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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Health Professions
Guidance Document Change: Consistent with the established position of the NASW, the Board considers “conversion therapy” or “sexual orientation change efforts” to be services that have the potential to be a danger to clients, especially minors. Thus, under regulations governing practitioners licensed or registered by the Board, practicing conversion therapy/sexual orientation change efforts with minors could result in a finding of misconduct and disciplinary action against the licensee or registrant.
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5/2/19  9:18 am
Commenter: Holly Zinn, Community Volunteer

Opposition to current guidance documents on counseling
 

As a community volunteer who advocates for children in Henrico County's Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and works alongside DSS, I oppose the suggested changes to the social workers regulations as these changes would:

1. Deny patients with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion to receive the necessary counseling they seek to overcome their feelings. Not all minors wish to have same-sex attraction or change their gender identity. If "conversion therapy" is banned, no one will be able to help these children.

2. Deny social workers their first-amendment right to free speech to help those who want counseling to overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion. Good social workers are hard to find and retain considering their low wages, high stress, and never-ending caseloads. This ban would limit the potential pool of social workers.

3. Prevent parents/guardians from seeking the support services for their child as they deem best. This ban denies parents/guardians their God-given right to raise their children as they deem appropriate, and it fails to allow parents to act in the best interest of the child. 

Thank you for your consideration.