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RULE §781.102Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Accredited colleges or universities--An educational institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

  (2) Act--The Social Work Practice Act, Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 505, concerning the licensure and regulation of social workers.

  (3) ALJ--An Administrative Law Judge within the State Office of Administrative Hearings who conducts hearings under this chapter.

  (4) Agency--A public or private employer, contractor or business entity providing social work services.

  (5) AMEC--Alternative method of examining competency, as referenced in Texas Occupations Code, §505.356(3), regarding reexamination.

  (6) APA--The Administrative Procedure Act, Government Code, Chapter 2001.

  (7) Assessment--An ongoing process of gathering information about and reaching an understanding of the client or client group's characteristics, perceived concerns and real problems, strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities and constraints; assessment may involve administering, scoring and interpreting instruments designed to measure factors about the client or client group.

  (8) Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)--The international organization which represents regulatory boards of social work and administers the national examinations utilized in the assessment for licensure.

  (9) Board--Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

  (10) Case record--Any information related to a client and the services provided to that client, however recorded and stored.

  (11) Client--An individual, family, couple, group or organization that receives social work services from a person identified as a social worker who is either licensed or unlicensed by the board.

  (12) Clinical social work--A specialty within the practice of master social work that requires applying social work theory, knowledge, methods, ethics, and the professional use of self to restore or enhance social, psychosocial, or bio-psychosocial functioning of individuals, couples, families, groups, and/or persons who are adversely affected by social or psychosocial stress or health impairment. Clinical social work practice involves using specialized clinical knowledge and advanced clinical skills to assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, conditions and addictions, including severe mental illness and serious emotional disturbances in adults, adolescents and children. Treatment methods may include, but are not limited to, providing individual, marital, couple, family, and group psychotherapy. Clinical social workers are qualified and authorized to use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, and other diagnostic classification systems in assessment, diagnosis, and other practice activities. The practice of clinical social work is restricted to either a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, or a Licensed Master Social Worker under clinical supervision in employment or under a clinical supervision plan.

  (13) Commission--Health and Human Services Commission.

  (14) Completed application--The official social work application form, fees and all supporting documentation which meet the criteria set out in this chapter.

  (15) Conditions of exchange--Setting reimbursement rates or fee structures, as well as business rules or policies involving issues such as setting and cancelling appointments, maintaining office hours, and managing insurance claims.

  (16) Confidential information--Individually identifiable information relating to a client, including the client's identity, demographic information, physical or mental health condition, the services the client received, and payment for past, present, or future services the client received or will receive. Confidentiality is limited in cases where the law requires mandated reporting, where third persons have legal rights to the information, and where clients grant permission to share confidential information.

  (17) Contested case--A proceeding in accordance with the APA and this chapter, including, but not limited to, rule enforcement and licensing, in which the board determines the party's legal rights, duties, or privileges after the party has an opportunity for a hearing.

  (18) Counseling, clinical--The use of clinical social work to assist individuals, couples, families or groups in learning to solve problems and make decisions about personal, health, social, educational, vocational, financial, and other interpersonal concerns.

  (19) Counseling, supportive--The methods used to help individuals create and maintain adaptive patterns. Such methods may include, but are not limited to, building community resources and networks, linking clients with services and resources, educating clients and informing the public, helping clients identify and build strengths, leading community groups, and providing reassurance and support.

  (20) Consultation--Providing advice, opinions and conferring with other professionals regarding social work practice.

  (21) Continuing education--Education or training aimed at maintaining, improving, or enhancing social work practice.

  (22) Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)--The national organization that accredits social work education schools and programs.

  (23) Direct practice--Providing social work services through personal contact and immediate influence to help clients achieve goals.

  (24) Dual or multiple relationship--A relationship that occurs when social workers interact with clients in more than one capacity, whether it be before, during, or after the professional, social, or business relationship. Dual or multiple relationships can occur simultaneously or consecutively.

  (25) Electronic practice--Interactive social work practice that is aided by or achieved through technological methods, such as the web, the Internet, social media, electronic chat groups, interactive TV, list serves, cell phones, telephones, faxes, and other emerging technology.

  (26) Endorsement--The process whereby the board reviews licensure requirements a professional has completed while under another jurisdiction's regulatory authority. The board may accept, deny or grant partial credit for requirements completed in a different jurisdiction.

  (27) Examination--A standardized test or examination, approved by the board, which measures an individual's social work knowledge, skills and abilities.

  (28) Exploitation--Using a pattern, practice or scheme of conduct that can reasonably be construed as primarily meeting the licensee's needs or benefitting the licensee rather than being in the best interest of the client. Exploitation involves the professional taking advantage of the inherently unequal power differential between client and professional. Exploitation also includes behavior at the expense of another practitioner. Exploitation may involve financial, business, emotional, sexual, verbal, religious and/or relational forms.

  (29) Field placement--A formal, supervised, planned, and evaluated experience in a professional setting under the auspices of a CSWE-accredited social work program and meeting CSWE standards.

  (30) Formal hearing--A hearing or proceeding in accordance with this chapter, including a contested case as defined in this section to address the issues of a contested case.

  (31) Fraud--A social worker's misrepresentation or omission about qualifications, services, finances, or related activities or information, or as defined by the Texas Penal Code or by other state or federal law.

  (32) Full-time experience--Providing social work services thirty or more hours per week.

  (33) Group supervision for licensure or for specialty recognition--Providing supervision to a minimum of two and a maximum of six supervisees in a designated supervision session.

  (34) Health care professional--A licensee or any other person licensed, certified, or registered by the State of Texas in a health related profession.

  (35) Impaired professional--A licensee whose ability to perform social work services is impaired by the licensee's physical health, mental health, or by medication, drugs or alcohol.

  (36) Independent clinical practice--The practice of clinical social work in which the social worker, after having completed all requirements for clinical licensure, assumes responsibility and accountability for the nature and quality of client services, pro bono or in exchange for direct payment or third party reimbursement. Independent clinical social work occurs in independent settings.

  (37) Independent non-clinical practice--The unsupervised practice of non-clinical social work outside the jurisdiction of an organizational setting, in which the social worker, after having completed all requirements for independent non-clinical practice recognition, assumes responsibility and accountability for the nature and quality of client services, pro bono or in exchange for direct payment or third party reimbursement.

  (38) Independent Practice Recognition--A specialty recognition related to unsupervised non-clinical social work at the LBSW or LMSW category of licensure, which denotes that the licensee has earned the specialty recognition, commonly called IPR, by successfully completing additional supervision which enhances skills in providing independent non-clinical social work.

  (39) Individual supervision for licensure or specialty recognition--Supervision for professional development provided to one supervisee during the designated supervision session.

  (40) Investigator--A commission employee or other authorized person whom the board uses to investigate allegations of professional misconduct.

  (41) LBSW--Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker.

  (42) LCSW--Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

  (43) License--A regular or temporary board-issued license, including LBSW, LMSW, and LCSW. Some licenses may carry an additional specialty recognition, such as LMSW-AP, LBSW-IPR, or LMSW-IPR.

  (44) Licensee--A person licensed by the board to practice social work.

  (45) LMSW--Licensed Master Social Worker.

  (46) LMSW-AP--Licensed Master Social Worker with the Advanced Practitioner specialty recognition for non-clinical practice. This specialty recognition will no longer be conferred after September 1, 2017. Licensees under a board-approved supervision plan for this specialty recognition before September 1, 2017 will be permitted to complete supervision and examination for this specialty recognition.

  (47) Non-clinical social work--Professional social work which incorporates non-clinical work with individuals, families, groups, communities, and social systems which may involve locating resources, negotiating and advocating on behalf of clients or client groups, administering programs and agencies, community organizing, teaching, researching, providing employment or professional development non-clinical supervision, developing and analyzing policy, fund-raising, and other non-clinical activities.

  (48) Peer assistance program--A program designed to help an impaired professional return to fitness for practice.

  (49) Person--An individual, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity.

  (50) Psychotherapy--Treatment in which a qualified social worker uses a specialized, formal interaction with an individual, couple, family, or group by establishing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship to understand and intervene in intrapersonal, interpersonal and psychosocial dynamics; and to diagnose and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders and addictions.

  (51) Recognition--Authorization from the board to engage in the independent or specialty practice of social work services.

  (52) Rules--Provisions of this chapter specifying how the board implements the Act, how the board operates, and how individuals are affected by the Act.

  (53) Social work case management--Using a bio-psychosocial perspective to assess, evaluate, implement, monitor and advocate for services on behalf of and in collaboration with the identified client or client group.

  (54) Social worker--A person licensed under the Act.

  (55) Social work practice--Services which an employee, independent practitioner, consultant, or volunteer provides for compensation or pro bono to effect changes in human behavior, a person's emotional responses, interpersonal relationships, and the social conditions of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social work practice is guided by specialized knowledge, acquired through formal social work education. Social workers specialize in understanding how humans develop and behave within social environments, and in using methods to enhance the functioning of individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Social work practice involves the disciplined application of social work values, principles, and methods including, but not limited to, psychotherapy; marriage, family, and couples intervention; group therapy and group work; mediation; case management; supervision and administration of social work services and programs; counseling; assessment, diagnosis, treatment; policy analysis and development; research; Cont'd...

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