TITLE 24

Professions and Occupations

CHAPTER 39. BOARD OF CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK EXAMINERS [EFFECTIVE UNTIL JUNE 11, 2019]


The primary objective of the Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners, to which all other objectives and purposes are secondary, is to protect the general public (specifically those persons who are direct recipients of services regulated by this chapter) through the effective control and regulation of the practice of clinical social work; the licensure, control and regulation of persons who practice clinical social work within Delaware, from unsafe practices, and from occupational practices which tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered. The secondary objectives of the Board are to maintain minimum standards of practitioner competency, and to maintain certain standards in the delivery of services to the public. In meeting its objectives, the Board shall develop standards assuring professional competency; shall monitor complaints brought against practitioners regulated by the Board; shall adjudicate at formal complaint hearings; shall promulgate rules and regulations; and shall impose sanctions where necessary against practitioners.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 224, § 1.;

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) "Board" shall mean the Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners.

(2) "Clinical social work" shall mean the application of social work theory and methods, which may include the person-in-environment perspective, to the assessment, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of biopsychosocial dysfunction, disability and impairment, including mental and emotional disorders, developmental disabilities and substance abuse. The application of social work method and theory includes, but is not restricted to, assessment (excluding administration of the psychological tests which are reserved exclusively for use by licensed psychologists pursuant to Chapter 35 of this title), diagnosis, treatment planning and psychotherapy with individuals, couples, families and groups, case management, advocacy, crisis intervention and supervision of and consultation about clinical social work practice. Such application and services may be provided through the use of telemedicine in a manner deemed appropriate by regulation. Services also may include participation in telehealth as further defined in regulation.

(3) "Conversion therapy" means any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, as "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" are defined in § 710 of Title 19, including any effort to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender. "Conversion therapy" does not mean any of the following:

a. Counseling that provides assistance to an individual who is seeking to undergo a gender transition or who is in the process of undergoing gender transition.

b. Counseling that provides an individual with acceptance, support, and understanding without seeking to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

c. Counseling that facilitates an individual's coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including counseling in the form of sexual orientation-neutral interventions or gender identity-neutral interventions provided for the purpose of preventing or addressing unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, without seeking to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

(4) "Distant site" means a site at which a health-care provider legally allowed to practice in the State is located while providing health-care services by means of telemedicine or telehealth.

(5) "Independent practice" means the practice of clinical social work services by a clinical social work practitioner who assumes responsibility for the nature and quality of the services provided to the client in exchange for direct payment or third-party payment.

(6) "Licensed clinical social worker" shall mean any individual duly licensed under this chapter.

(7) "Originating site" means a site in Delaware at which a patient is located at the time health-care services are provided to him or her by means of telemedicine or telehealth, unless the term is otherwise defined with respect to the provision in which it is used; provided, however, notwithstanding any other provision of law, insurers and providers may agree to alternative siting arrangements deemed appropriate by the parties.

(8) "Practitioner," as used in this chapter, shall mean any individual engaged in the practice of clinical social work.

(9) "Store and forward transfer" means the transmission of a patient's medical information either to or from an originating site or to or from the provider at the distant site, but does not require the patient being present nor must it be in real time.

(10) "Substantially related" means the nature of the criminal conduct, for which the person was convicted, has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability to perform 1 or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to clinical social work.

(11) "Telehealth" means the use of information and communications technologies consisting of telephones, remote patient monitoring devices or other electronic means which support clinical health care, provider consultation, patient and professional health-related education, public health, health administration, and other services as described in regulation.

(12) "Telemedicine" means a form of telehealth which is the delivery of clinical health-care services by means of real time 2-way audio, visual, or other telecommunications or electronic communications, including the application of secure video conferencing or store and forward transfer technology to provide or support health-care delivery, which facilitate the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management and self-management of a patient's health care by a licensee practicing within his or her scope of practice as would be practiced in-person with a patient and with other restrictions as defined in regulation.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 106, §§ 1, 2; 74 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 88; 77 Del. Laws, c. 224, §§ 2, 3; 80 Del. Laws, c. 80, § 20; 81 Del. Laws, c. 340, § 11.;

(a) No person shall engage in the independent practice of clinical social work or hold himself or herself out to the public in this State as being qualified to practice the same; or use in connection with that person's name, or otherwise assume or use, any title or description conveying or tending to convey the impression that the person is qualified to practice clinical social work, unless such person has been duly licensed under this chapter. A person who provides the Board with proof, to the Board's satisfaction, no later than February 1, 2011, that such person has practiced clinical social work for at least 20 years and is currently practicing clinical social work, shall be exempted from this provision, except that such person shall be required to show successful completion of the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) clinical examination.

(b) Whenever a license to practice clinical social work in this State has expired or has been suspended or revoked, it shall be unlawful for the person to practice clinical social work in this State.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 106, § 3; 77 Del. Laws, c. 224, § 4.;

(a) The Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners shall consist of 7 members appointed by the Governor: Four professional members, who shall be licensed clinical social workers, and 3 public members. To serve on the Board, a public member shall not be, nor ever have been, a clinical social worker, nor a member of the immediate family of a clinical social worker; shall not have been employed by a social work agency; shall not have had a material financial interest in the providing of goods and services to clinical social workers; nor have been engaged in an activity directly related to clinical social work. Such public members shall be accessible to inquiries, comments and suggestions from the general public.

(b) Each member shall serve for a period of 3 years, and may succeed himself or herself for 1 additional term; provided, however, that where a member was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, such member may succeed himself or herself for only 1 additional full term. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member. Each term of office shall expire on the date specified in the appointment, except that each member shall serve until a successor is duly appointed.

(c) A person who has never served on the Board may be appointed to the Board 2 consecutive times; but, no such person shall thereafter be eligible for 2 consecutive appointments. No person who has been twice appointed to the Board, or who has served on the Board for 6 years within any 9-year period, shall again be appointed to the Board until an interim period of at least 1 term has expired since such person last served.

(d) A member of the Board shall be suspended or removed by the Governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance, malfeasance, or neglect of duty. A member subject to disciplinary proceedings shall be disqualified from Board business until the charge is adjudicated, or the matter is otherwise concluded. A Board member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.

(e) No member of the Board while serving on the Board shall be a president, chairperson or other elected official of a professional association for social workers.

(f) The provisions set forth for employees in Chapter 58 of Title 29, shall apply to all members of the Board, and to all agents appointed or otherwise employed by the Board.

(g) Each member of the Board shall be reimbursed for all expenses involved in each meeting, including travel, and in addition shall receive compensation per meeting attended in an amount determined by the Division in accordance with Del. Const. art. III, § 9.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 368, § 25; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 22.;

(a) In the same month of each year the members shall elect, from among their number, a President, a Vice-President and Secretary. Each officer shall serve for 1 year, and may serve no more than 2 consecutive years in the same office.

(b) The Board shall hold regularly scheduled business meetings at least once in each quarter of a calendar year, and at such other times as the President deems necessary, or at the request of a majority of the Board members.

(c) A majority of members shall constitute a quorum; and no action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of at least 4 members. Any member who fails to attend 3 consecutive meetings, or who fails to attend at least 1/2 of all regular business meetings during any calendar year, shall automatically upon such occurrence be deemed to have resigned from office and a replacement shall be appointed.

(d) Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded; and, copies shall be maintained by the Division of Professional Regulation. At any hearing where evidence is presented, a record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared shall be made. The expense of preparing any transcript shall be incurred by the person requesting it.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 64 Del. Laws, c. 117, § 3; 65 Del. Laws, c. 282, §§ 2, 3; 65 Del. Laws, c. 355, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1.;

(a) The Board shall have the authority to:

(1) Formulate rules and regulations, with appropriate notice to those affected; all rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the procedures specified in the Administrative Procedures Act of this State [Chapter 101 of Title 29]. Each rule or regulation shall implement or clarify a specific section of this chapter;

(2) Designate the application form to be used by all applicants, and to process all applications;

(3) Designate a written national examination, prepared by either the national professional association or by a recognized legitimate national testing service and approved by the Division of Professional Regulation. The examination shall be prepared for testing on a national basis, and not specifically prepared at the request of the Board for its individual use. The national examination shall be taken by persons applying for licensure, except applicants who qualify for licensure by reciprocity;

(4) Provide for the administration of all examinations, including notice and information to applicants;

(5) Evaluate certified records to determine whether an applicant for licensure, who has been previously licensed, certified or registered in another jurisdiction to practice clinical social work, has engaged in any act or offense that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter and whether there are disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against such applicants for such acts or offenses;

(6) Grant licenses to all persons who meet the qualifications for licensure and/or renewal of licenses;

(7) Establish by rule and regulation continuing education standards required for license renewal;

(8) Refer all complaints from licensees and the public concerning practitioners, or concerning practices of the Board or of the profession, to the Division of Professional Regulation for investigation pursuant to § 8735(h) of Title 29; and, assign a member of the Board to assist the Division in an advisory capacity with the investigation of the technical aspects of the complaint. Such member shall recuse himself or herself from the deliberations on the complaint;

(9) Determine whether or not a practitioner shall be the subject of a disciplinary hearing; and, if so, to conduct such hearing in accordance with this chapter and the Administrative Procedures Act [Chapter 101 of Title 29];

(10) Conduct hearings and issue orders in accordance with procedures established pursuant to this chapter, Chapter 101 of Title 29, and § 8735 of Title 29. Where such provisions conflict with the provisions of this chapter, this chapter shall govern;

(11) Where it has been determined after a disciplinary hearing, that penalties or sanctions should be imposed, to designate and impose the appropriate sanction or penalty after time for appeal has lapsed;

(12) Bring proceedings in the courts for the enforcement of this chapter.

(b) The Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners shall promulgate regulations specifically identifying those crimes, which are substantially related to clinical social work.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 89.;

(a) An applicant who is applying for examination and licensure under this chapter shall submit evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that such person:

(1) Has received a doctoral or master's degree in clinical social work from a college or university accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. In addition, the applicant shall submit proof satisfactory to the Board that, subsequent to the receipt of a master's degree from an accredited school of social work, the applicant has acquired 2 years of clinical social work experience acceptable to the Board. The clinical social work experience shall consist of not less than 3,200 hours, at least 1,600 hours of which shall have been under professional supervision acceptable to the Board. Acceptable supervision shall mean supervision by a licensed clinical social worker. When such supervision is not available, the applicant may be supervised by a master's level degree social worker, a licensed psychologist, or a licensed psychiatrist. Persons holding degrees from programs outside the United States or its territories must provide evidence of training and degree equivalent to accredited programs. These applicants are responsible for providing the Board with an educational credential evaluation from an agency or institution recognized by the Board for this purpose;

(2) Has not engaged in any of the acts or offenses that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter; has no disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against that person in any jurisdiction where the applicant previously has been, or currently is, licensed to practice clinical social work. Applicants who have been or who currently are licensed to practice clinical social work in another jurisdiction must provide the Board with a certified statement to this effect from the Board, or from a comparable agency of each jurisdiction in which the applicant has ever been licensed to practice clinical social work. Applicants for licensure in this State shall be deemed to have given consent to the release of such information and to waive all objections to the admissibility of such evidence;

(3) Has not been convicted of a felony sexual offense;

(4) Has submitted, at the applicant's expense, fingerprints and other necessary information in order to obtain the following:

a. A report of the applicant's entire criminal history record from the State Bureau of Identification or a statement from the State Bureau of Identification that the State Central Repository contains no such information relating to that person.

b. A report of the applicant's entire federal criminal history record pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544 (28 U.S.C. § 534). The State Bureau of Identification shall be the intermediary for purposes of this section and the Board of Clinical Social Worker Examiners shall be the screening point for the receipt of said federal criminal history records.

An applicant may not be licensed as a clinical social worker until the applicant's criminal history reports have been produced. An applicant whose record shows a prior criminal conviction may not be certified by the Board unless a waiver is granted pursuant to this chapter. The State Bureau of Identification may release any subsequent criminal history to the Board;

(5) Shall not have any impairment related to drugs or alcohol or a finding of mental incompetence by a physician that would limit the applicant's ability to undertake the practice of clinical social work in a manner consistent with the safety of the public; and

(6) Shall provide such information as may be required on an application form furnished by the Board. No application form shall require a picture of the applicant; require information relating to citizenship, place of birth, length of state residency; nor require personal references.

(b) Where the Board has found, to its satisfaction, that an application is fraudulent, or that false information has been intentionally supplied, it shall report its findings to the Attorney General for further action.

(c) Where the application of a person has been refused or rejected, and such applicant feels that the Board has acted without justification; has imposed higher or different standards for the applicant than for other applicants or licensees; or has in some other manner contributed to or caused the failure of such application, the applicant may, within 30 days of such denial, appeal the Board's decision to the Superior Court.

(d) All individuals licensed as a clinical social worker in this State shall be required to be fingerprinted by the State Bureau of Identification, at the licensee's expense, for the purposes of performing subsequent criminal background checks. Licensees shall submit by January 1, 2013, at the applicant's expense, fingerprints and other necessary information in order to obtain a criminal background check.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 224, § 5; 78 Del. Laws, c. 26, §§ 1, 2; 79 Del. Laws, c. 277, § 13.;

(a) The Board shall administer, in the same month of each year, or at such times as are determined by the American Association of State Social Work Boards (AASSWB), or its successor, a national clinical examination prepared by the American Association of State Social Work Boards, or its successor. Such national written examination shall be obtained from and graded by the American Association of State Social Work Boards, or its successor. There is no limit on the number of times that an applicant may sit for the national examination.

(b) In the event the applicant has already taken and passed the national clinical examination prepared by the American Association of State Social Work Boards, or its successor, the certificate or other evidence of successful completion shall be accepted, and no further state examination shall be necessary.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 282, §§ 5, 7; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1.;

An applicant for licensure who is licensed as a clinical social worker in another state shall meet all of the qualifications for licensure under §§ 3907 and 3908 of this title. The applicant shall contact the American Association of State Social Work Boards, or its successor, and obtain and provide to the Board a certified statement as to whether there are any outstanding or ongoing disciplinary actions and/or ethical violations against the applicant or whether the applicant has engaged in any of the acts or offenses that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter. In the event that a disciplinary proceeding or unresolved complaint is pending, the applicant shall not be licensed in this State until the proceeding or complaint has been resolved. Applicants for licensure as licensed clinical social workers in this State shall be deemed to have given consent to the release of such information and to waive all objections to the admissibility of such information as evidence at any hearing or other proceeding to which the applicant may be subject. Each application for licensure shall be accompanied by payment of the application fee.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 106, § 4.;

The amount to be charged for each fee imposed under this chapter shall approximate and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the expenses of the Board as well as the proportional expenses incurred by the Division of Professional Regulation in its services on behalf of the Board. There shall be a separate fee charged for each service or activity; but, no fee shall be charged for a purpose not specified in this chapter. The application fee shall not be combined with any other fee or charge. At the beginning of each calendar year the Division of Professional Regulation, or any other state agency acting in its behalf, shall compute, for each separate service or activity, the appropriate Board fees for the coming year.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 355, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1.;

(a) The Board shall issue a license to each applicant who meets the requirements of this chapter for licensure as a clinical social worker and who pays the fee established under § 3910 of this title.

(b) Each license shall be renewed biennially, in such a manner as is determined by the Division of Professional Regulation, and upon payment of the appropriate fee and submission of a renewal form provided by the Division of Professional Regulation, and proof that the licensee has met the continuing education requirements established by the Board. The license will expire on January 1 of the renewal year. A late fee shall be set by the Division of Professional Regulation. If a practitioner fails to renew the license in 1 year from the renewal date, the practitioner must re-apply for licensure.

(c) Any licensee, upon written request, may be placed in an inactive status for up to 1 year. The Board may extend the inactive status for additional 1 year periods upon written request of the licensee. The renewal fee of a licensee on inactive status will be prorated in accordance with the amount of time a person is on inactive status. The licensee may re-enter practice after written notification to the Board of the licensee's intent to do so and after satisfying all the continuing education requirements and paying the appropriate renewal fee.

(d) A former licensee, whose license has been revoked, and who subsequently is permitted to apply for reinstatement, shall apply for a new license, and shall successfully complete the national clinical examination and shall pay all appropriate fees.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 355, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1.;

The Board shall require licensees to complete at least 45 continuing education hours for each biennial licensing period. Continuing education may consist of, but not be limited to, additional professional development in the field of clinical social work, including attendance at workshops, seminars, lectures and preparation of a first-time clinical course.

If a licensee shall be unable to complete the required continuing education hours during any biennial licensing period, the Board may extend, for good cause shown by the licensee, the time to complete the required number of hours up to 120 days after the close of the biennial licensing period. The Board shall set forth by regulation the procedures that shall be applicable to such extensions. Such regulations may provide that each application for an extension be accompanied by an appropriate administrative fee as determined by the Division of Professional Regulation.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 106, § 5.;

No licensed clinical social worker may disclose any information acquired from persons consulting the social worker in a professional capacity except:

(1) With the written consent of such person; or in the case of death or disability, the written consent of such person's personal representative;

(2) That a licensed clinical social worker shall not be required to treat as confidential a communication that reveals the planning of any violent crime or act;

(3) That any licensed clinical social worker who knows or reasonably suspects child abuse or neglect shall make a report to the Division of Child Protective Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families according to § 904 of Title 16;

(4) When the person waives the privilege by bringing charges against the licensed clinical social worker.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

A practitioner or member of the public desiring to file a complaint against a practitioner or licensee regulated by the Board shall file a written complaint with the Division of Professional Regulation. All complaints shall be received and investigated by the Division of Professional Regulation in accordance with the procedures as specified in § 8735(h) of Title 29. The Division shall be responsible for issuing a final written report at the conclusion of the investigation.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 355, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1.;

(a) Practitioners regulated under this chapter shall be subject to those disciplinary actions set forth in § 3916 of this title if, after a hearing, the Board finds that the practitioner has:

(1) Employed or knowingly cooperated in fraud or material deception in order to be licensed as a clinical social worker; has impersonated another person holding a license, or allowed another person to use the practitioner's license, or aided or abetted a person not licensed as a clinical social worker to represent himself or herself as a clinical social worker;

(2) Illegally, incompetently or negligently practiced clinical social work;

(3) Excessively used or abused drugs either in the past or currently; excessive use or abuse of drugs shall mean any use of narcotics, controlled substances, or illegal drugs without a prescription from a licensed physician, or the abuse of alcoholic beverage such that it impairs the practitioner's ability to perform the work of a clinical social worker;

(4) Been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to clinical social work or any offense which would limit the ability of the practitioner to carry out the practitioner's professional duties with due regard for the health and safety of clients; however, after a hearing or review of documentation demonstrating that the applicant meets the specified criteria for a waiver, the Board, by an affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum, may waive this paragraph (a)(4), if it finds all of the following:

a. For waiver of a felony conviction, more than 5 years have elapsed since the date of the conviction. At the time of the application the applicant may not be incarcerated, on work release, on probation, on parole or serving any part of a suspended sentence and must be in substantial compliance with all court orders pertaining to fines, restitution and community service.

b. For waiver of a misdemeanor conviction or violation, at the time of the application the applicant may not be incarcerated, on work release, on probation, on parole or serving any part of a suspended sentence and must be in substantial compliance with all court orders pertaining to fines, restitution and community service.

c. The applicant is capable of practicing clinical social work in a competent and professional manner.

d. The granting of the waiver will not endanger the public health, safety or welfare.

e. The applicant has not been convicted of a felony sexual offense;

(5) Violated a lawful provision of this chapter, or any lawful regulation established thereunder;

(6) Had the practitioner's license, certification or registration as a clinical social worker suspended or revoked, or other disciplinary action taken by the appropriate licensing authority in another jurisdiction; provided, however, that the underlying grounds for such action in another jurisdiction have been presented to the Board by certified record; and the Board has determined that the facts found by the appropriate authority in the other jurisdiction constitute 1 or more of the acts defined in this chapter. Every person licensed as a clinical social worker in this State shall be deemed to have given consent to the release of this information by the Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners or other comparable agencies in another jurisdiction and to waive all objections to the admissibility of previously adjudicated evidence of such acts or offenses;

(7) Failed to notify the Board that the practitioner's license as a clinical social worker in another state has been subject to discipline, or has been surrendered, suspended or revoked. A certified copy of the record of disciplinary action, surrender, suspension or revocation shall be conclusive evidence thereof;

(8) Been convicted of a felony sexual offense;

(9) Failed to report child abuse or neglect as required by § 903 of Title 16, or any successor thereto;

(10) Failed to report to the Division of Professional Regulation as required by § 3919 of this title;

(11) Engaged in conversion therapy with a child;

(12) Referred a child to a provider in another jurisdiction to receive conversion therapy.

(b) Where a practitioner fails to comply with the Board's request that the practitioner attend a hearing, the Board may petition the Superior Court to order such attendance, and the said Court or any judge assigned thereto shall have jurisdiction to issue such order.

(c) Subject to the provisions of this chapter and subchapter IV of Chapter 101 of Title 29, no license shall be restricted, suspended or revoked by the Board, and no practitioner's right to practice shall be limited by the Board, until such practitioner has been given notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 90; 75 Del. Laws, c. 436, § 45; 77 Del. Laws, c. 199, § 33; 78 Del. Laws, c. 26, §§ 3-6; 78 Del. Laws, c. 44, §§ 64, 65; 81 Del. Laws, c. 340, § 12.;

(a) The Board may impose any of the following sanctions, singly or in combination, when it finds that any of the conditions or violations set forth in § 3915 of this title applies to a practitioner regulated by this chapter:

(1) Issue a letter of reprimand;

(2) Censure a practitioner;

(3) Place a practitioner on probationary status, and require the practitioner to:

a. Report regularly to the Board upon the matters which are the basis of the probation;

b. Limit all practice and professional activities to those areas prescribed by the Board; and/or

c. Continue or renew the practitioner's professional education until the required degree of skill has been attained in those areas which are the basis of the probation;

(4) Suspend any practitioner's license;

(5) Revoke a practitioner's license.

(b) The Board may withdraw or reduce conditions of probation when it finds that the deficiencies which required such action have been remedied.

(c) In the event of a formal or informal complaint concerning the activity of a licensee that presents a clear and immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare, the Board may temporarily suspend the person's license, pending a hearing, upon the written order of the Secretary of State or the Secretary's designee, with the concurrence of the Board chair or the Board chair's designee. An order temporarily suspending a license may not be issued unless the person or the person's attorney received at least 24 hours' written or oral notice before the temporary suspension so that the person or the person's attorney may file a written response to the proposed suspension. The decision as to whether to issue the temporary order of suspension will be decided on the written submissions. An order of temporary suspension pending a hearing may remain in effect for no longer than 60 days from the date of the issuance of the order unless the temporarily suspended person requests a continuance of the hearing date. If the temporarily suspended person requests a continuance, the order of temporary suspension remains in effect until the hearing is convened and a decision is rendered by the Board. A person whose license has been temporarily suspended pursuant to this section may request an expedited hearing. The Board shall schedule the hearing on an expedited basis, provided that the Board receives the request within 5 calendar days from the date on which the person received notification of the decision to temporarily suspend the person's license.

(d) Where a license has been suspended due to a disability of the licensee, the Board, at a Board meeting, may reinstate such license if the Board is satisfied that the licensee is able to practice with reasonable skill and safety.

(e) As a condition of reinstatement of a suspended license, or removal from probationary status, the Board may impose such disciplinary or corrective measures as are authorized under this chapter.

(f) The Board shall permanently revoke the license of any person who the Board determines has violated § 3915(a)(8) of this title.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 26, § 7; 79 Del. Laws, c. 213, § 2.;

(a) If a complaint is filed with the Board pursuant to § 8735(h) of Title 29, alleging violation of § 3915 of this title, the Board shall set a time and place to conduct a hearing on the complaint. Notice of the hearing shall be given and the hearing conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29.

(b) All hearings shall be informal without use of rules of evidence. If the Board finds, by a majority vote of all members, that the complaint has merit, the Board shall take such action permitted under this chapter as it deems necessary. The Board's decision shall be in writing and shall include its reasons for such decision. The Board's decision shall be mailed immediately to the practitioner.

(c) Where the practitioner is in disagreement with the action of the Board, the practitioner may appeal the Board's decision to the Superior Court within 30 days of service, or of the postmarked date of the copy of the decision mailed to the practitioner. Upon such appeal the Court shall hear the evidence on the record. Stays shall be granted in accordance with § 10144 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Where the Board has reason to believe that a person is holding himself or herself out to be a clinical social worker within this State without having lawfully obtained a license or that a person previously licensed under this chapter is holding himself or herself out to be a clinical social worker, notwithstanding that the person's license has been suspended or revoked, the Board shall submit a written complaint to the Division of Professional Regulation for investigation. If the investigation confirms such unlawful conduct, the Board shall formally warn such person. If the offense continues, the Board shall make a formal complaint to the Attorney General and may issue a cease and desist order. The complaint and/or order shall include all evidence known to or in possession of the Board.

(b) Where the Board has placed a practitioner on probationary status under certain restrictions or conditions, and the Board has determined that such restrictions or conditions are being or have been violated by the practitioner, the Board, after a hearing on the matter, may suspend or revoke the practitioner's license.

(c) Where a person not currently licensed as a clinical social worker under this chapter is convicted of violating this chapter, such offender, upon the first offense, shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for each offense, and the offender shall pay all costs. Each day a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. The Court shall order all client fees received for unlawful service to be refunded.

(1) Justices of the peace in the county in which the offense is alleged to have occurred shall have jurisdiction over any violation of this chapter.

(2) Any person convicted of any such offense before a justice of the peace or in any court of competent jurisdiction, other than the Superior Court, may appeal to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction was had upon giving bond in the sum of $200 to this State with surety satisfactory to such justice or trial court; provided, however, that the appeal is taken and bond given within 7 days from the time of the conviction.

(d) A violation of this chapter shall be cause for revocation of any license issued thereunder, notwithstanding that the same violation may constitute a misdemeanor or felony.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 106, §§ 6, 7.;

(a) Every person to whom a license to practice has been issued under this chapter has a duty to report to the Division of Professional Regulation in writing information that the licensee reasonably believes indicates that any other practitioner licensed under this chapter or any other healthcare provider has engaged in or is engaging in conduct that would constitute grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter or the other healthcare provider's licensing statute.

(b) Every person to whom a license to practice has been issued under this chapter has a duty to report to the Division of Professional Regulation in writing information that the licensee reasonably believes indicates that any other practitioner licensed under this chapter or any other healthcare provider may be unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety to the public by reason of: mental illness or mental incompetence; physical illness, including deterioration through the aging process or loss of motor skill; or excessive abuse of drugs, including alcohol.

(c) Every person to whom a license to practice has been issued under this chapter has a duty to report to the Division of Professional Regulation any information that the reporting person reasonably believes indicates that a person certified and registered to practice medicine in this State is or may be guilty of unprofessional conduct or may be unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill or safety to patients by reason of: mental illness or mental incompetence; physical illness, including deterioration through the aging process or loss of motor skill; or excessive use or abuse of drugs, including alcohol.

(d) All reports required under subsections (a), (b) and (c) of this section must be filed within 30 days of becoming aware of such information. A person reporting or testifying in any proceeding as a result of making a report pursuant to this section is immune from claim, suit, liability, damages, or any other recourse, civil or criminal, so long as the person acted in good faith and without gross or wanton negligence; good faith being presumed until proven otherwise, and gross or wanton negligence required to be shown by the complainant.

78 Del. Laws, c. 26, § 8.;

The Board of Social Work Examiners' primary objective, to which all other objectives and purposes are secondary, is to protect the general public, specifically those who are direct recipients of services that this chapter regulates, from unsafe practices and occupational practices which tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered. The Board achieves this objective through the effective control and regulation of the practice of social work and the licensure, control, and regulation of individuals who practice social work within Delaware. The Board's secondary objectives are to maintain minimum standards of licensee competency and certain standards in the delivery of services to the public. In meeting its objectives, the Board shall develop standards assuring professional competency, monitor complaints brought against licensees, adjudicate at formal complaint hearings, promulgate rules and regulations, and impose sanctions against licensees where necessary.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 224, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 2.;

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Advanced practice" means the specialized professional application of social work theory, knowledge, methods, principles, values, and ethics, and the professional use of self to community and organizational systems, meaning systemic and macrocosm issues, and other indirect, nonclinical services. "Advanced practice" includes activities such as community organization and development; social planning and policy development; administration of social work policies, programs, and activities; outcome evaluation; client education; research; nonclinical supervision of employees; nonclinical consultation; nonclinical assessment and referral; mediation; expert testimony; and advocacy.

(2) "Another jurisdiction" means another state of the United States, the District of Columbia, a territory of the United States, or a country outside of the United States or its territories.

(3) "Applicant" means an individual seeking licensure under this chapter.

(4) "Baccalaureate social work" is the entry level of social work and means the application of social work theory, knowledge, methods, ethics, and the professional use of self to restore or enhance social, psychosocial, or biopsychosocial functioning of individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, and communities. "Baccalaureate social work" is generalist practice.

(5) "Baccalaureate social worker" means an individual licensed to practice baccalaureate social work.

(6) "Board" means the Board of Social Work Examiners.

(7) "Case management" means a method to plan, provide, evaluate, and monitor services from a variety of resources on behalf of and in collaboration with a client.

(8) "Client" means an individual, couple, family, group, organization, or community that seeks or receives social work services from a social worker or an organization whether those services are free or for a fee.

(9) "Clinical supervisor" means a licensed clinical social worker who has met the qualifications as determined by the Board.

(10) "Consultation" means an advisory professional relationship between a social worker and other professionals, with the social worker ethically maintaining responsibility for all judgments and decisions regarding service to a client.

(11) "Conversion therapy" means any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, as "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" are defined in § 710 of Title 19, including any effort to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender. "Conversion therapy" does not mean any of the following:

a. Counseling that provides assistance to an individual who is seeking to undergo a gender transition or who is in the process of undergoing gender transition.

b. Counseling that provides an individual with acceptance, support, and understanding without seeking to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

c. Counseling that facilitates an individual's coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including counseling in the form of sexual orientation-neutral interventions or gender identity-neutral interventions provided for the purpose of preventing or addressing unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, without seeking to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.

(12) "Counseling" means a method, in addition to psychotherapy, advocacy, research, and consultation, used by social workers to assist individuals, couples, families, and groups in learning how to solve problems and make decisions about personal, health, social, educational, vocational, financial, and other interpersonal concerns.

(13) "Distant site" means a site at which a health-care provider legally allowed to practice in the State is located while providing health-care services by means of telemedicine or telehealth.

(14) "Division" means the Division of Professional Regulation.

(15) "Excessive use or abuse of drugs" means the use of narcotics, controlled substances, or illegal drugs without a prescription from a licensed physician or other professional licensed to prescribe, or the abuse of alcoholic beverages such that it impairs an individual's ability to perform social work.

(16) "Generalist practice" means a professional problem process that includes engagement, assessment, treatment planning, intervention, and evaluation. Methods of generalist practice include case management, information and referral, counseling, consultation, education, advocacy, community organization, research, and the development, implementation, and administrations of policies, programs, or activities.

(17) "Good standing" means meeting the standards of § 3907(a) of this title.

(18) "Licensed clinical social work" means the specialty within the practice of master's social work, that requires the application of specialized clinical knowledge and advanced clinical skills of social work theory, knowledge, methods, and ethics, as applied to a clinical, therapeutic relationship which may include the person-in-environment perspective, to the assessment, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of biopsychosocial dysfunction, disability, and impairment, including mental and emotional disorders, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. "Licensed clinical social work" includes the provision of individual, marital, couple, family and group counseling, and psychotherapy, as they are related to clinical, therapeutic relationship. "Licensed clinical social work" also includes private practice and supervision. "Licensed clinical social work" does not include the administration of psychological tests, which are reserved exclusively for use by licensed psychologists under Chapter 35 of this title.

(19) "Licensed clinical social worker" means an individual licensed to practice licensed clinical social work.

(20) "Licensee" means an individual licensed under this chapter.

(21) "Master's social work" means the application of social work theory, knowledge, methods, ethics, and the professional use of self to restore or enhance social, psychosocial, or biopsychosocial functioning of individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, and communities. "Master's social work" is the application of generalist practice, specialized knowledge, and advanced practice skills, and includes supervision.

(22) "Master's social worker" means an individual licensed to practice master's social work.

(23) "Originating site" means a site in Delaware at which a client is located at the time health-care services are provided to the client by means of telemedicine or telehealth.

(24) "Person-in-environment perspective" means observing human behavior, development, and function in the context of the environment, social functioning, mental health, physical health, or any combination thereof.

(25) "Social work" means baccalaureate social work, master's social work, and licensed clinical social work, collectively or, if context demands, individually.

(26) "Social worker" means baccalaureate social worker, master's social worker, and licensed clinical social worker, collectively or, if context demands, individually.

(27) "Store and forward transfer" means the transmission of a client's medical information either to or from an originating site or to or from the provider at the distant site, but does not require the client being present or the transmission to be in real time.

(28) "Substantially related" means the nature of the criminal conduct for which the individual was convicted has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability to perform 1 or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to social work.

(29) "Supervision" means the professional relationship between a clinical supervisor and a social worker that provides evaluation and direction over the services that the social worker provides and promotes continued development of the social worker's knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide social work services in an ethical and competent manner.

(30) "Telehealth" means the use of information and communications technologies consisting of telephones, remote client monitoring devices, or other electronic means which support clinical health care, provider consultation, client and professional health-related education, public health, health administration, and other services as described in regulation.

(31) "Telemedicine" means a form of telehealth which is the delivery of clinical health-care services by means of real time 2-way audio, visual, or other telecommunications or electronic communications, including the application of secure video conferencing or store and forward transfer technology to provide or support health-care delivery, which facilitate the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, and self-management of a client's health care by a licensee practicing within the licensee's scope of practice as would be practiced in-person with a client and with other restrictions as defined in regulation.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 106, §§ 1, 2; 74 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 88; 77 Del. Laws, c. 224, §§ 2, 3; 80 Del. Laws, c. 80, § 20; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 3; 81 Del. Laws, c. 340, § 11.;

(a) It is unlawful for an individual who is not licensed under this chapter to do any of the following:

(1) Engage in the practice of social work.

(2) Hold the individual out to the public in this State as being qualified to practice social work.

(3) Use in connection with the individual's name or otherwise assume or use any title or description conveying or tending to convey the impression that the individual is qualified to practice social work.

(b) It is unlawful for an individual to practice social work in this State if the individual's license to practice social work is expired, suspended, or revoked.

(c) Exemptions.

(1) This chapter does not apply to an individual who meets any of the following criteria:

a. Is licensed in good standing to practice social work in another jurisdiction, provided that the individual has made prior written application to the Board to practice social work in this State and the Board has approved the application. An individual may practice social work, within the scope of practice designated by the individual's license, in this State under this subsection for no more than 30 days per year. An individual who provides services under this subsection is deemed to have submitted to the Board's jurisdiction and bound by the laws of this State.

b. Is certified or licensed in this State by any other law, and is engaged in and acting within the scope of the profession or occupation for which the individual is certified or licensed.

c. Is clergy of any denomination, when engaging in activities that are within the scope of the performance of that individual's regular or specialized ministerial duties.

d. Performs assessments such as basic information collection, gathering of demographic data, and informal observations, screening, and referral to determine a client's general eligibility for a program or service and a client's functional status for the purpose of determining need for services unrelated to a behavioral health diagnosis or treatment plan.

e. Creates, develops, or implements a service plan unrelated to a behavioral health diagnosis or treatment plan. Service plans may include job training and employability, housing, general public assistance, in-home services and supports or home-delivered meals, de-escalation techniques, peer services, or skill development.

f. Participates as a member of a multi-disciplinary team to implement behavioral health services or a treatment plan, provided that all of the following conditions are met:

1. The team includes 1 or more health-care professionals licensed under this title.

2. The activities that each team member performs are consistent with the scope of practice for that member's license under this title.

3. Individuals exempted under this paragraph (c)(1)f. do not engage in any of the following restricted practices:

A. Diagnosis of mental, emotional, behavioral, addictive, and developmental disorders and disabilities.

B. Client assessment and evaluation.

C. Provision of psychotherapeutic treatment.

D. Development and implementation of assessment-based treatment plans.

(2) Nothing in this subsection may be construed as requiring a license for any particular activity or function solely because the activity or function is not listed in this subsection.

(3) Licensure of social workers employed on June 11, 2018, by a state agency or private or nonprofit agency is voluntary. However, an individual who is newly employed or employed in a new position by a state agency or private or nonprofit agency on or after June 11, 2023, must be licensed under this chapter if the individual provides services as a social worker. Individuals to whom this paragraph applies and who choose to seek licensure must do so under the grandfathering provisions of § 3907B of this title.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 106, § 3; 77 Del. Laws, c. 224, § 4; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 4.;

(a) The Board of Social Work Examiners ("Board") consists of 7 members who are appointed by the Governor and meet the following qualifications:

(1)a. Four professional members, consisting of 2 licensed clinical social workers and 2 at-large professional members who may be baccalaureate social workers, master's social workers, or licensed clinical social workers.

b. Three public members who are accessible to inquiries, comments, and suggestions from the general public and are not, nor have ever been, any of the following:

1. A social worker or a member of the immediate family of a social worker.

2. Employed by a social work agency.

3. Holder of a material financial interest in the providing of goods and services to social workers.

4. Engaged in an activity directly related to social work.

(b) Each member is appointed for a period of 3 years, and may serve 1 additional term. Each term of office expires on the date specified in the appointment; however, a member remains eligible to participate in Board proceedings until the Governor replaces that member.

(c) An individual who has served on the Board for 6 years may not be appointed to the Board again until the expiration of an interim period of at least 3 years since the individual last served.

(d) The Governor may suspend or remove a member for misfeasance, nonfeasance, malfeasance, or neglect of duty.

(1) A member is deemed in neglect of duty if the member is absent from 3 consecutive Board meetings without good cause or fails to attend at least 50% of all regular Board meetings in a calendar year.

(2) A member who is deemed in neglect of duty is considered to have resigned.

(3) A member subject to disciplinary proceedings is disqualified from Board business until the charge is adjudicated, or the matter is otherwise concluded.

(4) A member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.

(e) A member while serving on the Board may not be a president, chair, or other elected official of a professional association for social workers other than the Board.

(f) The provisions set forth for employees in Chapter 58 of Title 29, apply to all members and agents that the Board appoints or otherwise employs.

(g) Each member of the Board shall be reimbursed for all expenses involved in each meeting, including travel, and in addition shall receive compensation per meeting attended in an amount determined by the Division in accordance with Del. Const. art. III, § 9.

(h) An act or vote by an individual appointed in violation of this section is invalid. An amendment or revision of this chapter is not sufficient cause for an appointment or attempted appointment in violation of subsection (e) of this section, unless the amendment or revision amends this chapter to permit such an appointment.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 368, § 25; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 22; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 5.;

(a) In the same month of each year, the members shall elect, from among their number, a President, Vice-President, and Secretary. Each officer serves for 1 year, and may serve no more than 2 consecutive years in the same office.

(b) The Board shall hold regularly scheduled business meetings at least once in each quarter of a calendar year, and at such other times as the President deems necessary, or at the request of a majority of the members.

(c) A majority of members constitutes a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. The Board may not take disciplinary action without the affirmative vote of at least 4 members.

(d) Minutes of all meetings must be recorded and the Division shall maintain copies of meeting minutes. At any hearing where evidence is presented, a record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared must be made. The expense of preparing any transcript must be incurred by the person requesting it.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 64 Del. Laws, c. 117, § 3; 65 Del. Laws, c. 282, §§ 2, 3; 65 Del. Laws, c. 355, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 6.;

(a) The Board may do all of the following:

(1) Formulate rules and regulations, with appropriate notice to those affected. Rules and regulations must be promulgated in accordance with the procedures specified in the Administrative Procedures Act of this State (Chapter 101 of Title 29). Each rule or regulation must implement or clarify a specific section of this chapter.

(2) Designate the application form to be used by all applicants and process all applications. An application form may not require a picture of the applicant; information relating to the applicant's citizenship, place of birth, or length of state residency; or personal references.

(3) Designate, under § 3908(a) of this title, a written national examination, prepared by either a national professional association or recognized legitimate national testing service, approved by the Division, and administered to applicants. The examination must be prepared for testing on a national basis, and not specifically prepared at the Board's request for its individual use.

(4) [Repealed.]

(5) Evaluate certified records to determine whether an applicant who has been previously licensed, certified, or registered in another jurisdiction to practice social work has engaged in any act or offense that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter and whether there are disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against the applicant for such acts or offenses.

(6) Grant licenses to all applicants who meet the qualifications for licensure or renewal of licenses.

(7) Establish by rule and regulation continuing education standards required for license renewal.

(8) Refer all complaints from licensees and the public concerning licensees, or concerning practices of the Board or of the profession, to the Division for investigation under § 8735(h) of Title 29 and assign a Board member to assist the Division in an advisory capacity with the investigation of the technical aspects of the complaint. A Board member who is assigned to assist the Division under this paragraph may not participate in deliberations on the complaint.

(9) [Repealed.]

(10) Conduct hearings and issue orders in accordance with procedures established under this chapter, Chapter 101 of Title 29, and § 8735 of Title 29.

(11) If the Board determines after a disciplinary hearing that penalties or sanctions should be imposed, designate and impose the appropriate sanction or penalty.

(12) Bring proceedings in the courts for the enforcement of this chapter.

(13) Perform random post-renewal audits of continuing education credits submitted by licensees for license renewal.

(14) Request a copy of supervisory logs from an applicant who has applied for license under this chapter, as established in the rules and regulations.

(b) The Board shall promulgate regulations specifically identifying crimes which are substantially related to social work.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 89; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 7.;

(a) An applicant who is applying for examination and licensure under this chapter shall submit evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that the applicant meets all of the following criteria:

(1) [Repealed.]

(2) Has not engaged in any of the acts or offenses that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter. Applicants who have been or who currently are licensed to practice social work in another jurisdiction must provide the Board with a certified statement to this effect from the board or comparable agency of each jurisdiction in which the applicant has ever been licensed to practice social work. Applicants are deemed to have given consent to the release of such information and waived all objections to the admissibility of such evidence.

(3) Has not been convicted of a felony sexual offense.

(4)a. Has submitted, at the applicant's expense, fingerprints and other necessary information in order to obtain the following:

1. A report from the State Bureau of Identification of the applicant's entire criminal history record in this State or a statement from the State Bureau of Identification that the State Central Repository contains no such information relating to that individual.

2. A report of the applicant's entire federal criminal history record under the Federal Bureau of Investigation appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544 (28 U.S.C. § 534). The State Bureau of Identification is the intermediary for purposes of this section and the Board is the screening point for the receipt of the federal criminal history records.

b. An applicant may not be licensed as a social worker until the applicant's criminal history reports have been produced. The State Bureau of Identification may release any subsequent criminal history to the Board.

(5) Does not have any impairment related to drugs or alcohol or a finding of mental incompetence by a physician, licensed mental health professional, or licensed or certified substance abuse professional that would limit the applicant's ability to undertake the practice of social work in a manner consistent with the safety of the public.

(6) Has or will provide all information required on the application.

(7) Has not been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to social work or any offense which would limit the applicant's ability to carry out the applicant's professional duties with due regard for the health and safety of clients. The Board may, by affirmative vote of a quorum of the Board, waive the requirement of this paragraph if it finds, after a hearing or review of documentation, that the applicant seeking waiver meets, when the applicant's application is filed, all of the following criteria:

a. For waiver of a misdemeanor conviction or violation, the applicant is not incarcerated, on work release, on probation, on parole, or serving any part of a suspended sentence and is in substantial compliance with all court orders pertaining to fines, restitution, and community service.

b. For waiver of a felony conviction, more than 5 years have elapsed since the date of conviction; the applicant is not incarcerated, on work release, on probation, on parole, or serving any part of a suspended sentence; and the applicant is in substantial compliance with all court orders pertaining to fines, restitution, and community service.

c. The applicant has not been convicted of a felony sexual offense.

d. The applicant is capable of practicing social work in a competent and professional manner.

e. Granting the waiver will not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare.

(8) Has submitted to the Board reports from child and adult abuse registries in Delaware and every state in which the applicant has ever been licensed or employed, or resided as an adult.

(b) Licensed clinical social worker. — An applicant who is applying for licensure as a licensed clinical social worker shall submit evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that the applicant meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Meets the criteria under subsection (a) of this section.

(2) Has graduated and received a master's or doctoral degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or its successor, or has graduated and received a doctoral degree from a program the Board has approved.

(3) Has successfully passed an examination that the Board designated under § 3906(a)(3) of this title.

(4) Has completed 2 years of supervised experience that the Board has approved, under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker, after receiving a master's or doctoral degree described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. If an applicant demonstrates to the Board's satisfaction and in compliance with the Board's rules and regulations that a licensed clinical social worker was not available for supervision, the applicant may complete 2 years of supervised experience supervised by a master's social worker, licensed psychologist, or licensed psychiatrist, if the supervision meets all other requirements established in the Board's rules and regulations.

(c) Master's social worker. — An applicant who is applying for licensure as a master's social worker shall submit evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that the applicant meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Meets the criteria under subsection (a) of this section.

(2) Has graduated and received a master's degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or its successor.

(3) Has successfully passed an examination that the Board designated under § 3906(a)(3) of this title.

(d) Baccalaureate social worker. — An applicant who is applying for licensure as a baccalaureate social worker shall submit evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that the applicant meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Meets the criteria under subsection (a) of this section.

(2) Has graduated and received a baccalaureate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or its successor.

(3) Has successfully passed an examination that the Board designated under § 3906(a)(3) of this title.

(e) If the Board finds, to its satisfaction, that an application is fraudulent, or that false information has been intentionally supplied, it shall report its findings to the Attorney General for further action.

(f) If an applicant believes the Board has denied an applicant without justification, imposed higher or different standards for the applicant than for other applicants or licensees, or in some other manner contributed to or caused the failure of the application, the applicant may, within 30 days of such denial, appeal the Board's decision to the Superior Court.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 224, § 5; 78 Del. Laws, c. 26, §§ 1, 2; 79 Del. Laws, c. 277, § 13; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 8.;

In addition to meeting all other applicable requirements under §§ 3907 and 3909 of this title, an applicant whose application is based on a diploma or degree issued by a social work program outside of the United States or its territories shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the Board that the applicant completed a course of professional instruction equivalent to a program approved by the Council on Social Work Education or its successor. The applicant shall arrange and pay for a credential evaluation of the foreign program, to be completed by an agency that the Board has approved.

81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 9.;

(a) Grandfathering period.

(1) The Board shall issue a license to an applicant who meets all the applicable requirements under this section and has submitted a completed, signed application and the applicable fee by June 11, 2020.

(2) If the applicant does not provide all of the information that the Board has requested by June 11, 2020, the application for licensure is considered ineligible for grandfathering and is closed.

(b) An applicant who applies for licensure as a master's social worker during the grandfathering period shall submit evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that the applicant meets the criteria under § 3907(a) of this title and has at least 1 of the following:

(1) At least 10 years of work experience obtained within 12 years immediately preceding application and supported by an experience affidavit, as established by the Board's rules and regulations. The applicant must have obtained the work experience within the scope of master's social work.

(2) At least 2 years of work experience obtained within the 4 years immediately preceding application and supported by an experience affidavit, as established by the Board's rules and regulations. The applicant must have obtained the work experience within the scope of master's social work. An applicant seeking licensure under this subsection must also have graduated and received a master's degree that meets at least 1 of the following criteria:

a. Is a master's degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or its successor.

b. Is a master's degree in human services, social and behavioral sciences, psychology, sociology, or other related degree that the Board accepts, as established by the Board's rules and regulations, from an accredited college or university.

(c) An applicant who applies for licensure as a baccalaureate social worker during the grandfathering period shall submit evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that the applicant meets the criteria under § 3907(a) of this title and has at least 1 of the following:

(1) At least 3 years of work experience obtained within 5 years immediately preceding application and supported by an experience affidavit, as established by the Board's rules and regulations. The applicant must have obtained work experience within the scope of baccalaureate social work.

(2) At least 1 year of work experience obtained within 2 years immediately preceding application and supported by an experience affidavit, as established by the Board's rules and regulations. The applicant must have obtained work experience within the scope of baccalaureate social work. The applicant must have also graduated and received a baccalaureate degree that meets at least 1 of the following criteria:

a. Is a baccalaureate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or its successor.

b. Is a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in human services, social and behavioral sciences, psychology, sociology, or other related degree that the Board accepts, as established by the Board's rules and regulations.

81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 10.;

(a) The Board shall promulgate regulations to designate each of the following:

(1) An examination, as described in § 3906(a)(3) of this title, to be administered to applicants.

(2) The maximum number of times an applicant may take the national examination designated under paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(b) In the event the applicant has already taken and passed the national examination designated under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the Board shall accept the certificate or other evidence of successful completion, and the applicant is not required to take any further state examination.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 282, §§ 5, 7; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 11.;

(a) Upon payment of the required fee and submission and acceptance of a written application on forms that the Board provides, the Board shall grant a license to an applicant who has done all of the following:

(1) Presented proof of a current, active license in good standing and with no disciplinary action taken against the applicant in another jurisdiction whose standards the Board has determined are substantially similar to those of this State.

(2) Presented proof that, in any other jurisdiction in which the applicant is or was licensed, the applicant's license is in good standing or the applicant is voluntarily no longer licensed.

(3) Successfully passed an examination that the Board designated under § 3906(a)(3) of this title.

(4) Provided the Board with a certified statement as to whether any outstanding or ongoing disciplinary actions or ethical violations are against the applicant, or whether the applicant has engaged in any of the acts or offenses that may be grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter. Applicants are deemed to consent to the release of information regarding disciplinary actions or ethical violations and waive all objections to the admissibility of the information as evidence at any hearing or other proceeding to which the applicant may be subject under this chapter.

(b) An applicant who has a license in another jurisdiction that has less stringent requirements than those of this State may obtain a license under this section if the applicant can prove to the Board's satisfaction that the applicant has worked in another jurisdiction in the field for which the applicant is seeking a license in this State for at least 5 years in the 7 years immediately preceding application in this State. The Board may determine whether the requirements of another jurisdiction are less stringent than those of this State.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 106, § 4; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 12.;

The amount to be charged for each fee imposed under this chapter must approximate and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the Board's expenses and proportional expenses that the Division incurs in its services on behalf of the Board. A separate fee must be charged for each service or activity, but no fee may be charged for a purpose not specified in this chapter.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 355, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 13.;

(a) The Board shall issue a license to each applicant who meets the applicable qualifications and pays the fee required under this chapter.

(b)(1) Each license must be renewed biennially, in such a manner that the Division determines, and upon payment of the required fee and attestation that the licensee has met the continuing education requirements that the Board established.

(2) Each license expires on January 31 of the renewal year.

(3) The Division shall set a late fee. If a licensee fails to renew the license in 1 year from the renewal date, the licensee must reapply for licensure.

(c)(1) Any licensee, upon written request, may be placed in an inactive status for up to 3 years.

(2) The renewal fee of a licensee on inactive status must be prorated in accordance with the amount of time the licensee is on inactive status.

(3) The licensee may reactivate the license after meeting all of the following criteria:

a. Providing the Board with written notification that the licensee intends to reactivate the license.

b. Satisfying all the continuing education requirements.

c. Paying the appropriate renewal fee.

(4) A licensee who fails to reactivate a license within 3 years of being placed on inactive status must reapply for licensure.

(d) [Repealed.]

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 355, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 14.;

The Board shall promulgate regulations that require licensees to complete continuing education hours for each biennial licensing period.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 106, § 5; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 15.;

A social worker may not disclose any information acquired from a person consulting the social worker in a professional capacity except:

(1) With the written consent of the person or, in the case of death or disability, the written consent of the person's personal representative.

(2) A social worker is not required to treat as confidential a communication that reveals the planning of any violent crime or act.

(3) A social worker who knows or reasonably suspects child abuse or neglect must report to the Division of Family Services of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families according to § 904 of Title 16.

(4) If the person waives the privilege by bringing charges against the licensed social worker.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 16.;

(a) The Division shall receive and investigate, in accordance with § 8735 of Title 29, all complaints under this chapter.

(b) The Division shall issue a final, written report at the conclusion of its investigation of a complaint under this chapter.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 355, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 17.;

(a) A licensee or former licensee is subject to disciplinary actions established in § 3916 of this title if, after a hearing, the Board finds that the licensee or former licensee has done any of the following:

(1) Employed or knowingly cooperated in fraud or material deception in order to be licensed as a social worker, impersonated licensee, allowed another individual to use the licensee's or former licensee's license, or aided or abetted an individual not licensed as a social worker to represent the individual as a social worker.

(2) Illegally, incompetently, or negligently practiced social work.

(3) Engaged within the previous 10 years or currently engages in the excessive use or abuse of drugs.

(4) Been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to the practice of social work.

(5) Violated a lawful provision of this chapter or any lawful regulation established under this chapter.

(6) Exceeded the scope of the licensee's license, as the scope is defined in this chapter or any lawful regulation established under this chapter. For example, baccalaureate social work may be practiced only under supervision as provided by regulation. And, a master's social worker must be supervised to provide clinical services as provided by regulation.

(7) Had the licensee's license, certification, or registration as a social worker suspended or revoked, or other disciplinary action taken by the appropriate licensing authority in another jurisdiction, if the underlying grounds for such action in another jurisdiction have been presented to the Board by certified record. Every licensee is deemed to have given consent to the social work board or other comparable agency in another jurisdiction to release this information and to waive all objections to the admissibility of previously adjudicated evidence of such acts or offenses.

(8) Failed to notify the Board that the licensee's license as a social worker in another jurisdiction has been subject to discipline or has been surrendered, suspended, or revoked. A certified copy of the record of disciplinary action, surrender, suspension, or revocation is conclusive evidence of the discipline, surrender, suspension, or revocation.

(9) Been convicted of a felony sexual offense.

(10) Failed to report child abuse or neglect as required by § 903 of Title 16, or any of its successors;

(11) Engaged in conversion therapy with a child;

(12) Referred a child to a provider in another jurisdiction to receive conversion therapy.

(b) If a licensee fails to comply with the Board's request that the licensee attend a hearing, the Board may petition the Superior Court to order such attendance, and the Court has jurisdiction to issue such an order.

(c) Subject to the provisions of this chapter and subchapter IV of Chapter 101 of Title 29, the Board may not restrict, suspend, or revoke a license, or limit the licensee's right to practice, until the licensee has been given notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 90; 75 Del. Laws, c. 436, § 45; 77 Del. Laws, c. 199, § 33; 78 Del. Laws, c. 26, §§ 3-6; 78 Del. Laws, c. 44, §§ 64, 65; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 18; 81 Del. Laws, c. 340, § 12.;

(a) The Board may impose any of the following sanctions, singly or in combination, when it finds that a licensee has violated any condition or committed any violation set forth in § 3915 of this title:

(1) Issue a letter of reprimand.

(2) [Repealed.]

(3) Place the licensee on probationary status, and require the licensee to do 1 or more of the following:

a. Report regularly to the Board upon the matters which are the basis of the probation.

b. Limit all practice and professional activities to those areas the Board prescribes.

c. Continue or renew the licensee's professional education until the required degree of skill has been attained in those areas which are the basis of the probation.

(4) Suspend the license.

(5) Permanently revoke the license.

(6) Impose a monetary penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each violation.

(b) The Board may withdraw or reduce conditions of probation when it finds that the deficiencies which required such action have been remedied.

(c)(1) If the Board receives a formal or informal complaint concerning the activity of a licensee that presents a clear and immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare, the Board may suspend the licensee's license, pending a hearing, upon the written order of the Secretary of State or the Secretary's designee, with the concurrence of the Board chair or the Board chair's designee.

(2) The Board may not suspend a license unless the licensee or licensee's attorney received at least 24 hours' written or oral notice before the suspension so that the licensee or licensee's attorney may file a written response to the proposed suspension.

(3) The decision as to whether to issue the order of suspension must be decided on the written submissions.

(4) An order of suspension pending a hearing may remain in effect for no longer than 60 days from the date of the issuance of the order unless the licensee requests a continuance of the hearing date. If the licensee requests a continuance, the order of suspension remains in effect until the hearing is convened and the Board renders a decision. A licensee whose license has been suspended under this section may request an expedited hearing. The Board must schedule the hearing on an expedited basis, provided that the Board receives the request within 5 calendar days from the date on which the licensee received notification of the decision to suspend the license.

(d) If a license has been suspended due to a disability of the licensee, the Board, at a Board meeting, may reinstate the license if the Board is satisfied that the licensee is able to practice with reasonable skill and safety.

(e) As a condition of reinstatement of a suspended license or removal from probationary status, the Board may impose such disciplinary or corrective measures as are authorized under this chapter.

(f) The Board shall permanently revoke the license of any licensee who is convicted of a felony sexual offense.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 26, § 7; 79 Del. Laws, c. 213, § 2; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 19.;

(a) If a complaint is filed with the Board under § 8735 of Title 29 alleging violation of § 3915 of this title, the Board shall set a time and place to conduct a hearing on the complaint. The Board shall provide notice of the hearing and conduct the hearing in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29.

(b) [Repealed.]

(c) A licensee may appeal the Board's decision to the Superior Court within 30 days of the date that notice of the Board's decision is mailed. Upon such appeal, the Court shall hear the evidence on the record. The Court may grant a stay in accordance with § 10144 of Title 29.

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 20.;

(a) It is unlawful for an individual who is not licensed under this chapter to do any of the following:

(1) Engage in the practice of social work.

(2) Use in connection with that individual's name or otherwise assume or use any title or description that conveys or tends to convey the impression that the individual is qualified to practice social work.

(b) An individual who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to the following penalties:

(1) For the first offense, a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for each offense.

(2) For each subsequent offense, a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 for each offense.

(c) Superior Court has jurisdiction over all violations of this chapter.

(d) [Repealed.]

63 Del. Laws, c. 462, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 106, §§ 6, 7; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 21.;

(a) A licensee to whom a license to practice has been issued under this chapter has a duty to report to the Division in writing information that the licensee reasonably believes indicates any of the following:

(1) That any other licensee or any other health-care provider has engaged in or is engaging in conduct that would constitute grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter or the other health-care provider's licensing statute.

(2) That any other licensee or any other health-care provider may be unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety to the public for any of the following reasons:

a. Mental illness or mental incompetence.

b. Physical illness, including deterioration through the aging process or loss of motor skill.

c. Excessive use or abuse of drugs, including alcohol.

(3) That an individual certified and registered to practice medicine in this State is or may be guilty of unprofessional conduct or may be unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill or safety to clients for any of the following reasons:

a. Mental illness or mental incompetence.

b. Physical illness, including deterioration through the aging process or loss of motor skill.

c. Excessive use or abuse of drugs, including alcohol.

(b) A licensee must file a report required under subsection (a) of this section within 30 days of becoming aware of information listed in paragraph (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this section. A licensee reporting or testifying in any proceeding as a result of making a report under this section is immune from claim, suit, liability, damages, or any other recourse, civil or criminal, if the licensee acted in good faith and without gross or wanton negligence. Good faith is presumed until proven otherwise, and the licensee alleging gross or wanton negligence has the burden of proof.

78 Del. Laws, c. 26, § 8; 81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 22.;

(a) Licensed clinical social work may be provided through the use of telemedicine as permitted by regulation, and may include participation in telehealth as further defined in this chapter and by regulation.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, insurers, social workers, and clients may agree to alternative siting arrangements other than the originating site, as they deem appropriate.

81 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 23.;