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Collaboration: Legal and Ethical Issues Essay

Professionals’ Collaboration

This paper is focused on the collaboration scenario that reveals a range of problems faced by a 14-year-old student whose family has recently migrated to the USA. It can be seen that currently, the boy fails to align with the school rules. The case may deal with several legal and ethical issues. The student admits that he has been working in the previous year to help his parents who faced financial problems. It is not clear where exactly he was employed, but according to the US laws, the only opportunity for him to work legally was to get agricultural employment with parental consent (“U.S. federal child labor law”, 2017). A principle with the help of a social worker will discuss this issue and define whether the boy was allowed to work at that time. They will try to tell if there his parents desired to make him work instead of attending school or the student did it without their permission.

It will also be revealed whether his employers violated the law or not. As the family has become homeless, a social worker from the community can take him into care to ensure that he is decently treated and his health and wellness are not at risk. The professional will gather information regarding the boy’s condition obtained after the assessment maintained by a school psychologist, nurse, counselor, and teaching staff to support the claim. As the student has already lost weight and does not eat properly, it may be better for him to live under the state’s protection (Coulter, 2013). However, professionals may face ethical issues as they reveal that the boy is willing to live with his parents but his emotional and physical state is negatively affected. Not to be biased, they have to base their decision on the assessments of academic, social, and psychological conditions provided by the professionals.

Through cooperation, different parties will obtain critical information needed to develop an aggregate picture of what is happening and why. In addition to that, it is significant to remember that family problems made the boy aggressive towards other children and led to suicidal thoughts. School psychologists should assess this behavior and develop a plan of action along with a counselor so that improvement within both school and personal life can be observed. All these professionals may face problems trying to define whether the boy’s misbehavior deserves punishment or not, so it is critical for them to deepen in all peculiarities of this case. The quality of this interaction will have an enormous influence on the results of the assessment. If professionals fail to find a common language or do not share the information effectively, they are likely to overlook some critical issues that were not identified initially. As a result, the interventions they propose will not reach the expected results. What is more critical, the boy can be taken from his family even though it is not needed or even make him commit suicide.

Role and Function of Professionals

To respond to those issues, the boy has a principal needs to involve all professionals who provide related services. In this way, he/she will ensure that the student will receive the required support. A full-time counselor and teacher will consider a student’s academic guidance and performance. Together they will be able to deal with the educational side of the problem (Ruff, 2011). The quarter-time school nurse will assess the boy’s physical condition as he suffers from malnutrition and finds out if he has other health issues (Pernilla, 2013). The school psychologist will collaborate with this professional to find out if there is a connection between physical and mental problems experienced by the boy. Together, they will be able to improve his behavior problems as well. Finally, with the help of a principle, a social worker from the community will focus on family and community factors that affect a student’s learning and well-being. They will gather information to find out how to assist the boy with general issues that determine his future.

Initiating Collaboration Efforts

Being a counselor working with this student, I will do my best to coordinate efforts among the team of professionals at this setting. To ensure sufficient collaboration, I will plan all team activities so that the parties will be able to reach the objectives of the task. I will write them down and send them with the help of the e-mail to each professional so that they all know their mutual values and targets. I will align these objectives with legislation so that everyone can realize how critical the problem is and why it requires resolution. For instance, according to the state laws that are adopted in New Jersey neglect of a child is observed if his/her family is “willfully failing to provide proper and sufficient food, clothing, maintenance, regular school education as required by law, medical attendance or surgical treatment, and a clean and proper home” (“NJ law”, 2017, para. 5). The boy does not eat well and has no place to leave, which means that this state law can be applied to him. In addition to that, being a child, he was not allowed to work (“Child labor laws and regulations”, 2016).

To make professionals willing to participate in this investigation, I will underline ethical considerations, according to which they should make sure that “the involvement of support networks, wraparound services, and educational teams is needed to best serve students” (ASCA, 2016, p. 2). Finally, I will encourage them to collaborate and speak up reminding that they are to “report to parents/guardians and/or appropriate authorities when students disclose perpetrated or perceived threat to their physical or mental well-being” (ASCA, 2016, p. 4). I will see if all the things I do are effective only observing positive changes in the life of the boy. I will also be able to see that I am on the right track if the team finds a common language and understands one another easily so that there are no issues with information exchange.

Letter to the School Psychologist

Dear Ms. Brown,

I am writing to you to request the evaluation of a student, Sam Patrick. The main reason for my referral is that the boy is in a poor mental and physical condition due to the family issues and I believe that he may hurt himself or other people, which cannot be allowed (“Evaluation request letter”, 2015).

Sam is 14 years old. His family has recently migrated to the USA, which made his emotional state unstable. It was rather difficult for the boy to adapt and he became very withdrawn. In addition to that, he has missed numerous classes and has fallen asleep during classes twice. It turned out that Sam’s family lost their house and he had to work. The boy lost weight and cannot catch up with the class. He has even had suicidal thoughts.

I have obtained the parents’ permission for this evaluation already. Please, check the boy’s condition. Are his health and wellbeing at risk? Should he be taken into care or placed in a hospital? Can he hurt himself or other students and teachers?


Ms. Smith.


ASCA. (2016). Web.

(2016). Web.

Coulter, C. (2013). Web.

(2015). Web.

(2017). Web.

Pernilla, G. (2013). School nursing: the picture in Sweden. Community Practitioner, 86(8), 38-39.

Ruff, R. (2011). School counselor and school psychologist perceptions of accountability policy: lessons from Virginia. The Qualitative Report, 16(5), 1270-1290.

U.S. federal child labor law. (2017). Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Collaboration: Legal and Ethical Issues." September 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/collaboration-legal-and-ethical-issues/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Collaboration: Legal and Ethical Issues'. 17 September.

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