principals of mentoring and coaching

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD 2010), they define coaching as short term process “focused on skills and knowledge leading to improved performance, and ultimately linked to the achievement of organizational objective” (as cited in Connor & Pokora, 2017 p. 15) While mentoring is more long-term with a broad developmental capacity where a more experience helps a less experienced one. The principles are learning and development, the context which involves the type of mentoring, outcome which involves the expected change, the model that will be used to transfer the skills and knowledge, the skills that the mentor or coach has, and the ethical safeguards in the mentoring and coaching process. (Connor & Pokora, 2017)

  1. Explain what is meant by “traditional media” and give two examples.

Traditional media is the form of mass communication tools that were used before the invention of digital media. An example includes newspapers and books.

  1. Explain what is meant by “digital media” and give two examples.

Digital media includes any form of media that is transmitted electronically. Examples of digital media are such as social media and websites.

  1. Explain why you may need to develop written proposals or submissions and who might these be directed to?

Written proposals and submissions are used in an organization as a marketing tool to advocate for something or apply for funds. These kinds of documents can be presented to investors when organizations seek for funds or to employees and clients as a communication tool to pass information.

  1. Explain the resources you require to implement communication.

After identifying an effective strategy of communication, to implement it, you require a strong collaborative network to ensure the message communicated reaches the target client in the manner you intended it. That also involves choosing the right channel of communication and making sure the timing is right.

Part A

  1. Crisis Communication Plan.

I worked for a logistics company that dealt with the freight of goods from one area to another.

  1. The top crisis communication strategy is the disclosure of full information.
  2. There is a designated person to take charge in a crisis.
  3. There is a hierarchy for sharing information.
  4. After the crisis, we use the moment to learn and assess what could have been done better.
  5. Identify two crises that may occur at this organization.
  6. Personnel Crisis. This type of crisis may occur when an employee is involved in illegal or unethical conduct (Holla, Ristvej, & Titko, 2018). A personnel crisis can occur inside or outside the work environment, because the employee’s conduct is associated with the organization, and their actions are connected to it. An example of such a crisis in this company is leaking client information to a third party.
  7. Technological crisis. This crisis is associated with the company’s machines and tools of operation. An example of a technological disaster in this organization is a technical failure in the internet connection, which will affect the sending and receiving of work emails.


  1. Who is the organization?

The organization is called Path International and is established to offer rehabilitation services to drug addicts.

  1. What are the company’s vision and strategy for the next few years?

The company aims to ensure a drug-free community spanning three-years through social education and counseling services to the general public.

  1. What is the company’s structure?

The company had 56 employees that comprise a general manager, an assistant manager, one clinician, one psychologist, three residential coordinators, and 40 employees who serve in different capacities at the center. The Federal government is the largest investor of funds, followed by a foundation of trust in the community.

  1. Describe the new service?

The company is seeking to recruit volunteers from the community that will be on a stipend allowance to help spread the information on the effects of drug abuse.

  1. How does the new service fit with the company’s business and strategic plan?

The recruitment of volunteers by the organization would help in the area of reach for the company’s strategic plan to eradicate drug use in society. Volunteers show the potential of reaching a more considerable population margin.

  1. Complete the evaluation form below. Analyze and evaluate the feedback on what you will do to improve your communication plan and communication skills.

Feedback gathered

Methods/strategies to gather information from stakeholders

Barriers/Issues Identified

Lessons Learnt

Actions for Improvement

  1. Use of questionnaires
  2. Some people

Were not able to understand the

Terminologies used.

  1. Privacy of information.

Some people felt that the information asked was too sensitive.

The questionnaires do not need to capture the identity of the party.

Anonymity is a primary concern when it comes to issues of drug use.

Engage an extensive set of people to give feedback on drug use.

  1. Interviewing of persons
  2. Withholding of

Information or giving of misleading facts.

A proper background check is necessary to act as a backdrop against which information can be cross-referenced for accuracy.

Use a more efficient method to capture the information relayed by the respondents.

  1. Conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) on the organization.


  1. The organization has competent staff in drug abuse and psychological counseling and can attend to the most challenging cases of drug abuse.
  2. The federal government has given full support to the program in terms of financial aid and assistance.
  3. The rehabilitation center is built in modern standards to cater to the needs of its clientele with a bed capacity of 50 people.


  1. The location of the rehabilitation center is out of town, which might be a hindrance in terms of accessibility.
  2. The organization needs more staff to match up the ratio of increased cases of drug abuse in the community.


  1. The company is taking advantage of the Reeds College students who volunteer at the center in different capacities.
  2. The organization has teamed up with the local hospital to provide them with psychologists and physicians to attend to clients that need drugs to help with withdrawal symptoms.


  1. Weak legal structures to help curb potential drug abuse in the community have led to more cases, especially in students and the youth. They can get access to over-the-counter medication.
  2. Conduct a PEST.


The legislators are under pressure to implement a law that puts checks in place for people who sell prescription drugs to the public.


More funds need to be sourced to pay for the volunteer services and pay for the marketing of the facility.


The involvement of community leaders in different areas is necessary; for example, sports coaches and religious leaders’ participation because they influence the community.


Investing in proper advertisements to create awareness through social media platforms and television adverts is necessary.

  1. Identify at least two competitors offering a similar service.

The Nordam Rehabilitation Center is the competition that offers a similar service and is located on the northern side of the city. However, their service is limited to the rehabilitation of patients for hardcore drugs and charges $ 50 for consultation, and the program-specific charges vary depending on the client’s needs.

  1. Identify all the internal and external stakeholders relating to the new service.

Internal stakeholders are such as; The Reed’s College Department of Education and Path International. The external stakeholders are The federal government and Pharmacies and the Poison board.

  1. The new service will embrace the digital media strategy of social media platforms, specifically Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram. These online tools of communication that are often used in the current society will be used to pass across the message of the effects of drug abuse. The protocols and etiquette establish the use of professional language, and the specific sites have been configured to filter out any offensive content or media.
  2. The considerations suggested are the establishment of a center of communication to address any queries that might arise out of the strategy employed. The projected return of investment is a rise of 25% of new clients to the center.


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