90B-11. Disciplinary procedures.

(a) The Board may, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, deny, suspend, or revoke an application, certificate, or license on any of the following grounds:

(1) Conviction of a misdemeanor or the entering of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a misdemeanor under this Chapter.

(2) Conviction of a felony or the entering of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a felony under the laws of the United States or of any state of the United States.

(3) Gross unprofessional conduct, dishonest practice or incompetence in the practice of social work.

(4) Procuring or attempting to procure a certificate or license by fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

(5) Any fraudulent or dishonest conduct in social work.

(6) Inability of the person to perform the functions for which he or she is certified or licensed, or substantial impairment of abilities by reason of physical or mental disability.

(7) Violations of any of the provisions of this Chapter or of rules of the Board.

(b) Upon proof that an applicant, certificate holder, or licensee under this Chapter has engaged in any of the prohibited actions specified in subsection (a) of this section, the Board may, in lieu of denial, suspension, or revocation, take one or more of the following actions:

(1) Issue a reprimand or censure.

(2) Order probation with conditions deemed appropriate by the Board.

(3) Require examination, remediation, or rehabilitation, including care, counseling, or treatment by a professional designated or approved by the Board, the cost of which shall be borne by the applicant, certificate holder, or licensee.

(4) Require supervision for the services provided by the applicant, certificate holder, or licensee by a certified or licensed social worker designated and approved by the Board, the cost of which shall be borne by the applicant, certificate holder, or licensee.

(5) Limit or circumscribe the practice of social work provided by the applicant, certificate holder, or licensee with respect to the extent, nature, or location of the services provided.

(c) The Board may impose conditions of probation or restrictions upon continued practice at the conclusion of a period of suspension or as a requirement for the restoration of a revoked or suspended certificate or license. Instead of or in connection with any disciplinary proceeding or investigation, the Board may enter into a consent order with an applicant, certificate holder, or licensee relative to a discipline, supervision, probation, remediation, rehabilitation, or practice limitation.

(d) In considering whether an applicant, certificate holder, or licensee is mentally or physically capable of practicing social work with reasonable skill and safety, the Board may require an applicant, certificate holder, or licensee to submit to a mental examination by a licensed clinical social worker or other licensed mental health professional designated by the Board and to a physical examination by a physician or other licensed health professional designated by the Board. The examination may be ordered by the Board before or after charges are presented against the applicant, certificate holder, or licensee and the results of the examination shall be reported directly to the Board and shall be admissible in evidence in a hearing before the Board.

(e) The Board shall provide the opportunity for a hearing under Article 3A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes to: (i) any person whose certification or licensure was denied or granted subject to restrictions, probation, disciplinary action, remediation, or other conditions or limitations; and (ii) any certificate holder or licensee before revoking or suspending his or her certificate or license or restricting his or her practice or imposing any other disciplinary action or remediation. If the applicant, certificate holder, or licensee waives the opportunity for a hearing, the Board's denial, revocation, suspension, or other action shall be final. No applicant, certificate holder, or licensee shall be entitled to a hearing for failure to pass a qualifying examination.

(f) In any proceeding before the Board, complaint or notice of charges against any applicant, certificate holder, or licensee, and any decision rendered by the Board, the Board may withhold from public disclosure the identity of any client who has not consented to the public disclosure of social work services provided to him or her by the applicant, certificate holder, or licensee. If necessary for the protection and rights of a client and the full presentation of relevant evidence, the Board may close a hearing to the public and receive evidence involving or concerning the delivery of social work services.

(g) Records, papers, and other documents containing information collected and compiled by or on behalf of the Board as a result of an investigation, inquiry, or interview conducted in connection with certification, licensure, or a disciplinary matter shall not be considered public records within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes. Any notice or statement of charges, notice of hearing, or decision rendered in connection with a hearing, shall be a public record. Information that identifies a client who has not consented to the public disclosure of services rendered to him or her by a person certified or licensed under this Chapter shall be deleted from the public record. All other records, papers, and documents containing information collected and compiled by or on behalf of the Board shall be public records, but any information that identifies a client who has not consented to the public disclosure of services rendered to him or her shall be deleted. (1983, c. 495, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, s. 1; 1999-313, s. 1.)