Case Studies

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Ethicaldecision-making process enables family life educators and counselorsto address the needs of clients in the most effective manner. Theessay discusses how the family life educators solve ethical dilemmasin two case studies.

CaseStudy 2: Father and Child Custody Dilemma

Thefamily life educator is supposed to make a decision that will affectthe life of the children positively. The well-being of the childrenshould be considered in any decision reached by the parents and theeducator. It is appropriate for the educator to make the decisionusing the ethical decision-making process that has five stages. Thefirst thing that the educator should identify is if the casegenerates an ethical issue. The case has ethical consequences becauseit has a direct repercussion on the children. The father wants theeducator to assist him to get the custody of the children without theknowledge of the mother. The second step involves obtaining thefacts. The educator should determine the relationship of theirchildren with both parents. He should identify the reason why themother does not attend the parent education program together with thefather. The third step entails an evaluation of alternative actions.The fairness and justice approach is effective for the case becauseit encourages the educator to obtain the opinion of the mother andfather on the custody issue. The common good approach is alsoappropriate because it strives to improve the life of all partiesconcerned with the child custody case. The fourth step involvestesting the decision. The educator should enquire from the childrenthe effect that the separation of the parents will have to them. Theeducator can also encourage the children to illustrate the parent andthe parenting method that they prefer. The fifth step is implementingthe decision (Dobrin, 2013). The educator should consult the motherof the children to know her opinion on the child custody issue.

CaseStudy 3: Early Intervention and Culture Dilemma

Thefirst step indicates that the ethical issue in the case is allowingthe 18 months infant to learn the spoken language. The parents aredeaf and, therefore, pressurize the family educator to communicatewith the child using the sign language. The second step is aboutknowing the facts of the case. The infant has developmental delays.The desired intervention aims at improving the speech and languagedevelopment of the child. The parents prefer the child to developsign language skills. However, the early intervention professionalprefers the development of oral communication abilities of the child.The third stage is evaluating appropriate actions (Swinton, 2017).The rights-based approach is suitable because it supports theinterests of the child. The fairness approach is also suitablebecause it advocates for fair treatment of all individuals. Theinterests of the child and the parents are protected through thisapproach. Step four involves testing the decisions to determine themost effective approach. The interest of both parents and the childwill be considered if the child is exposed to both oral communicationand sign language. The parents can teach sign language, while theintervention staff can expose the child to normal communication. Thefifth step is the implementation of the most appropriate approach forlanguage development. The parents should be taught the benefits ofexposing the child to both sign and spoken languages.

Itis important for family life educators to possess effective ethicaldecision-making abilities. The competency enables the educators toaddress the challenges that clients experience.


Arthur,Dobrin. (2013). Five Steps to Better Ethical Decision Making.Retrieved from

Lyndsay,Swinton. (2017). Ethical Decision Making: How to Make EthicalDecisions in 5 Steps. Retrieved from