For Immediate Release - September 25, 2013

Massachusetts Board of Social Workers Announces Enforcement Actions

BOSTON - The Board of Registration of Social Workers today announced enforcement actions against the following individuals:

Michelle Axelson, Provincetown: The Board entered into a consent agreement with Axelson, resolving allegations that she had a sexual relationship with a former client in violation of Board regulations. Under the terms of the agreement, Axleson agreed to a five year suspension of her license as a social worker.  After three years, Axelson may petition the Board for a stay of the suspension, subject to additional Board conditions. 

Lisa C. Briggs, Harvard:  The Board entered into a consent agreement with Briggs, resolving allegations that she continued to provide social work services and held herself out as a social worker following the expiration of her license. The Board found that through her website, www.intuitivebody.com, Briggs continued to hold herself out as a licensed social worker despite failing to renew her license.  Under the terms of the agreement, Briggs agreed to pay a fine of $1,000. 

Kian F. Jacobs, Ellington, CT:  The Board entered into a consent agreement with Jacobs, resolving allegations that she disclosed private information obtained from a client in violation of applicable Board regulations and statutes. The Board found that Jacobs sent a message through Facebook, to a client's ex-husband, referencing referenced a court date set for the next day in a custodial proceeding regarding the client's children. Although the information was publically available, Jacobs learned the information from her client and disclosed it in violation of Board regulations. Under the terms of the agreement, Jacobs agreed to the formal reprimand of her license and is required to complete fifteen continuing education hours.    

Erik B. Jonsberg, Greenfield:  By Final Decision and Order by Default, the Board revoked Jonsberg's right to renew his license to practice as social worker.  The Board found that Jonsberg failed to respond to allegations that, after his license had expired, he pled guilty to statutory rape of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. 

Sarah Murphy, Medford:  The Board entered into a consent agreement with Murphy, resolving allegations that she engaged in unprofessional behavior in the workplace. Under the terms of the agreement, Murphy agreed to a two year supervised probation of her social worker license.  Murphy must also complete bi-monthly therapy sessions with a Board approved Clinical Supervisor and additional continuing education. 

The Board of Registration of Social Work protects the public through regulation of the practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It determines eligibility for admission to examinations for social work, conducts examinations and licenses qualified individuals at one of four levels of licensure (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, LICSW; Licensed Certified Social Worker, LCSW; Licensed Social Worker, LSW; Licensed Social Work Associate, LSWA).

The Board holds meetings, hears complaints, and takes action as required with the assistance of the Division's legal counsel and investigators.  The Board currently licenses approximately 22,510 individuals in the social worker profession.

The Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) is a regulatory agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The agency is responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of the licensing process for more than 365,000 licensees in trades and professions under the jurisdiction of 31 boards of registration. DPL also licenses and regulates private occupational schools.  

Consumers are urged to visit the DPL's website at www.mass.gov/dpl and select the “Check a Professional's License” link to determine whether a professional with whom they may do business is licensed and in good standing.  Follow DPL on Twitter @MassDPL.