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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 26 : Professions and Occupations

Chapter 061 : Social Workers

(Cite as: 26 V.S.A. § 3210)
  • § 3210. Unprofessional conduct

    (a) The following conduct and the conduct set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129a by a person licensed under this chapter constitutes unprofessional conduct. When that conduct is by an applicant or a person who later becomes an applicant, it may constitute grounds for denial or discipline of a license:

    (1) failing to use a correct title in professional activity;

    (2) conduct that evidences unfitness to practice licensed master’s or licensed independent clinical social work;

    (3) engaging in any sexual conduct with a client, or with the immediate family member of a client, with whom the licensee has had a professional relationship within the previous two years;

    (4) harassing, intimidating, or abusing a client or patient;

    (5) practicing outside or beyond a licensee’s education, training, experience, or competence;

    (6) having a conflict of interest that interferes with the exercise of the licensee’s professional responsibilities, discretion, and impartial judgment;

    (7) failing to inform a client when a real or potential conflict of interest arises and failing to take reasonable steps to resolve the issue in a manner that makes the client’s interest primary and protects the client’s interest to the greatest extent possible;

    (8) taking unfair advantage of any professional relationship or exploiting others to further the licensee’s personal, religious, political, or business interests;

    (9) engaging in dual or multiple relationships with a client or former client in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the client;

    (10) failing to take steps to protect a client and to set clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries, in instances where dual or multiple relationships are unavoidable;

    (11) failing to clarify with all parties which individuals will be considered clients and the nature of the licensee’s professional obligations to the various individuals who are receiving services, when a licensee provides services to two or more people who have a spousal, familial, or other relationship with each other;

    (12) failing to clarify the licensee’s role with the parties involved and to take appropriate action to minimize any conflicts of interest, when the clinical social worker anticipates a conflict of interest among the individuals receiving services or anticipates having to perform in conflicting roles such as testifying in a child custody dispute or divorce proceedings involving clients; or

    (13) using conversion therapy as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 8351 on a client younger than 18 years of age.

    (b) After hearing, and upon a finding of unprofessional conduct, an administrative hearing officer may take disciplinary action against a licensee or applicant. (Added 1985, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(b); 1993, No. 98, § 30; 1993, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1997, No. 40, § 36; 1997, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 52; 1999, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 29; 2015, No. 38, § 31, eff. July 1, 2017; 2015, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. July 1, 2017.)