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
On Soliciting Clients

In short, the NASW's Code of Ethics discourages the blatant solicitation of clients, and the code could be applied to how you use social media. According to Standard 4.07 [PDF] New browser window icon.

  • Social workers should not engage in uninvited solicitation of potential clients who may be vulnerable to influence, manipulation, or coercion.
  • Social workers should not solicit testimonials from current clients or from other people who may be vulnerable to undue influence.

The NASW's Code of Ethics prohibits soliciting testimonials from current clients.

It's best, then, that you don't use something a client said to market your practice on social networks and that you don't use social media as a way to fish for new clients. However, if a client reaches out to you on their own through social media and wants to know how to seek counseling through your practice, you should be within your rights to direct them to the appropriate channels.

Next: On Conflicts of Interest

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