2.0 Ethics Case 1

Problem-solving step Your response Response example
Identify the problem

Jack has a supervision case load that is greater than his capacity to effectively handle.

Jack’s responsibilities have increased but no room has been made in his schedule.
Relevant ethical codes


5.02 Supervisory Volume – Jack’s work responsibilities have increased, and now his supervision commitments have exceeded his ability to be effective.
Consider dimensions of the problem

There are not other available supervisors at the company

Jack has responsibilities to both his clients and his trainees. His workload has exceeded his ability to be effective as a supervisor.
It would be an ethics violation for Jack to abandon his clients or his trainees
Consider courses of action & potential consequences

Discuss with employers what you need and explain that you can not ethically continue as things are, which the employer may disregard

You could terminate your supervisory role with new clients transferred to you, which could be problematic and unfairly penalize trainees/supervisees for their supervisor leaving

You could discontinue all supervisory relationships until there is enough staff to handle the case load, which also is a potential ethics violation

Decrease client caseload – Jack could ask his employer to share the extra responsibilities with other behavior analysts, or temporarily cut his billable hours to the minimum necessary
Share supervision – Jack is the only behavior analyst supervisor so this is really not an option
Select a course of action

Talk to employer regarding needs and restrictions for supervisors and your overwhelmed case load

Jack might decide to present the problem as an urgent ethics issue to his director and urge that they contract with a staffing agency to fill the position with a BCBA who can take on the extra client cases while they continue the search for a permanent replacement.
Implement and evaluate course of action

If the employer was receptive, it could solve the problem by pushing the employer to hire replacement staff

The director is responsive to Jack’s request and Jack receives relief from the extra work within about a week.