Ethical Decision Making in Administration and Supervision

Dates: March 22, 2024

Meets: F from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Location: GRAND RAPIDS - BIK 230-235

COURSE: $99.00

Sorry, we are no longer accepting registrations for this course. Please contact our office to find out if it will be rescheduled, or if alternative classes are available.


Email Information to Friend Print

This course meets the requirement for Ethics.

Managing an organization so that ethical practices will be consistently valued and maintained requires highly skilled and experienced administrators and supervisors who can manage the dilemmas of ethical decision-making. Ethical practice for administrators and supervisors requires much more than assuring ethical clinical behavior of staff and is far more complex in its scope and potential impact of the organization. It requires administrators and supervisors to maintain a focus on establishing organizational practices that clearly define what ethical conduct is rewarded and what unethical conduct is discouraged while attempting to withhold punishment and establish a culture and practice that champions safety. Administrators do not get it right every time. So many factors contribute to the management of frequent and complex ethical dilemmas that are inherent in the role of administration: complexity of service delivery, relevant laws and policies, staff experience and training, financial considerations, staff morale, current affairs with lasting impacts, and the perception of everyone in the organization (from Board Members to Clients to community stakeholders). This course is targeted to and uniquely designed for agency administrators and supervisors. It provides an opportunity to learn from peers, practice realistic strategies, and review relevant guidelines. It is intended to be practical, fast-paced, and interactive using multiple case studies, application of frameworks, and participant sharing.


  1. Describe the six key major risk areas for a human service agency that require administrative ethical decision-making skills to effectively manage “vicarious liability”.
  2. Define the three levels of ethical decisions/behaviors of Administrators and Supervisors.
  3. Explain the unique challenges facing organizational ethics in an era of staffing shortages and hiring limitations.
  4. Learn how to utilize at least two ethical decision-making frameworks.
  5. Identify and review the additional requirements that the Social Work Code of Ethics demands of Administrators and Supervisors.


SWCE Policies

Payment & Registration

  • Payment is due upon registration. If a participant registers for a course and has not paid the registration fee, we will send a reminder email to pay the fee. If there is no response and the fee has not been paid within 7 days, the participant will be dropped from the course and may re-register and pay if space is available.
    This policy is to ensure equitable access to courses that have high demand and long waitlists.
  • Registration Deadline: Three days prior to the program by 5pm.
  • Waitlist Policy: Our social work programs, excluding the DHHS programs, may fill up due to interest in the content. If the course becomes full, we will have a limited wait list. Those who get on a wait list for a course, you will be notified as soon as possible if a seat becomes available and payment must be made upon enrollment. When the typical registration period ends two days prior to the begin date, all those on the list will be notified we can no longer accept people into the class.


  • Participants may cancel their registration at any time by calling our office at 616-331-7180 or emailing Participants seeking a refund must cancel their registration at least 48 hours prior to the program. You may either receive a full refund back on your card, or we can place a credit on your account for a future program. Refund requests received within 48 hours of the program are not eligible for a refund. If GVSU needs to cancel the event, participants will receive a full refund.

Social Work Continuing Education Credits:

  • Participants seeking Social Work Continuing Education credits will need to arrive by the start time of the program, and must stay until the end. Partial credit will not be awarded.
  • Participants must complete the post-event evaluation to receive SWCE credit.
  • Certificates will be emailed to participants 1-2 business days after the program. Participants who have not received their certificate (and it is not in their spam/junk folder) should email
  • Grand Valley State University School of Social Work, an accredited social work education program, is authorized by Administrative Rule 338.2965 to award Michigan social work continuing education contact hours.
Fee: $99.00

Fee Breakdown

FeeCOURSE$ 99.00
Fee-AlternateGVSU Field Education Supervisor$ 66.00
Fee-AlternateGVSU Faculty/Staff$ 15.00


A parking pass will be emailed to you two days prior to the event. Please see the link below for maps to Grand Valley State University locations:

Building Address:
Bicycle Factory
201 Front Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Robert Lathers

Robert Lathers, LMSW has over 45 years experience in social work with 35 of those years in clinical supervision and administration. He recently retired as CEO of a leading-edge rural community mental health center. He has been a live-in residential house parent for adolescents, a case-manager, a clinical supervisor and a program director for several agencies both rural and urban.

He has presented at over 200 State and National professional conferences during his career on issues related mostly to child welfare, family therapy, jail diversion, and serving veterans and their families. He is a long-time Adjunct Professor for the GVSU Graduate School of Social Work teaching courses in Public Policy and Human Service Administration.

Mr. Lathers is the recipient of numerous awards including his community's Citizen of the Year and a local Child Abuse and Neglect Council's Person of the Year. He is the 2018 Recipient of the prestigious Hal Madden Award for Distinguished Service in the field of Mental Health presented by the Community Mental Health of Association of Michigan. He is also the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished BSW Alumnus Award from the GVSU School of Social Work. He earned his MSW from Western Michigan University.

Liz Tompkins

Liz Tompkins is a macro-level social worker with more than a decade of domestic and international experience. Learning about people and the systems that impact them led Liz to advocate for change in policies that affect refugee and immigrant families. Currently, Liz serves as the Senior Program Officer of Strategy with Switchboard at the International Rescue Committee – helping coordinate training and technical assistance for the resettlement network. Prior to joining Switchboard, Liz worked for over six years at Bethany Christian Services, most recently as the National Capacity Director for Refugee and Immigrant Programs funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. There she developed referral and placement systems that resulted in over 3,000 unaccompanied children being welcomed into short-term foster care before ultimately reuniting with their families. Liz is also an experienced facilitator, having presented at organizations and conferences on topics ranging from humanitarian concerns at the Southern Border to jail diversion. Liz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Michigan and received both an MSW and MPA from Grand Valley State University. She is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV), having served in Peru from 2012 to 2016.