HIPAA, Social Media, and Technology
A Guide for Mental Health Professionals

Chapter 3: An Introduction to Social Media Standards for Mental Health Professionals
Part 1: Social Media Risks for Social Workers
Social Media, Malpractice, and Other Repercussions

According to NASW General Counsel Carolyn Polowy New browser window icon., pleading ignorance about the NASW Code of Ethics won't spare you the wrath of an ethics committee if your use of social media lands you in the middle of a disciplinary proceeding.

It's also worth noting that using social media can jeopardize social workers in malpractice cases, should they arise. For example, if you exploit gray areas in the code, say, by blogging about a client without their consent, your online activity may be used against you in a malpractice claim or ethics violation hearing. It calls into question whether or not you can adequately maintain confidentiality.

A social worker's social media use can be used as evidence in a malpractice suit or ethics violation hearing.

If you violate the codes, you may have your license revoked and face other disciplinary measures, depending on the case at hand.

Next: Tips for Using Social Media in Social Work

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