Legal & Ethical Issues in School Counseling


ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors (2016)

ACA Code of Ethics (2014)

ASCA: Legal & Ethical – Information and supporting documents for legal & ethical issues related to School Counselors, FAQ’s, and State by State Statutes for reporting Child Abuse.

TN Dept. of Children’s Services – Child Safety Info

TSCA Ethics Consult  – If you are a TSCA member and would like to consult with one of our ASCA Certified Ethical Specialists please fill out the Ethics Inquiry Form

*Disclaimer: The TSCA Ethics consult does not take the place of consulting legal services if your situation has moved to litigation. The goal of the Ethics consult is to provide support for TSCA members who are facing an ethical dilemma per the STEPS Model for School Settings (see below).

TSCA highly recommends membership in professional organizations such as ASCA and ACA. These organizations provide legal and ethical support as well as professional liability insurance.

STEPS Model for School Settings  (Stone, 2013)

The STEPS (Solution for Ethical Problems in Schools) Model:

  1. Define the Problem Emotionally and Intellectually
  2. Apply the ASCA and ACA Ethical Codes and the Law
  3. Consider the Student’s Chronological and Developmental Levels
  4. Consider the Setting, Parental Rights and Minors’ Rights
  5. Apply the Moral Principles
  6. Determine Your Potential Courses of Action and Their Consequences
  7. Evaluate the Selected Action
  8. Consult
  9. Implement the Course of Action