may 2021— now that more people have received the covid-19 vaccine, some social workers want to know if they should resume in-person services. nasw recommends that social workers continue to follow the centers for disease control and prevention (cdc) recommendations when considering when and how to resume in-person services to clients.
ferpa: covid-19, virtual learning, and disclosures
the substance abuse and mental health services administration (samhsa) has provided guidance to ensure that substance use disorder treatment services are not interrupted during this public health emergency.
may 2020— as governments begin the process of reopening, many social workers are considering when and how to resume their own in-person service to clients. common questions are addressed in this article from a legal perspective, along with an informed consent form, to provide general guidance to social workers.
april 2020— cases have recently arisen where clinical social workers have been asked to disclose the names of their clients to public health officials, to assist in tracing exposure to the novel coronavirus. the social worker’s responsibility in this instance includes aspects of the hipaa privacy rule, nasw’s code of ethics, and local laws including licensure rules, health care confidentiality, and public health regulations. this article discusses how these national rules are likely to apply.
please note: social workers who work with students in educational institutions should be familiar withferpa. reviewferpa and covid-19 faqfor more information that may be useful to social workers who work with students in educational institutions when managing public health issues related to covid-19, and protecting the privacy of students’ education records.
telemental health is the practice of delivering clinical health care services via technology assisted media or other electronic means between a practitioner and a client who are located in two different locations. treatment is considered to take place where the client is. with telemental health, social workers must make sure they are practicing legally and ethically; following state licensure regulations; and adhering to state and federal practice guidelines and payer contract agreements. these resources provide information relevant to social workers about telemental health.
workers' rights during covid-19
learn about key federal workplace laws protecting social workers during the current pandemic. many of these laws have a state-law corollary, and certain areas, such as workers’ compensation and unemployment coverage, are primarily governed by state rather than federal law.
prepared at the request of nasw and its ohio chapter by jonathan wentz, esq. and sarah ingles, esq., attorneys at the law firm of barkan meizlish, llp.