If you ask a social worker why he or she chose to pursue this line of work, the most common reply is often the desire to help others. Social workers, by their very nature, are typically very caring individuals who have spent countless hours learning how to effectively help their clients grow emotionally as well as improve their challenging life situations. However, one misstep can not only cause you to face potential action from the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice (“Board”), it could also subject you to serious criminal charges. With this in mind, the following are some of the most common actions that can cause a licensed social worker to face potential disciplinary action:
- Failure to Complete Renewal/Application Requirements: A simple way to avoid problems with the Board is to make sure that you have met all requirements for renewing and maintaining your license. This includes paying all fees and completing all required continuing education classes.
- Practicing without a License: A licensee who fails to renew his or her license on a timely basis risks having the license expire. A licensee who continues to engage in the profession on an expired license risks discipline for practicing without a license.
- Fraud in Obtaining License: A social worker is a position that is based on trust and integrity. Misrepresenting information on an application for licensure or using fraud or bribery to obtain a license is grounds for discipline. If you are in the process of applying for a license and unsure if you need to disclose sensitive information, make an appointment now to speak with a seasoned New Hampshire professional licensing defense attorney.
- Sharing Client Confidences: Revealing a client’s secrets or any information that the client shared with you violates a social worker’s professional ethics and can expose you up to disciplinary actions by the Board. Licensees also need to be aware of their obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
- Improper Physical Contact with a Client: Social workers, like other therapists and health care workers, share close contacts with clients. Licensees who engage in physical intimacies with a client or make sexual advances towards a client, not only blur the lines of professional integrity, but also place their license in serious jeopardy.
- Improper Treatment of a Client: Maltreatment of a client, student or subordinate by a licensee is considered unprofessional conduct. A license is prohibited from discriminating against a client on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, disability, or national origin.
- Conviction of a Felony: A licensee who receives a felony conviction is at serious risk of having his or her license suspended or revoked. Therefore, if you are facing any type of substance abuse problem, it is best to seek help immediately before it turns into a DUI or drug possession charge that could cost you your license.
The Crisp Law Firm, PLLC is Ready to Vigorously Defend Your License and Your Livelihood
If you are a social worker or any other type of licensed professional in New Hampshire and are facing potential disciplinary action, contact The Crisp Law Firm, PLLC today at (603) 225-5252. Don’t pursue your case alone, as a qualified attorney is in the best position to advise you of the full scope of your rights and responsibilities, and defend you to the fullest extent of the law. Contact our firm today to learn more about your legal options. We look forward to making a difference for you.