Do not ban licensed professionals from providing reparative or "conversion" therapy to children
Please do not ban licensed professionals from providing reparative or "conversion" therapy to children.
Parents have the right and duty to guide their child's growth in faith and morals. Parents are in the best position to identify solutions and to make healthcare decisions involving the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being of their children.
Under Virginia law, parents have the fundamental right to make decisions regarding the upbringing, care, and education of their children.
Some young people may have a desire to change or moderate the attractions that they may have. Other young people may desire to have guidance from a social worker as to how to live a chaste life. In either case there should be options for families to make an informed decision.
A ban would deny parents and families their religious freedom to seek counseling that is in line with their religious faith.
Because the proposed definition and ban would cover all communication between a social worker and client, there is serious risk that children and families will lose the right to client "self-determination" in setting care goals. "Self-determination" in setting care goals is a core principle of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. Therefore, a ban would not only violate the rights of parents and families, it would also violate a key principle in the Social Work profession.
Thank you for your consideration.