Have you ever experienced an unplanned end to a relationship? How did the unexpected nature of it make you feel? Endings for which you are unprepared, and a lack of closure, can occur in both personal and professional lives.

Social workers are required to show that clients are stable and ready to discontinue services prior to termination of the helping relationship. However, there are times when planned termination between social worker and client is not possible. For example, the client’s case may be transferred from your caseload, you may be transferred to another department within your agency, or your employment situation may change. The client may also initiate the termination and simply stop attending appointments purposely or due to personal difficulty or tragedy. As with any unplanned end to a relationship, you may question your role in the cause, and as a social worker, you may question your skills as a professional. In this Assignment, you reflect on these types of terminations and how you might address them as a social worker.

To Prepare: Reflect on a time when you have terminated a relationship—either planned or unplanned.

Submit a 1- to 2-page reflection paper in which you:

  • Identify at least two emotions you may confront when addressing termination with a client.
  • Explain how you would process these emotions.
  • Explain how you would address one ethical and one legal obligation if termination would be unplanned

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