ERIC Number: ED366881
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Oct-12
Peer Assistance Programs in the Schools: Some Legal and Ethical Issues.
Deffenbaugh, Kim B.; Hutchinson, Roger L.
Little research has been conducted in an effort to clarify the legal ramifications involved in the support services a guidance department may offer in a typical high school. Of particular interest are the liabilities to which counselors, principals, and other school personnel might be subjected in guidance departments having peer assistance programs. While peer assistance programs are both cost efficient and effective in helping students, the challenge is to create programs in compliance with ethical and legal issues. A more thorough investigation of the legal and ethical issues involving special guidance services is indicated. By becoming more aware of possible legal and ethical difficulties one might encounter in innovative helping programs, precautions and appropriate guidelines can be developed before beginning such endeavors. The results of a survey of 30 Indiana Association of College Admission Counselors verified the need for clarification regarding some of these concerns. Respondents voiced an interest in developing peer assistance programs and a fear of legal ramifications. The four concerns clearly identified by the respondents were confidentiality, peer counselors versus peer helpers or assistants, dependency, and accountability. School boards and state departments of education must provide some leadership by establishing clear and supportive guidelines for peer assistance programs in the schools. (NB)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A