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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 34TEXAS STATE BOARD OF SOCIAL WORKER EXAMINERS
CHAPTER 781SOCIAL WORKER LICENSURE
SUBCHAPTER BCODE OF CONDUCT AND PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS OF PRACTICE
RULE §781.205Sexual Misconduct

(a) Definitions.

  (1) Sexual contact--Any touching or behavior that can be construed as sexual in nature or as defined by the Texas Penal Code, §21.01, relating to assault.

  (2) Therapeutic deception--A licensee's act or statement representing that sexual contact or sexual exploitation between the licensee and a client or client group is a valid part of the treatment process.

  (3) Sexual exploitation--A pattern, practice or scheme of exploitation, which may include, but is not limited to, sexual contact with a client.

(b) A licensee shall not engage in sexual contact or sexual exploitation with a client or former client; a supervisee of the licensee; or a student at an educational institution at which the licensee provides professional or educational services.

(c) A licensee shall not practice therapeutic deception of a client or former client.

(d) It is not a defense to a disciplinary action under subsections (a) - (c) of this section if the person was no longer emotionally dependent on the licensee when the sexual exploitation began, the sexual contact occurred, or the therapeutic deception occurred. It is also not a defense that the licensee terminated services with the person before the date the sexual exploitation began, the sexual contact occurred or the therapeutic deception occurred.

(e) It is not a defense to a disciplinary action under subsections (a) - (c) of this section if the sexual contact, sexual exploitation, or therapeutic deception with the person occurred with the client's consent; outside appointments with the client; or off the premises the licensee used for appointments with the client.

(f) Examples of sexual contact are those activities and behaviors described in the Texas Penal Code, §21.01, relating to assault.

(g) A licensee shall report sexual misconduct in accordance with Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Chapter 81, relating to sexual exploitation by a mental health services provider. If a licensee has reasonable cause to suspect that a client has been the victim of sexual exploitation, sexual contact, or therapeutic deception by another licensee or a mental health services provider, or if a client alleges sexual exploitation, sexual contact, or therapeutic deception by another licensee or a mental health services provider, the licensee shall report the alleged conduct not later than the 30th day after the date the licensee became aware of the conduct or the allegations to:

  (1) the prosecuting attorney in the county in which the alleged sexual exploitation, sexual contact or therapeutic deception occurred; and

  (2) the board if the conduct involves a licensee and any other state licensing agency which licenses the mental health services provider.

  (3) Before making a report under this subsection, the licensee shall inform the alleged victim of the licensee's duty to report and shall determine if the alleged victim wants to remain anonymous.

  (4) A report under this subsection shall contain information necessary to identify the licensee; identify the alleged victim, unless the alleged victim has requested anonymity; express suspicion that sexual exploitation, sexual contact, or therapeutic deception occurred; and provide the alleged perpetrator's name.

(h) The following may constitute sexual exploitation if done for sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse of either the social worker or a person who is receiving or has received the licensee's professional services as a social worker:

  (1) sexual harassment, sexual solicitation, physical advances, verbal or nonverbal conduct that is sexual in nature;

  (2) any behavior, gestures, comments, or expressions which may reasonably be interpreted as inappropriately seductive or sexual, including making sexual comments about a person's body or making sexually demeaning comments about an individual's sexual orientation, or making comments about potential sexual performance except when the comment is pertinent to issues of sexual function or dysfunction in counseling;

  (3) initiating conversation about the licensee's sexual problems, preferences, or fantasies; or requesting details of sexual history or sexual likes and dislikes when those details are not necessary for counseling;

  (4) kissing or fondling, or making any other deliberate or repeated comments, gestures, or physical acts of a sexual nature, even if they are not sexually intimate;

  (5) making a request to date;

  (6) exposing genitals, anus or breasts; or

  (7) encouraging another person to masturbate in the licensee's presence; or the licensee masturbating in front of another person.


Source Note: The provisions of this §781.205 adopted to be effective January 27, 2011, 36 TexReg 242

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