PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
(Licensed Counselor Programs)
Subject of Possible Rule Making: WAC 246-809-XXX Establishing definitions and standards regarding sexual misconduct for licensed mental health counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed social workers.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 18.225.040(1) and 18.130.050.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The statute, chapter 18.225 RCW, for licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family threapists, and social workers does not include definitions and standards for sexual misconduct. Rules regarding sexual misconduct are necessary for the licensed counselor profession to establish appropriate boundaries. These rules will establish clear guidelines for licensed counselors to separate counselor/client relationships and can help to reduce or eliminate disciplinary action against the counselor and protect the client from harm.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: Collaborative rule making.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Traci Black, Program Manager, Department of Health, Counselor Programs, P.O. Box 47869, Olympia, WA 98504-7869, (360) 236-4917, fax (360) 236-4918.
August 10, 2004
M. C. Selecky