Social work in Pennsylvania can place individuals in dangerous situations before, during and after therapy sessions with clients. Failure to adhere to the code of ethics outlined for the profession can cause your license to be revoked by the state. A suspended license prevents a social worker from counseling or working with patients or clients in the state.
Act 136 of 1998 of the Department of Social Work for Pennsylvania outlines the function of the board of social work and the licensing requirements of social workers and therapists. If a social worker has a felony conviction, their license can be revoked. Failing to adhere to acceptable standards of the profession does not require proof of client injury to cause license revoking.
A social worker needs to follow regulations or face a potential disciplinary hearing resulting in potential license impacts. The board can compel the licensee to submit to an examination of their physical or mental state if there is a cause. Drunkenness, chemical use and narcotics can all cause the board to order an examination to address allegations alleged by clients or patients.
The Pennsylvania code also prohibits social workers whether working in a clinical setting or not to avoid sexual intimacies with their patients or clients. In fact, social workers cannot have these types of relationships with a current patient or client family members. Failure to comply can result in a disciplinary hearing.
The board listens to the hearing and then makes a decision on licensure. Beyond a suspended or revoked license, a social worker can face fines and fees.