Warning: Boundary Crossing Ahead

5 Ethics CEUs

Warning: Boundary Crossing Ahead, Course #2206 is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to be offered by Leslie S. Tsukroff, MSW, LCSW as an individual course. Individual courses, not providers, are approved at the course level. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE course approval period: from 01/17/2019 to 01/17/2021. Social workers completing this course receive 5 ethics continuing education credits.

Join New Jersey’s premier ethics consultant, Leslie S. Tsukroff, MSW, LCSW for an informative and interactive workshop in which participants will leave being able to:

  • Identify and successfully manage challenging ethical dilemmas involving boundaries in social work practice

  • Implement practical strategies to strengthen boundaries in the social worker/client supervisor/supervisee, and employer/employee relationships

  • Develop ethically based, technology-related, policies and procedures for social workers in a variety of practice settings   

Course Description

Studies indicate that one of the most complex and challenging tasks for social workers is to effectively manage boundaries.    Despite ethics education, agency rules, and licensure regulations, boundary mismanagement remains commonplace for both the novice and seasoned social worker.    Boundary issues, including dual/multiple relationships, exist in a variety of different settings, in all areas of social work practice and in every type of relationship.    In this highly interactive workshop, participants will explore the ethical standard of Conflicts of Interest focusing on the unique and difficult issues that arise in relationships with clients, colleagues, mentors, and supervisors.   Critical management of social worker self-disclosure, living and working in smaller communities and professional involvement with members of the same family will be addressed.     The presenter will also highlight how the use of technology in our personal and professional lives has and will continue to impact the evolution of how we identify, approach and resolve ethical dilemmas around conflicts of interest.

Target Audience
This course is designed for intermediate level social workers who serve as clinicians, managers, case workers, supervisors/supervisees, students, mentors and educators. 

Program will be 5 hours of actual time
There will be 2 15 minute breaks mid-morning and mid-afternoon

Lunch will be 60 minutes on your own

Introduction (25 minutes)
Review of 8 top substantiated ethics complaints
Overview of Conflict of interest- questions for today’s workshop

Review of relevant standards/concepts in the NASW Code of Ethics (30 minutes)
Discussion, exploration and definitions of Conflicts of Interest, Commitment to Clients, and Dual/Multiple Relationships
Recognizing ethically problematic relationships focusing on the social worker’s: impaired judgment; ability to identify and assess for potential conflicts; responsibility to resolve conflict and protect client’s interests; obligation to outline professional responsibilities/roles  

Successful boundary management (30 minutes)
When working with couples, families and groups with attention to the potential pitfalls of changing treatment modalities, taking sides, and balancing working with both parents and minors

BREAK- 15 minutes

Boundary crossings vs. boundary violations – clients (45 minutes)
Review of Impropriety vs. the appearance of impropriety- is there a difference? Weighing the risks
An in-depth look at boundary crossing- Is it always unethical? Is it always a conflict of interest? Is it always harmful?
Social worker self-disclosure as an acceptable therapeutic intervention – assessing the circumstances from all angles
Attending client’s life event – are all situations the same? Decision making tools and management

Boundary management with in the workplace/educational settings (30 minutes)
Dual relationships between supervisor/supervisee, educator/student, field instructor/interns
Review of the NASW Code of Ethics relevant standards
Identifying and managing relationships with a power-differential in fair, unbiased and culturally informed ways
Potential pitfalls of piercing the boundary in these types of relationships- when your desire to help may be misguided; when the situation seems too perfect, should you take a closer look?

LUNCH 1 hour on own

Boundary Violations (50 minutes)
Sexual/intimate relationships with current/former clients and/or their family members and with current/former students, interns, supervisor, research participants, and/or colleagues
The NASW COE and New Jersey Social Work Licensure Law – differing directives
Why talk about this? Consequences for the individual and the profession; current statistics; educating clients and social work colleagues
Common rebuttals: “I’m not causing harm;” “But, we’re in LOVE;”  “the rules don’t apply to us;”  “If I terminate treatment, I am no longer violating the COE”  
Other forms of boundary violations- collusion between social worker and client


Boundary management (65 Minutes)
Identifying, managing and resolving boundary crossings
Client access to the social worker, social worker’s personal knowledge of the client, client’s personal knowledge about the social worker
In unique communities --rural, self-contained, and cultural/religious affiliations
Within the therapeutic relationship and with current/former clients and their family members
When working with families, minors and couples
Potentially avoidable boundary crossings within the social worker’s community vs. deliberate/avoidable boundary crossings
Asking yourself “the what if’s”, weighing the possibilities of an unintentional conflict of interest and inadvertently causing harm
Accepting or declining referrals when serving in 2 or more roles in your community
Managing interactions with clients/former clients in social/professional gatherings
Fact Witness vs. Expert Witness – What is the social worker’s role?
Using caution when asked to weigh in on custody, visitation and other forensic related issues
When and when not to wear two hats    
Ethical Decision-Making (25 minutes)
The importance of the “standard of care” and malpractice in risk management techniques
The role of education, training, supervision/consultation
Frederic Reamer’s 9 point model for ethical decision-making


Leslie S. Tsukroff, MSW, LCSW began her entrepreneurial career in 1999 when she opened her first private practice location in Somerset County, New Jersey. Since earning her MSW in Clinical Social Work in 1993 from New York University, she gained expert knowledge through an extensive career.

In addition to owning a profitable and successful private practice, in 2000, Ms. Tsukroff developed Business Management Consulting for Mental Health Practitioners, a corporation aimed at assisting behavioral health clinicians achieve their business goals.

Ms. Tsukroff perfected her consulting business out of knowledge she gained through creating and managing her own small business, working as an Outpatient Care Manager for one of New Jersey’s largest Managed Care Companies, and from spearheading start-up programs for former employers.

Ms. Tsukroff’s commitment to core social work values is evidenced by her volunteerism to various professional mental health associations. She is the former Chairperson for The New Jersey Chapter of The National Association of Social Workers Committee on Ethical Review and throughout her career she has served on several additional committees focused on continuing education for social workers, private practitioner concerns, insurance and managed care issues and social work licensure rules and requirements.

Ms. Tsukroff has dedicated over 26 years focused on giving back to the social work community through serving on various Boards of Directors, writing articles, offering pro-bono presentations, and providing low-cost supervision and consultation to social workers throughout the tristate area.  

In February of 2018, Ms. Tsukroff accepted an invitation to join a task force charged with revising NASW’s Clinical Social Workers in Private Practice:  A Reference Guide.

Ms. Tsukroff has a passion for teaching and drawing on her clinical/ethics –related experience and expertise. She conducts engaging training workshops focusing on traditional business practices, risk management techniques, documentation and record-keeping, private practice development, billing, ethical and legal issues and clinical matters.

Deadlines, Cancellation/Refund Policies, Complaints, ADA Needs, Questions/Concerns

  • If participants have any questions or concerns or are dissatisfied with any part of the registration process, facilities, non-receipt of certificates,  the presenter or the presentation, or any other complaints, they should contact Leslie S. Tsukroff, the program administrator directly @ 973-879-1678 or @ LsTsukroff@aol.com.

  • If the results of the grievance process are unsatisfactory, New Jersey social workers have the option to contact the approving entity, with an option to appeal to their licensing board.

  • All complaints will be responded to within 7 days from the receipt of the complaint.

  • Full refunds will be given to registrants up until 1 week (7 days) prior to the event.  

  • Requests for refunds must be made in writing and mailed to Leslie S. Tsukroff, Inc., Business Management Consulting for Mental Health Practitioners, 68 North Bridge Street, Somerville, NJ 08876 or via e-mail to LsTsukroff@aol.com.

  • Mail and E-mail registration deadline is 3 days prior to the event (Event date TBD).

  • Leslie S. Tsukroff, Inc. would be happy to accommodate your ADA Needs.  Please call (973-879-1678) to discuss at least 2 weeks prior to event.

  • If you have any questions, please call Leslie S. Tsukroff, MSW, LCSW @ 973-879-1678 or e-mail her @ LsTsukroff@aol.com

Continuing Education Credit Information

Warning: Boundary Crossing Ahead, course number 2206, is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to be offered by Leslie S. Tsukroff, Inc. as an individual course. Individual courses, not providers, are approved at the course level. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE course approval period: from 01/17/2019 to 01/17/2021. Social workers completing this course receive 5 Ethics continuing education credits.

Course Completion
For those who registered on-line, by phone or via mail, certificates will be handed to social workers who attend the entire session and complete a course evaluation.

For those who register on-site, certificates will be emailed/mailed within 7 days to those social workers who attend the entire session and complete a course evaluation.

68 North Bridge Street
Somerville, New Jersey 08876
TEL:  973.879.1678  • LsTsukroff@aol.com


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