Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional and Occupational Licensing
Agency 125. Board of Psychology
Chapter 30. Regulations Governing the Certification of Sex Offender Treatment Providers

18VAC125-30-100. Standards of Practice.

Part IV
Standards of Practice; Disciplinary Action; Reinstatement

A. The protection of the public health, safety, and welfare and the best interest of the public shall be the primary guide in determining the appropriate professional conduct of all certified practitioners who provide services to sex offenders.

B. Persons certified by the board and applicants under supervision shall:

1. Practice in a manner that ensures community protection and safety.

2. Treat all sex offender clients with dignity and respect, regardless of the nature of their crimes or offenses.

3. Provide only services and use only techniques for which they are qualified by training and experience.

4. Inform sex offender clients of (i) the purposes of an interview, testing, or evaluation session; (ii) the ways in which information obtained in such sessions will be used before asking the sex offender client to reveal personal information or allowing such information to be divulged; (iii) the methods of interventions, including any experimental methods of treatment; and (iv) the risks and benefits of any treatment.

5. Inform sex offender clients of the limits of confidentiality and any circumstances which may allow an exception to the agreed upon confidentiality, including (i) as obligated under dual-client situations, especially in criminal justice or related settings; (ii) when the client is a danger to self or others; (iii) when under court order to disclose information; (iv) in cases of suspected child abuse; and (v) as otherwise required by law.

6. Not require or seek waivers of privacy or confidentiality beyond the requirements of treatment, training, or community safety.

7. Explain to juvenile sex offender clients the rights of their parents or legal guardians, or both, to obtain information relating to the sex offender client.

8. Maintain sex offender client records securely, inform all employees of the rules applicable to the appropriate level of confidentiality, and provide for the destruction of records which are no longer useful.

9. Retain sex offender client records for a minimum of five years from the date of termination of services.

10. Stay abreast of new developments, concepts, and practices which are important to providing appropriate professional services.

11. Never engage in dual relationships with sex offender clients or former clients, or current trainees that could impair professional judgment or compromise the sex offender client's or trainee's well-being, impair the trainee's judgment, or increase the risk of sex offender client or trainee exploitation. Engaging in sexual intimacies or romantic relationships with sex offender clients or former clients, or with current trainees is strictly prohibited.

12. Report to the board known or suspected violations of the laws and regulations governing the practice of sex offender treatment providers, as well as any information that a sex offender treatment provider is unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety because of illness or substance abuse or otherwise poses a danger to himself, the public, or clients.

13. Provide clients with accurate information concerning tests, reports, billing, payment responsibilities, therapeutic regime, and schedules before rendering services.

14. Maintain cooperative and collaborative relationships with corrections/probation/parole officers or any responsible agency for purposes of the effective supervision and monitoring of a sex offender client's behavior in order to assure public safety.

15. Consider the validity, reliability, and appropriateness of assessments selected for use with sex offender clients. Where questions exist about the appropriateness of utilizing a particular assessment with a sex offender client, expert guidance from a knowledgeable, certified sex offender treatment provider shall be sought.

16. Recognize the sensitivity of sexual arousal assessment testing and treatment materials, safeguard the use of such materials in compliance with § 18.2-374.1:1 of the Code of Virginia, and use them only for the purpose for which they are intended in a controlled penile plethysmographic laboratory assessment.

17. Be aware of the limitations of plethysmograph and that plethysmographic data is only meaningful within the context of a comprehensive evaluation or treatment process or both.

18. Be knowledgeable of the limitations of the polygraph and take into account its appropriateness with each individual client and special client population.

19. Comply with all laws of the Code of Virginia applicable to the practice of sex offender treatment providers.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3605 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 13, Issue 21, eff. August 6, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 06, eff. January 15, 2016.

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