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36-26 SOCIAL WORKERS
CHAPTER 36-26

SOCIAL WORKERS

36-26-1      Definition of terms.
36-26-2      Purpose and application of chapter.
36-26-3      Board of Social Work Examiners--Composition--Appointment and qualifications of members.
36-26-4      Repealed.
36-26-5      Terms of appointment.
36-26-6      Removal by Governor for cause--Filling of vacancies.
36-26-7      Annual meeting and election of officers--Secretary-treasurer included in blanket bond.
36-26-8      Per diem and expenses of board members--Compensation of secretary-treasurer--Employment of office personnel.
36-26-9      Board of examiners within Department of Social Services--Exercise of functions--Records and reports.
36-26-10      Unlicensed practice as misdemeanor--Associates to be supervised by social workers.
36-26-11      Titles and designations prohibited to unlicensed persons.
36-26-12      Practice of other professions not prohibited--Students to practice under licensee.
36-26-13      Board to issue licenses.
36-26-14      Qualifications of certified social worker.
36-26-15      Qualifications for social worker's license.
36-26-15.1      Licensure of persons graduating from social work programs in candidacy status.
36-26-16      Qualifications for social work associate.
36-26-17      Independent practice requirements.
36-26-17.1      Certain healing arts practitioners to participate in alternate health care delivery systems.
36-26-18      Exemption from examination for out-of-state licensees.
36-26-18.1      National or multi-state licensing compact.
36-26-19      Application fees.
36-26-20      Repealed.
36-26-21      Times and places of examinations.
36-26-22      Re-examinations allowed--Fee.
36-26-23      Expiration and renewal of licenses--Renewal fee.
36-26-24      Display of license.
36-26-25      Annual publication of names of licensees and private practitioners.
36-26-26      Continuing education required--Waiver.
36-26-27      Failure to renew as forfeiture of license--Restoration upon application and payment of fee.
36-26-28      Re-examination required after lapse of license.
36-26-29      Promulgation of rules by board.
36-26-30      Social worker-client privilege--Exceptions.
36-26-31      Examination and inspection of private establishments--Access to premises.
36-26-32      Grounds for denial, revocation, suspension, or cancellation of license.
36-26-33      Initiation of cancellation, revocation, or suspension proceedings.
36-26-34      Quorum for proceedings on cancellation, revocation, suspension or reissuance of license--Majority vote required.
36-26-35      Proceedings to conform to administrative procedure.
36-26-36      Appeal from board rulings or decisions.
36-26-37      Reinstatement or reissue of license after cancellation, suspension or revocation-- Automatic reinstatement after suspension.
36-26-38      Record of license data kept by secretary-treasurer--Evidence--Certified copies.
36-26-39      Violation of chapter as misdemeanor.
36-26-40      Board to recommend prosecutions and civil actions for violations.
36-26-41      Investigation and report of violations--Employment of special counsel--Expenses.
36-26-42      Action to enjoin violations--Alternate to criminal proceedings--Election.
36-26-43      Disposition of moneys received by board--Credit to Board of Examiners account--Continuous appropriation for expenses.
36-26-44      Issuance of temporary licenses--Validity--Expiration.
36-26-45      Clinical social work defined.


36-26-1Definition of terms.

Terms as used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, mean:

(1)    "Board," the Board of Social Work Examiners established under this chapter;

(2)    "Social work," the professional activity for fee of helping individuals, groups, or communities enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and creating societal conditions favorable for this goal. Social work practice consists of the professional specialized and disciplined application of social work skills secured by formalized education or substitute work experience as permitted under § 36-26-15.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 1.


36-26-2Purpose and application of chapter.

Since the profession of social work profoundly affects the lives of the people of this state, it is the purpose of this chapter to protect the public by setting standards of qualification, education, training, and experience for each person engaging in the practice of social work and to promote high standards of professional performance for any person engaged in the profession of social work. However, the provisions of this chapter do not apply to any employee of state government who is covered by the provisions of chapter 3-6D.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 2; SL 2018, ch 12, § 18.


36-26-3Board of Social Work Examiners--Composition--Appointment and qualifications of members.

The South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners consists of seven members, two of whom shall be lay members, four of whom shall be certified social workers licensed under the provisions of this chapter to engage in private independent practice, and one of whom shall be a social worker professional licensed under the provisions of this chapter who has practiced in the state for at least two years. The Governor shall appoint all of the members.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 3; SL 2005, ch 199, § 60; SL 2019, ch 173, § 1.


36-26-4
     36-26-4.   Repealed by SL 2005, ch 199, § 61.


36-26-5Terms of appointment.

Appointments to the board shall be for terms of three years, beginning on October thirty-first. The appointee's term shall expire on October thirtieth in the third year of appointment. No member of the board may serve for more than three successive full terms. However, appointment to an unexpired term is not considered as a full term.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, §§ 5, 6; SL 2005, ch 199, § 62; SL 2012, ch 16, § 9.


36-26-6Removal by Governor for cause--Filling of vacancies.

The Governor may remove a member of the board for cause. In the event of a vacancy on the board caused by death of a member, resignation, removal from the state, or for any other reason, the Governor shall appoint a new member to serve out the unexpired term.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 6.


36-26-7Annual meeting and election of officers--Secretary-treasurer included in blanket bond.

The Board of Social Work Examiners shall annually elect a president and a secretary-treasurer from its members. The board shall meet at least once a year at a place and time determined by the president of the board. The secretary-treasurer of the board shall be included in the blanket bond on officials pursuant to § 3-5-5.1.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 7; SL 1989, ch 334.


36-26-8Per diem and expenses of board members--Compensation of secretary-treasurer--Employment of office personnel.

Each board member shall receive per diem set pursuant to § 4-7-10.4 and expenses at the same rate as other state employees while actually engaged in the board's official duties. The secretary-treasurer shall be paid additional compensation for the secretary-treasurer's services as shall be unanimously agreed to by the full board membership. The board, pursuant to chapter 3-6D, may hire office personnel deemed necessary by the board for carrying on the board's official duties and shall set the compensation to be paid the personnel.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 39; SL 1973, ch 23; SL 2018, ch 12, § 19.


36-26-9Board of examiners within Department of Social Services--Exercise of functions--Records and reports.

The Board of Social Work Examiners shall be within the Department of Social Services, and shall exercise all its prescribed functions, including administrative functions. The board shall submit such records, information and reports in the form and at such times as required by the secretary of social services, and the board shall also report annually.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 8; SL 2003, ch 272 (Ex. Ord. 03-1), § 46; SL 2011, ch 1 (Ex. Ord. 11-1), § 163, eff. Apr. 12, 2011.


36-26-10Unlicensed practice as misdemeanor--Associates to be supervised by social workers.

It is a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person or persons to engage in the practice, or attempt to practice, social work as a certified social worker, social worker or social work associate without a license issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. No social work associate may practice except under the supervision of a certified social worker or social worker.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 9; SL 1977, ch 190, § 204.


36-26-11Titles and designations prohibited to unlicensed persons.

No person may represent himself as a social worker by using the titles "certified social worker," "social worker," "social work associate," or any other title that includes such words unless licensed under this chapter.

No person may represent himself as a certified social worker, social worker, or social work associate by adding the letters CSW, SW, or SWA unless licensed under this chapter.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 10.


36-26-12Practice of other professions not prohibited--Students to practice under licensee.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent qualified physicians, surgeons, registered nurses, psychologists, psychotherapists, attorneys, court employees, marriage counselors, family counselors, child counselors, or members of the clergy from doing work within the standards and ethics of their respective professions and callings, provided they do not hold themselves out to the public by title as being engaged in the practice of social work. Students enrolled in recognized programs of study leading to social work degrees may practice only under the direct supervision of a certified social worker or social worker licensed under this chapter.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 11; SL 1995, ch 224, § 2.


36-26-13Board to issue licenses.

The board shall issue a license as a certified social worker, a social worker, or a social work associate.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 12.


36-26-14Qualifications of certified social worker.

The board shall issue a license as a "certified social worker" to an applicant who:

(1)    Has a doctorate or master's degree from a school of social work accredited by the council on social work education;

(2)    Has passed an examination prepared by the board for this purpose.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 13.


36-26-15Qualifications for social worker's license.

The board shall issue a license as a social worker to an applicant who:

(1)    Has a baccalaureate degree in a social work or social welfare program accredited by the council on social work education; and

(2)    Has passed an examination prepared by the board for this purpose; or

(3)    Has been granted licensure or applied and met qualifications under this section prior to July 1, 2015.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 14; SL 2015, ch 200, § 1.


36-26-15.1Licensure of persons graduating from social work programs in candidacy status.

The board shall issue a license as a certified social worker or social worker to any applicant who:

(1)    Meets the requirements for a certified social worker or social worker except whose baccalaureate or master of social work degree is from a program in candidacy status with the Council on Social Work Education; and

(2)    Has passed an examination prepared by the board for this purpose.

Any license granted under this section shall automatically expire if the social work baccalaureate or masters of social work program fails to maintain candidacy status or is denied accreditation. The social worker shall inform the board of any change in the social work program candidacy status.

Source: SL 2011, ch 185, § 1.


36-26-16Qualifications for social work associate.

The board shall issue a license as a "social work associate" to an applicant who:

(1)    Has a baccalaureate degree in a nonsocial work field or discipline or an associate of arts degree in the human services in a program approved by the board from a junior college, college, or university approved by the board or equivalent as determined by the board;

(2)    Has passed an examination prepared by the board for this purpose.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 15.


36-26-17Independent practice requirements.

No person may engage in the private, independent practice of social work unless he:

(1)    Is licensed under this chapter as a certified social worker;

(2)    Has had two years of experience under appropriate supervision in the field of specialization in which the applicant will practice (e.g., psychotherapy, community organization, or planning); and

(3)    Has passed an examination prepared by the board for this purpose.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 16.


36-26-17.1Certain healing arts practitioners to participate in alternate health care delivery systems.

Any licensed social worker licensed under § 36-26-17, may organize or contract for services with a corporation organized under the laws of this state by licensed practitioners of the healing arts, for the purpose of negotiating group health care contracts and providing services within the scope of their respective licenses with alternate health care delivery systems, including, but not limited to, health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations, individual practices organizations or other similar forms of entity whatever.

Source: SL 1987, ch 269, § 2.


36-26-18Exemption from examination for out-of-state licensees.

An applicant shall be exempted from the requirement for any examination provided in this chapter if:

(1)    The applicant is licensed or registered under the laws of a state or territory of the United States that imposes substantially the same requirements as this chapter;

(2)    Pursuant to the laws of such state or territory, the applicant has taken and passed an examination similar to that for which exemption is sought;

(3)    The applicant provides verification of licensure on a form provided by the board from any state in which the applicant holds a license, as well as has held a license;

(4)    The applicant provides official transcripts from the college or university which conferred the degree; and

(5)    If applying for a license as a certified social worker-private independent practice, the applicant provides proof of supervision from the state from which original licensure was obtained. The board may waive this requirement, upon establishing the state is unable to provide the documentation.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 17; SL 2013, ch 182, § 1.


36-26-18.1National or multi-state licensing compact.

The board may enter into a national or multi-state licensing compact to provide licensing reciprocity for social workers.

Source: SL 2013, ch 182, § 2.


36-26-19Application fees.

The fees to be paid by an applicant to determine fitness to receive a license to practice social work shall be set by the board.

The fees shall be set in rules promulgated pursuant to chapter 1-26 in the following areas: for a biennial application, for reciprocity without examination, for the biennial renewal of a license, for examination or reexamination, for a temporary license, for a duplicate license, and for a late fee assessed after a license forfeiture. No fee may exceed three hundred dollars.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 18; SL 1986, ch 302, § 60; SL 1994, ch 309, § 2; SL 2008, ch 191, § 60.


36-26-20
     36-26-20.   Repealed by SL 2010, ch 195, § 2.


36-26-21Times and places of examinations.

The board shall hold examinations at least annually and from time to time at such place or places as the board may designate.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 21.


36-26-22Re-examinations allowed--Fee.

Any applicant failing to pass the examination provided by this chapter shall be entitled within six months to a re-examination upon payment of an additional fee to be set by the board, but two such re-examinations shall exhaust the privilege under the original application.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 19.


36-26-23Expiration and renewal of licenses--Renewal fee.

All licenses issued by the board shall expire on the first day of January of the second year succeeding the issuance thereof. A license may be renewed every two years upon the payment of a fee to be fixed by the board.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 23.


36-26-24Display of license.

Each social work license shall be conspicuously displayed at the place of practice of the licensee within thirty days after issuance of such license.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 22.


36-26-25Annual publication of names of licensees and private practitioners.

In addition to the duties set forth elsewhere in this chapter, the board shall annually publish a list of the names and addresses of all persons who are:

(1)    Licensed certified social workers under this chapter;

(2)    Licensed social workers under this chapter;

(3)    Licensed social work associates under this chapter;

(4)    Eligible to engage in the private, independent practice of social work under this chapter.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 27.


36-26-26Continuing education required--Waiver.

Attendance at postgraduate work as may be prescribed by the board, is a further requirement for renewal of any license. In no instance may the board require a greater number of hours of annual continuing education study than are available at courses approved by the board and held within the state. The board shall be allowed to waive the continuing education requirement in case of certified illness or undue hardship.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 25.


36-26-27Failure to renew as forfeiture of license--Restoration upon application and payment of fee.

Failure of a licensee to renew his license on or before the first day of July of the year of expiration shall constitute a forfeiture of such license; provided, however, that any person who has so forfeited his license under this chapter may have the same restored to him by making written application therefor and by payment of the renewal fee for the current term.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 23.


36-26-28Re-examination required after lapse of license.

Any licensee who does not renew his or her license for two consecutive years because of sickness or other reason, or absence from the State of South Dakota, must take the examination as prescribed for an applicant to become a licensee and comply with all the provisions hereof, applicable to any applicant to become a licensee.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 24.


36-26-29Promulgation of rules by board.

The board may promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 that set standards for professional practice, establish the procedure for the licensure, eligibility, continuing education, supervision, and examination for certified social workers, social workers, and social work associates.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 26; SL 1986, ch 302, § 61.


36-26-30Social worker-client privilege--Exceptions.

No licensed certified social worker, social worker, or social work associate or his employee may disclose any information he may have acquired from persons consulting him in his professional capacity that was necessary to enable him to render services in his professional capacity to those persons except:

(1)    With the written consent of the person or persons or, in the case of death or disability, of his own personal representative, other person authorized to sue, or the beneficiary of an insurance policy on his life, health, or physical condition;

(2)    That a licensed certified social worker, licensed social worker, or licensed social work associate shall not be required to treat as confidential a communication that reveals the contemplation of a crime or a harmful act;

(3)    When the person is a minor under the laws of this state and the information acquired by the licensed certified social worker, licensed social worker, or licensed social work associate indicated that the minor was the victim or subject of a crime, the certified social worker, the social worker, or the social work associate may be required to testify fully in any examination, trial, or other proceeding in which the commission of such a crime is the subject of inquiry;

(4)    When the person waives the privilege by bringing charges against the licensed certified social worker, social worker, or social work associate.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 41.


36-26-31Examination and inspection of private establishments--Access to premises.

It shall be the duty of the board at least annually and from time to time to examine and inspect or cause to be examined and inspected all private social work establishments in the state. Said board and its agents and employees shall have the authority to enter and inspect any private social work establishment at any time when the establishment is open for the transaction of business.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 21.


36-26-32Grounds for denial, revocation, suspension, or cancellation of license.

The board may deny, revoke, suspend, or cancel any license or application for licensure to practice as a certified social worker, social worker, or social work associate and may take such other disciplinary or corrective action as the board deems appropriate upon any one or more of the following grounds:

(1)    The licensee or applicant is guilty of fraud in the practice of social work or fraud or deceit in the licensee's admission to the practice of social work;

(2)    The licensee or applicant has been convicted during the past five years of a felony. The conviction of a felony shall be the conviction of any offense, which if committed within the State of South Dakota would constitute a felony under the laws thereof;

(3)    The licensee or applicant is engaged in the practice of social work under a false or assumed name and has not registered that name pursuant to chapter 37-11, or is impersonating another practitioner of a like or different name;

(4)    The licensee or applicant is addicted to the use of intoxicating liquors, narcotics or stimulants to such an extent as to incapacitate him or her from the performance of his or her professional duties;

(5)    The physical or mental condition of the licensee or applicant is determined by a competent medical examiner to be such as to jeopardize or endanger those who seek relief from the licensee or applicant. A majority of the board may demand an examination of the licensee or applicant by a competent medical examiner selected by the board at the board's expense. If the licensee or applicant fails to submit to the examination, this shall constitute immediate grounds for suspension of the licensee's license or denial of the application for licensure;

(6)    The licensee or applicant has been found in violation of the code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers;

(7)    Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license, certificate, or renewal thereof by bribery or fraudulent representation;

(8)    Knowingly making a false statement in connection with any application under this chapter;

(9)    Knowingly making a false statement on any form promulgated by the board in accordance with this chapter or the rules promulgated under this chapter;

(10)    The licensee or applicant has violated any provision of this chapter or the rules promulgated under this chapter; and

(11)    Cancellation, revocation, suspension, or refusal to renew a certificate, license, or permit to engage in the practice of social work in any other state for any cause.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 29; SL 2010, ch 195, § 1; SL 2015, ch 200, § 2.


36-26-33Initiation of cancellation, revocation, or suspension proceedings.

The proceedings for cancellation, revocation, or suspension of a license may be initiated when the board has information that any person may have been guilty of any misconduct as provided in § 36-26-32 or is guilty of gross incompetence or unprofessional or dishonorable conduct.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 30.


36-26-34Quorum for proceedings on cancellation, revocation, suspension or reissuance of license--Majority vote required.

All proceedings relative to the cancellation, revocation, or suspension of a license, or relative to reissuing a license which has been canceled, revoked, or suspended shall only be held when a majority of the members of the board are present at such hearings. The decision of the Board of Examiners to suspend, revoke, or cancel a license requires a majority vote of all the board members.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, §§ 31, 33.


36-26-35Proceedings to conform to administrative procedure.

All proceedings relative to the cancellation, revocation, or suspension of a license shall otherwise conform to the procedure set forth in chapter 1-26.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 32.


36-26-36Appeal from board rulings or decisions.

Any party feeling aggrieved by any acts, rulings or decisions of the board relating to refusal to grant or to cancellation, revocation or suspension of a license shall have the right to appeal pursuant to chapter 1-26.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 34.


36-26-37Reinstatement or reissue of license after cancellation, suspension or revocation--Automatic reinstatement after suspension.

Upon written application establishing compliance with existing licensing requirements and for reasons the board deems sufficient, the board, for good cause shown, by majority vote, may, under such conditions as it may impose, reinstate or reissue a license to any person whose license has been canceled, suspended or revoked; provided, however, that upon suspension of a license, the board in such order may provide for automatic reinstatement thereof after a fixed period of time as provided in the order.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 35.


36-26-38Record of license data kept by secretary-treasurer--Evidence--Certified copies.

The secretary-treasurer of the board shall keep a record by entering the name of each person who has been granted a license pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the license number, and the date the license was issued or renewed. The record may be admitted as evidence in any court. The original records of the board shall be kept at the office of the secretary-treasurer of the board. The secretary-treasurer shall furnish any person requesting a copy of any record, certified by the secretary-treasurer, upon payment of a fee of twenty-five cents per page.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 38; SL 2015, ch 200, § 3.


36-26-39Violation of chapter as misdemeanor.

Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 42; SL 1977, ch 190, § 205.


36-26-40Board to recommend prosecutions and civil actions for violations.

In addition to the duties set forth elsewhere in this chapter, the board shall:

(1)    Recommend prosecutions for violations of this chapter to the appropriate state's attorneys; and

(2)    Recommend to the attorney general the bringing of civil actions to seek injunctions and other relief against violations of this chapter.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 28.


36-26-41Investigation and report of violations--Employment of special counsel--Expenses.

The board shall investigate every supposed violation of this chapter, and shall report the same to the proper law enforcement officials wherein the act is committed. The board is authorized to employ special counsel subject to the supervision, control and direction of the attorney general, to assist in the prosecution of violations of this chapter and to expend the necessary funds for such purpose.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 37.


36-26-42Action to enjoin violations--Alternate to criminal proceedings--Election.

Any person violating the provisions of this chapter may be enjoined from further violations at the suit of the state's attorney of the county wherein the violations occurred or suit may be brought by any citizen of this state. An action for injunction shall be an alternate to criminal proceedings, and the commencement of one proceeding by the board constitutes an election.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 36.


36-26-43Disposition of moneys received by board--Credit to Board of Examiners account--Continuous appropriation for expenses.

All moneys coming into the custody of the board each calendar month, including license fees, renewal fees, penalty fees, and any other payments, shall be paid by the board to the state treasurer on or before the tenth day of the next month. The state treasurer shall credit the moneys to the South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners account of the general fund, which account is hereby created. The moneys in the said South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners account are hereby continuously appropriated to the board for the purpose of paying the expense of administering and enforcing the provisions of this chapter, provided the total expense incurred shall not exceed the total moneys collected by the board under the provisions of this chapter.

Source: SL 1975, ch 22, § 40.


36-26-44Issuance of temporary licenses--Validity--Expiration.

The Board of Social Work Examiners may issue a temporary license as a certified social worker or social worker to an applicant who meets all requirements for a certified social worker or social worker except for passing the examination prepared by the board. The board may charge a fee for issuing a temporary license. A temporary license is valid until the board receives the results from the next available administration of the examination following submission of an application for a license. If the applicant passes the next available examination, the temporary license continues in effect until the board issues a regular license or denies the application. If the applicant fails to take or to pass the next available examination, the temporary license automatically expires.

Source: SL 1994, ch 309, § 1.


36-26-45Clinical social work defined.

Clinical social work is practiced by a social worker who has received a master's or doctoral degree and is licensed under § 36-26-14 or 36-26-17. Clinical social work includes individual, family, and small group psychotherapy. Clinical social work practice is the professional application of social work theory and methods to the treatment and prevention of psychosocial dysfunction, disability, or impairment, including emotional and mental disorders. It is based on knowledge of one or more theories of human development. Clinical social work services consist of assessment; diagnosis; treatment, including psychotherapy and counseling; client-centered advocacy; consultation; and evaluation. The process of clinical social work is undertaken within the objectives of social work and the principles and values contained in the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics as of January 1, 1995.

Source: SL 1995, ch 224, § 1.


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