w BOARD JURISDICTION:
The Oregon State Board of Licensed Social Workers (Board) is the oversight regulatory agency responsible for licensing, regulating & disciplining regulated social workers in Oregon and is governed by the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) Chapters 675 & 676; as well as Oregon Administrative Rule(s) (OAR), Chapter 877, respectively.
w BOARD RESPONSIBILITY:
The Board is responsible for conducting investigations into allegations of misconduct, ethical complaints, background investigations, unlicensed practice, etc., against licensees and applicants as part of the Board’s public protection designation & authority. The Board’s Compliance unit is comprised of a Senior Compliance Specialist who oversees the investigations, a Compliance Investigator responsible for conducting & completing assigned investigations, & a Contract Investigator to assist on the backlog of cases.
w COMPLAINTS TO THE BOARD & CONFIDENTIALITY:
The Board accepts written complaints from individuals who have concerns regarding the conduct of licensees. In accordance with ORS 676.175, all information supplied to the Board pertaining to complaints are strictly held confidential & can be disclosed only to the extent necessary for the Board to conduct its investigation. The identity of complainants cannot be disclosed & is strictly protected by law & the Board enforcing it. Confidentiality provisions also mean that, after a complaint is filed, the Board can only confirm to a complainant whether the complaint investigation is still ongoing, but cannot provide specific status or progress updates.
w INVESTIGATION PROCESS:
Once an investigation is complete by the assigned Investigator, the case is presented to the Consumer Protection Committee (CPC) of the Board in an Executive Session meeting, which is not open to the public. The CPC then provides a consensus to the full Board as to how the case may be adjudicated. The Board members vote on the case disposition during the Public Session portion of a scheduled Board meeting.
As a complainant, the Board will inform you in writing of the outcome once the investigation has been resolved by the Board. If discipline results, that disciplinary action is public information & any individual may request a copy of the Board’s Order(s) issued in the case. If the Board voted to close or dismiss the investigation, the only information that can be provided is a written notice to the complainant that there was a dismissal or closure.
The Investigation process can take some time, though the Compliance Staff moves as quickly as possible while honoring the need to be thorough, consistent & fair. Due to the current open case load & Board resources, investigation cases can take on average, up to nine (9) months to complete & present to the Board for review & action. Board Compliance Staff apologize for this & appreciates your cooperation & patience during the process. Board Compliance Staff review & investigate each complaint filed within the jurisdiction of the Board.
w IF YOU WISH TO FILE A COMPLAINT:
State of Oregon, Board of Licensed Social Workers
Attention: COMPLIANCE DIVISION
3218 Pringle Road S., Suite #240
Salem, OR 97302-6310
Please be as specific & thorough as possible in detailing for the Board, the exact ways in which you believe the licensee has violated one or more of the Board’s laws or Rules. Please identify people & provide copies of records that verify your complaint.
PLEASE KEEP A COPY OF ALL CORRESPONDENCE THAT YOU SUBMIT TO THE BOARD
FOR YOUR RECORDS.
Please review Division 30 (Code of Ethics) and Division 40 (Complaint Procedures) carefully. It is very helpful to the Consumer Protection Committee if you can cite the specific Administrative Rule that you feel has been violated.