ATTENTION LCSW LICENSEES
Remember that if you hold an LCSW license, you cannot provide clinical social work services (i.e., counseling or psychotherapy for individuals, families or groups) as a private practitioner, under that license. You may provide such services only as an employee of an agency, facility, institution, or some other unrelated individual, under the supervision of an LICSW. You must receive one hour for every 35 hours worked of individual supervision by an LICSW. If you also hold an Allied Mental Health license, you may provide these services independently, but only under that Allied Mental Health license and you cannot use your LCSW license in any way in connection with that practice.
The test of whether you are an employee of someone else is whether that person has the right to direct and control the nature of the work you do and the way in which you do it (e.g., they decide matters such as what hours and days you will work, what clients you will see, what services you will provide, how you will provide them, and the like).
You may wish to seek private legal consultation if you question whether your position meets this requirement. The scope of practice for the LCSW may be found in section 12.02 of 258 CMR, and the full definition of an "employee" at section 8.05. Both sections are accessible via the " Rules and Regulations" section of this website.
The Board would like to remind all social workers of the importance of compliance with all regulations pertaining to confidentiality. In general, all communications between a social worker and a client are confidential, including the fact that the client is receiving services from you.
A social worker generally cannot reveal any information about a client which is obtained during the course of the professional relationship without the written consent of the client. Some exceptions to this prohibition do exist, but they are limited to:
- disclosing information in the course of reporting or investigating abuse of children, elderly persons, disabled persons or nursing home patients;
- providing information to third party payers in connection with the administration of insurance or other benefits;
- providing dates-of-service and financial information necessary to initiate legal action to collect amounts owed for professional services;
- disclosing information necessary to start involuntary hospitalization proceedings for a client who presents a clear and present danger to himself and refuse to voluntarily accept further treatment; and
- warning to kill or inflict serious injury on a reasonably identified victim.