Academic journal article Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD

Report of the ACA Ethics Committee: 2005-2006

Academic journal article Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD

Report of the ACA Ethics Committee: 2005-2006

Article excerpt

This report summarizes the activities of the American Counseling Association Ethics Committee during the period from

July 1,2005, through June 30, 2006. Ethics Committee membership, an overview of the mission of the Ethics Committee and

goals for 2005-2006, summary data of the complaints filed and the inquiries received, and education activities of the

Committee are presented.

The American Counseling Association (ACA) Ethics Committee has submitted an annual report of its work to the Journal of Counseling & Development since 1991 as part of its mission to educate the ACA membership about ethical practice. In this report, we present information about the Ethics Committee membership, the mission of the Ethics Committee and goals for 2005-2006, summary data of inquiries received and the complaints filed, and a review of education activities of the Ethics Committee during the period from July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2006.

* Ethics Committee and Appeals Panel Membership

It is important for the Ethics Committee to have a sufficient number of members to ensure that all cases brought forth for adjudication are processed effectively and in a timely manner and in case any members need to recuse themselves from hearing a case for any reason (e.g., knowing one of the parties involved). The 2005-2006 Ethics Committee comprised 10 members, including 1 student member. The members serve 3-year terms on a staggered basis so that there is always a mix of experienced and new members on the Committee. Typically, the ACA president-elect appoints two new members and a cochair annually, with approval of the ACA Governing Council. One consideration in making appointments is to promote diversity on all ACA committees. The Ethics Committee members reflect the diversity of the ACA membership regarding race/ethnicity, sex, geography, and sexual or affectional orientation. The members of the 2005-2006 Ethics Committee were Harriet L. Glosoff (senior cochair), Samuel Sanabria (junior cochair), Louis Downs, Mary Hermann, Michael M. Kocet, Sharon Robinson Kurpius, Shawn Spurgeon, Vilia Tarvydas, Joy Whitman, and Christen Luquette (student representative). In addition, Larry T. Freeman, ACA Ethics and Professional Standards Manager, participated in all meetings and activities. Finally, Colleen Logan served as ACA Governing Council liaison.

The Ethics Appeals Panel was first formed during the 2003-2004 year to hear cases originally adjudicated by the Ethics Committee and later appealed. The primary mission of the Appeals Panel is to clarify the grounds for appeals, to examine evidence presented in the original hearing, to consider any factors the members deem pertinent to the case, and to determine if the actions taken by the Ethics Committee might have been capricious or arbitrary. The members of the 2005-2006 Appeals Panel were Patricia Stevens (chair), Robert M. Hubert, Antoinette A. Thorn, Jorge Garcia, and Donald Anderson, with Marsha Frame serving as an alternate.

* Ethics Committee Mission

The ACA Ethics Committee has two primary roles: to educate the ACA membership about ethical practice and the interpretation of the ACA Code of Ethics (ACA, 2005a; hereinafter referred to as ACA Code) and to adjudicate allegations of unethical practice of ACA members in a timely and judicious manner. Common ways in which the Committee members meet the goal of educating the membership include interpretations of the ACA Code (during the 2005-2006 year, this included interpretations of both the 1995 and the 2005 codes), presentations at professional conferences, and articles in ACA journals and other counseling-related publications.

The adjudicative function of the Ethics Committee includes issuing and monitoring sanctions in cases in which the Committee has determined that ACA members acted in ways that conflict with the ACA Code. The Committee members are guided in their tasks by using the Policies and Procedures for Processing Complaints of Ethical Violations (ACA, 2005b). …

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