2.0 Ethics Case 1

Problem-solving step Your response Response example
Identify the problem

Jack’s time commitments do not allow for sufficient supervisory volume to maintain supervisee’s or trainees

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


4.03 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

Are there other supervisors who can share responsibility in trainee supervision and/or client care?

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

may consider providing some group supervision to decrease the number of hours required
speak to an agency representative around hiring a replacement and an appropriate timeline or allocation of resources
if the structure allows, could the additional caseload be divvied between supervisees and share responsibilities

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

a combination of all three courses of action appear to be appropriate

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

strategies are in accordance with the ethical dimensions of the issue
a change is necessary
in future opportunities, I might attempt to handle this at the time of the colleague’s resignation and prevent the number of responsibilities from getting out of hand.

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