Practice Guidelines

Law, rules and regulations, not Guidelines, specify the requirements for practice and violating them constitutes professional misconduct. Not adhering to this Guideline may be interpreted as professional misconduct only if the conduct also violates pertinent law, rules and regulations, some citations of which are listed at the end of this Guideline.

9. Engaging in Telepractice

"Telepractice" is providing service that is not "in person" and is facilitated through the use of technology. Such technology may include, but is not limited to, telephone, telefax, e-mail, internet, or videoconference.

Telepractice, when used as a form of social work practice, is subject to all practice and ethical considerations discussed in this document and in the law, rules and regulations governing social work practice in New York State.

Consider the particular impact of telepractice on dimensions of social work practice, including, but not limited to:
  1. Awareness and assessment of non-verbal/non-written behavior;
  2. Confidentiality and privacy of clients and their transmissions;
  3. Relational and transferential issues;
  4. Access issues such as distribution of computers and familiarity with technology;
  5. Temporal factors such as simultaneous communication, time between responses, and formalized "sessions";
  6. Provisions for emergencies; and
  7. Development of technological proficiencies and on-line culture/language.

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Citations of Pertinent Law, Rules or Regulations:

Last Updated: December 18, 2013