Supervisor in a nonsectarian social services agency

Imagine that you serve as a supervisor in a nonsectarian social services agency that provides social and
counseling services to families and children of all kinds and compositions. One of the professionals you
supervise is a relatively young social worker who has worked in the agency for just a few weeks. During
one of your early supervisory meetings, you begin to discuss a case that you plan to assign to her. The
case involves a lesbian couple who recently migrated to your community. They want professional help to
accomplish two goals: First, they want to get married. They want to know if gay marriage is legal in this
state and, if it is not, how and where they can go to become legally married couple. Second, they hope to
have a child — preferably through artificial ainsemination or, if that fails, through adoption. They would like
help in discussing these issues and making plans to accomplish these goals. As you describe the case, the
young social worker says, “I’m sorry, | am a religious person who believes that homosexuality is a sin and
gay marriage is simply wrong.”

Questions: As the young social worker’s supervisor,

a) What would you identify as the ethical issues in this situation?

b) What would you advise her to consider?

c) What would you suggest that she do?

Sample Solution