Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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  12:44 pm
Commenter: Thomas F. Griffin, Virginia citizen

Comment on Proposed Ban on Reparative Services

Because the General Assembly has not adopted their view, reparative therapy 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 diluting citixens' voice in Richmond. The latest is the Board of Social Work, which like those of Psychology and Counseling, is proposing a regulatory ban. 
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.
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).