Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text

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Action:
Changes to endorsement and reinstatement; standards of practice
Stage: Proposed
 
18VAC140-20-45 Requirements for licensure by endorsement

A. Every applicant for licensure by endorsement shall submit in one package:

1. A completed application and the application fee prescribed in 18VAC140-20-30.

2. Documentation of active social work licensure in good standing obtained by standards required for licensure in another jurisdiction as verified by the out-of-state licensing agency. Licensure in the other jurisdiction shall be of a comparable type as the licensure that the applicant is seeking in Virginia.

3. Verification of a passing score on a board-approved national exam at the level for which the applicant is seeking licensure in Virginia.

4. Documentation of any other health or mental health licensure or certification, if applicable.

5. A current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB).

6. Verification of:

a. Active practice at the level for which the applicant is seeking licensure in another United States jurisdiction for 24 out of the past 60 months;

b. Active practice in an exempt setting at the level for which the applicant is seeking licensure for 24 out of the past 60 months; or

c. Evidence of supervised experience requirements substantially equivalent to those outlined in 18VAC140-20-50 A 2 and A 3.

7. Certification that the applicant is not the respondent in any pending or unresolved board action in another jurisdiction or in a malpractice claim.

B. If an applicant for licensure by endorsement has not passed a board-approved national examination at the level for which the applicant is seeking licensure in Virginia, the board may approve the applicant to sit for such examination.

18VAC140-20-110 Late renewal; reinstatement; reactivation

A. An LBSW, LMSW, or clinical social worker whose license has expired may renew that license within one year after its expiration date by:

1. Providing evidence of having met all applicable continuing education requirements.

2. Paying the penalty for late renewal and the renewal fee as prescribed in 18VAC140-20-30.

B. An LBSW, LMSW, or clinical social worker who fails to renew the license after one year and who wishes to resume practice shall apply for reinstatement and pay the reinstatement fee, which shall consist of the application processing fee and the penalty fee for late renewal, as set forth in 18VAC140-20-30. An applicant for reinstatement shall also provide:

1. Documentation of having completed all applicable continued competency hours equal to the number of years the license has lapsed, not to exceed four years;

2. Documentation of any other health or mental health licensure or certification held in another United States jurisdiction, if applicable; and

3. A current report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank.

C. In addition to requirements set forth in subsection B of this section, an applicant for reinstatement whose license has been lapsed for 10 or more years shall also provide evidence of competency to practice by documenting:

1. Active practice in another United States jurisdiction for at least 24 out of the past 60 months immediately preceding application;

2. Active practice in an exempt setting for at least 24 out of the past 60 months immediately preceding application; or

3. Practice as a supervisee under supervision for at least 360 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding reinstatement of licensure in Virginia. The supervised practice shall include a minimum of 60 hours of face-to-face direct client contact and nine hours of face-to-face supervision.

D. An LBSW, LMSW, or clinical social worker wishing to reactivate an inactive license shall submit the difference between the renewal fee for active licensure and the fee for inactive licensure renewal and document completion of continued competency hours equal to the number of years the license has been inactive, not to exceed four years. An applicant for reactivation who has been inactive for 10 or more years shall also provide evidence of competency to practice by documenting:

1. Active practice in another United States jurisdiction for at least 24 out of the past 60 months immediately preceding application;

2. Active practice in an exempt setting for at least 24 out of the past 60 months immediately preceding application; or

3. Practice as a supervisee under supervision for at least 360 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding reactivation of licensure in Virginia. The supervised practice shall include a minimum of 60 hours of face-to-face direct client contact and nine hours of face-to-face supervision.

18VAC140-20-150 Professional conduct

Part V
Standards of Practice

A. The protection of the public health, safety, and welfare and the best interest of the public shall be the primary guide in determining the appropriate professional conduct of all persons whose activities are regulated by the board. Regardless of the delivery method, whether in person, by telephone or electronically, these standards shall apply to the practice of social work.

B. Persons licensed as LBSWs, LMSWs, and clinical social workers shall:

1. Be able to justify all services rendered to or on behalf of clients as necessary for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

2. Provide for continuation of care when services must be interrupted or terminated.

3. Practice only within the competency areas for which they are qualified by education and experience.

4. Report to the board known or suspected violations of the laws and regulations governing the practice of social work.

5. Neither accept nor give commissions, rebates, or other forms of remuneration for referral of clients for professional services.

6. Ensure that clients are aware of fees and billing arrangements before rendering services.

7. Inform clients of potential risks and benefits of services and the limitations on confidentiality and ensure that clients have provided informed written consent to treatment.

8. Keep confidential their therapeutic relationships with clients and disclose client records to others only with written consent of the client, with the following exceptions: (i) when the client is a danger to self or others; or (ii) as required by law.

9. When advertising their services to the public, ensure that such advertising is neither fraudulent nor misleading.

10. As treatment requires and with the written consent of the client, collaborate with other health or mental health providers concurrently providing services to the client.

11. Refrain from undertaking any activity in which one's personal problems are likely to lead to inadequate or harmful services.

12. Recognize conflicts of interest and inform all parties of the nature and directions of loyalties and responsibilities involved.

C. In regard to client records, persons licensed by the board shall comply with provisions of § 32.1-127.1:03 of the Code of Virginia on health records privacy and shall:

1. Maintain written or electronic clinical records for each client to include identifying information and assessment that substantiates diagnosis and treatment plans. Each record shall include a diagnosis and treatment plan, progress notes for each case activity, information received from all collaborative contacts and the treatment implications of that information, and the termination process and summary.

2. Maintain client records securely, inform all employees of the requirements of confidentiality, and provide for the destruction of records that are no longer useful in a manner that ensures client confidentiality.

3. Disclose or release records to others only with clients' expressed written consent or that of their legally authorized representative or as mandated by law.

4. Ensure confidentiality in the usage of client records and clinical materials by obtaining informed consent from clients or their legally authorized representative before (i) videotaping, (ii) audio recording, (iii) permitting third-party observation, or (iv) using identifiable client records and clinical materials in teaching, writing, or public presentations.

5. Maintain client records for a minimum of six years or as otherwise required by law from the date of termination of the therapeutic relationship with the following exceptions:

a. At minimum, records of a minor child shall be maintained for six years after attaining the age of majority or 10 years following termination, whichever comes later.

b. Records that are required by contractual obligation or federal law to be maintained for a longer period of time.

c. Records that have been transferred to another mental health professional or have been given to the client or his legally authorized representative.

D. In regard to dual relationships, persons licensed by the board shall:

1. Not engage in a dual relationship with a client or a supervisee that could impair professional judgment or increase the risk of exploitation or harm to the client or supervisee. (Examples of such a relationship include familial, social, financial, business, bartering, or a close personal relationship with a client or supervisee.) Social workers shall take appropriate professional precautions when a dual relationship cannot be avoided, such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no exploitation occurs.

2. Not have any type of romantic relationship or sexual intimacies with a client or those included in collateral therapeutic services, and not provide services to those persons with whom they have had a romantic or sexual relationship. Social workers shall not engage in romantic relationship or sexual intimacies with a former client within a minimum of five years after terminating the professional relationship. Social workers who engage in such a relationship after five years following termination shall have the responsibility to examine and document thoroughly that such a relationship did not have an exploitive nature, based on factors such as duration of therapy, amount of time since therapy, termination circumstances, client's personal history and mental status, adverse impact on the client. A client's consent to, initiation of or participation in sexual behavior or involvement with a social worker does not change the nature of the conduct nor lift the regulatory prohibition.

3. Not engage in any romantic or sexual relationship or establish a therapeutic relationship with a current supervisee or student. Social workers shall avoid any nonsexual dual relationship with a supervisee or student in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the supervisee or student, or the potential for interference with the supervisor's professional judgment.

4. Recognize conflicts of interest and inform all parties of the nature and directions of loyalties and responsibilities involved.

5. Not engage in a personal relationship with a former client in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm or if the former client continues to relate to the social worker in his professional capacity.

6. Not engage in physical contact with a client when there is a likelihood of psychological harm to the client. Social workers who engage in physical contact are responsible for setting clear and culturally sensitive boundaries.

7. Not sexually harass clients. Sexual harassment includes sexual advances; sexual solicitation; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal written, electronic, or physical contact of a sexual nature.

E. Upon learning of evidence that indicates a reasonable probability that another mental health provider is or may be guilty of a violation of standards of conduct as defined in statute or regulation, persons licensed by the board shall advise their clients of their right to report such misconduct to the Department of Health Professions in accordance with § 54.1-2400.4 of the Code of Virginia.