Ethics & Risk Management Self-Study

Online and distance behavioral health has come of age. It is important for social workers and other behavioral health professionals to adopt best practices to provide remote services ethically. For some practitioners, remote delivery of services reaches clients who live long distances from their office, face scheduling challenges, or whose special needs limit their ability to travel. For other practitioners, online and distance behavioral health became a sudden necessity because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It is essential for practitioners to keep pace with rapidly evolving ethical and legal standards governing online and distance practice. This presentation provided a state-of-the-art overview of prevailing standards in social work and behavioral health. Social work ethicist Frederic Reamer and Attorney Robert Landau discussed recent technology-related updates to relevant codes of ethics; new technology-related practice standards; and relevant legal and risk management issues. Dr. Reamer and Attorney Landau discussed potential benefits and risks of online and distance behavioral health services, and present practical strategies to protect clients and help prevent licensing board complaints and litigation.