Agencies | Governor
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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5/10/19  1:11 pm
Commenter: Edward Krattli

Protect the freedom and rights of Virginia families
 
Legislative attempts to ban reparative therapy in Virginia failed in 2016 and 2018. A ban would negatively impact parental rights and religious freedom. Because the General Assembly has not adopted their view, ban proponents are now seeking to impose a ban through regulation. Several state licensing boards are trying to bypass the General Assembly altogether, which has the effect of denying the voice of Virginia's citizens. The latest is the Board of Social Work, which like those of Psychology and Counseling, is proposing a regulatory ban. This is an underhanded attempt to negate the fundamental rights of parents: Parents are closest to their child’s challenges and they are in the best position to identify solutions and to make healthcare decisions involving the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of their child. Under Virginia law, parents have the fundamental right to make decisions regarding the upbringing, education, and care of their children. Some young people may have attractions they desire to change or moderate. Others may simply desire guidance from a social worker to live a chaste life. In either instance, there should be options for families to make informed decisions. Government though stay out of those decisions. A ban would deny families the religious freedom to seek counseling aligned with their faith. Because the proposed definition and ban cover all communication between a social worker and the client, there is a serious risk that children and families will lose the right to client “self-determination” in setting care goals (a core principle of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics). Please protect the rights and freedoms of Virginia families and stop this effort to restrict parental decisionmaking.