Confidentiality after tarasoff

Jill Doner Kagle, Sandra Kopels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Following the Tarasoff decision, many social workers believe that they have a duty to warn third parties of the danger posed to them by clients. However, a careful analysis of this decision and the cases and statutes that have followed indicates that social workers duty under the law is circumscribed. This article describes social workers' duty under the law and outlines standards of care for assessing and responding to threats of harm. It places the duty to protect third parties into the larger context of social workers ethical and legal obligation to protect confidentiality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-222
Number of pages6
JournalHealth and Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1994


  • Clients
  • Confidentiality
  • Duty to warn
  • Tarasoff
  • Third parties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)


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