A New Era of Ethics: The Use of Virtual Reality Interventions in Social Work Ethics.
Trahan, Mark. Smith, Scott. Benton, Amy D.
Published: Fall 2017
Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education.
Vol. 20, No. 2 , p. 5-24
Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education
Survey of Organizational Excellence The University of Texas at Austin 1925 San Jacinto Blvd.
Austin, TX 78712
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Social work practice is embracing the use of technology for the purpose of providing clients with the most efficacious interventions. Virtual technology, another significant wave in technological advancement, is commercially available to the public and social work practitioners. While social work has been researching the efficacy and impact of virtual reality interventions, social work macro and micro practitioners are not equipped with ethical standards for best practices that maximize client outcomes and reduce risk. The article reviews the national Association of Social Workers (NASW) code of ethics and new standards published by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to review information pertaining to virtual reality technology including risks and benefits, standards for procedural use, and future direction for establishing best practices. The use of virtual reality with clients has multiple layers of ethical considerations social workers must address before engaging in the use of virtual reality tools. Social work practitioners are provided with suggested guidelines for virtual reality use with clients. (Author abstract)
ethics; social workers; information technology; agency standards; guidelines; communication techniques; therapeutic intervention