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December 05, 2023 Clouds | 35°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 84: Board of registration of social workers; meetings; election of officers; powers and duties of board; issuance of cease and desist orders; fees

Section 84. The board shall at its first meeting and, annually thereafter, elect from among its members, by majority vote, a chairman, vice-chairman and secretary. The officers shall serve until their successors are elected and qualified. The board shall meet at least once every 6 months and may hold additional meetings as necessary to discharge its duties. A majority of the serving members shall constitute a quorum.

The board shall be under the supervision of the department of public health and have the following powers and duties: (1) to administer and enforce sections 130 to 137, inclusive, of chapter 112; (2) to adopt rules and regulations governing the licensure of social workers and the practice of social work to promote the public health, welfare and safety of citizens of the commonwealth; (3) to establish standards of professional and ethical conduct; (4) to establish standards for continuing education reflecting acceptable national standards; and (5) to investigate complaints, conduct inspections, review billing and treatment records, and set and administer penalties as defined in sections 61 to 65E, inclusive, of said chapter 112 and sections 130 to 137, inclusive, of said chapter 112 for fraudulent, deceptive, or professionally incompetent and unsafe practices and for violations of rules and regulations promulgated by the board; provided, however, that conduct which places into question the holder's competence to practice social work shall include, but not be limited to: (i) committing fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining a license; (ii) criminal conduct which the board determines to be of such a nature as to render the person unfit to practice as a social worker, as evidenced by criminal proceedings which resulted in a conviction, guilty plea, or plea of nolo contendere, or an admission of sufficient facts; (iii) violating any rule or regulation of the board; and (iv) failing to reasonably cooperate with the board or its agents in the conduct of an inspection or investigation.

The board may issue orders to licensees directing them to cease and desist from unethical or unprofessional conduct if the board finds, after the opportunity for a hearing, that the licensee has engaged in such conduct. No person filing a complaint, reporting or providing information under this section or assisting the board at its request in any manner in discharging its duties and functions, shall be liable in a cause of action arising out of the complaints, reporting or providing of information or assistance; provided, however, that the person making the complaint or reporting or providing information or assistance does so in good faith.

Licensing and application fees collected by the board shall be as prescribed by the executive office of administration and finance under section 3B of chapter 7 and shall be deposited into the Quality in Health Professions Trust Fund established in section 35X of chapter 10.