The true client.
The article by Sue Tignor, Richard Hoernemann, and Linda Lindsey on EAPs and substance abuse professional services (job) professional services - A department of a supplier providing consultancy and programming manpower for the supplier's products. (3rd quarter 2005) was outstanding for many reasons. I wish, however, the authors would have gone into more depth on the "ethical dilemma" many employee assistance professionals perceive in handling SAP cases that involve employees who work for their EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) A protocol that acts as a framework and transport for other authentication protocols. EAP uses its own start and end messages, but then carries any number of third-party messages between the client (supplicant) and access control corporate clients.
These EA professionals see a conflict of interest in the sense that the SAP may lose objectivity when assessing an employee who works for a corporate EAP client. That's because the corporate client may have a strong desire to return the employee to duty sooner than may be warranted based on the level/severity of the employee's substance problem.
I work in an external EAP and have handled more than 100 SAP cases since 2001. Some of these cases have involved employees of our corporate EAP clients. I have no problem taking these cases because I understand, as the article states, that my function is "to protect the public interest in safety by professionally evaluating the employee and recommending appropriate education/treatment, follow-up tests, and aftercare af·ter·care
Follow-up care provided after a medical procedure or treatment program.
the care and treatment of a convalescent patient, especially one that has undergone surgery. ."
I clearly explain the above quotation to the designated employer representative (DER DER - Distinguished Encoding Rules ), whether or not he/she is an EAP client. Ultimately, the public safety becomes the true client, and understanding and acting on this notion avoids any "ethical dilemma" in handling SAP cases of this nature.
Gerry Ahlers, LCSW LCSW Licensed Clinical Social Worker ,, CEAP CEAP Civilian Employee Assistance Program
CEAP Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (WA DSHS program)
CEAP Clinical, Etiologic, Anatomic and Pathophysiologic
CEAP Corps of Engineers Automation Plan , SAP
Director of Behavioral Health and Occupational Services