I had no first-hand evidence of Verna's relapse.

I had to decide how to use the new information I accidentally found. I needed to determine II was obliged to report Verna's drug use from this new information. If I needed to, to whom should I report it? To whom do I owe it? If I must protect the children, I had to report the relapse, which is a threat to the children's safety. If I act as Verna's advocate, can I just overlook the new information and consider Verna's relapse an occasional case? My beliefs about family unity and the local foster care system are factors I have to consider. Will the risk be greater to the children if their unity is disrupted again? What are the harms and benefits of foster care? Are these greater than the consequences of Verna's repeat drug use? I am also concerned that Verna will simply deny the new information and this confrontation will damage our relationship. She is likely to ask for the source of information. Should I tell her it came from her daughter? If I do so, what will the consequences be to the daughter? The daughter will surely be offended if she learns that her confidential information is used to disrupt their family. She will no longer trust her own social worker and social workers in general.

I needed to identify professional values and obligations that clash against conflicting interests. One conflict is retaining the confidence of the daughter as against disclosing it against her wishes. Another is whether social workers can limit Verna's own determining whether her addiction is harmful or not to her children. I also needed to consult with more experienced colleagues and supervisors. It is also in the best interest of clients. Moreover, routine documentation brings me to assess my own values and experiences against the decision I have to make. I must also consider my legal obligations to report substance use.

I decided to recommend a check-up be conducted by the agency, which conducted the drug program attended by Verna. This will determine if she has had a relapse and counsel her against it. There was no need for the new information to be revealed and the confidence of Verna's daughter need not be damaged. I will also recommend to drug agencies to monitor the conditions of those who have been declared "drug-free" on a regular basis for a number of years.

5. Plans for Graduate Work

I gradually prepared for graduate work over the years. I am not taking any professional assignment or undertaking while I go through the academic coursework. This means 3/4 of each weekday or almost all of the day hours. I intend to just study when I get home until supper and to sleep early in order to conserve physical and mental energy. I expect to take the practicum sessions at agencies for 3 semesters. All personal and limited social interactions are reserved for the weekend. My daily workouts will be before I attending classes half-way in the morning.

My family and friends have been informed of my rigid schedule. There will be a minimum of unexpected events. I have saved for these years of study. I do not foresee any disruption in expenses, routine and health. I have consulted a nutritionist and a physician on the most suitable diet for this arduous mental and physical pursuit.


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