Our students ALWAYS ask great questions! Here is one about ethics I wanted to highlight …
Beyond the ethical code we are following from ICF, are there any additional ethical/consent guidelines specific to coaching teens?
GREAT question! Here was some of my reply …
Additional guidelines? Not really … the ICF code is pretty comprehensive. But let me highlight a couple specific parts to consider:
Whether your coaching is paid or pro bono, there may be a 3rd party (e.g. parent) who signs the teen up for coaching … aka “the Sponsor”. You want to ensure everyone is clear and in agreement on the terms of the confidentiality before any coaching begins. For example, some parents want updates from the Coach, most do not. I usually try to encourage that the Client provide the updates on progress/topics discussed. As well, you will want to address situations where confidentiality *may* need to be breached-illegal activity, threat of self-harm/harm to others, etc.
Coaching Agreement/Welcome Package.
I usually send two copies-one for the Sponsor and one for the Client. That way both parties know what to expect, understand roles & responsibilities, etc. We want to manage expectations and avoid surprises.
Avoid any form of romantic relationship.
That goes without saying for clients of ANY age.
Clarity / avoiding misrepresentation.
With teens, I often find a “blended coaching” approach works best-allowing me to blend coaching and consultancy. Whatever you decide to offer, ensure the Client / Sponsor are clear and in agreement with the services you will be providing-e.g. pure coaching, blended coaching, consultancy, etc. Again, we want to manage expectations and avoid surprises.
So there are no specific additions to the ICF code of ethics for coaching teens, just some areas to be specifically mindful of.