The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall
have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates
(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
(3) ALJ--An Administrative Law Judge within the State
Office of Administrative Hearings who conducts hearings under this
(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
(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
(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) 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.
(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) 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.
(17) 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.
(18) 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.
(19) Consultation--Providing advice, opinions and conferring
with other professionals regarding social work practice.
(20) Continuing education--Education or training aimed
at maintaining, improving, or enhancing social work practice.
(21) Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)--The national
organization that accredits social work education schools and programs.
(22) Department--Department of State Health Services.
(23) Direct practice--Providing social work services
through personal contact and immediate influence to help clients achieve
(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
(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 department employee or other authorized
person whom the board uses to investigate allegations of professional
(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
(45) LMSW--Licensed Master Social Worker.
(46) LMSW-AP--Licensed Master Social Worker with the
Advanced Practitioner specialty recognition for non-clinical practice.
(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; advocacy for vulnerable groups;
social work education; and evaluation.