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Ethical Practice


Standards of Practice

The Standards of Practice included in sections 185 to 290 of the Social Work Practice Act govern ethical social work practice in Minnesota. The purpose of the Standards of Practice is to protect the public by ensuring that all social workers licensed in Minnesota meet minimum standards. The Board of Social Work has the authority take action against a license in the rare event professional standards are not met. 
As a licensed professional, you are responsible for being aware of and comply with the laws regulating social work practice in Minnesota. Each Standard contains multiple provisions, so it is important to carefully read each Standard to ensure you know the relevant regulations for your practice.
Use the links below to review the Standards of Practice:

Other Resources for Ethical Practice

  • Watch: 'What is Ethical Social Work Practice?' video

  • Watch: 'Compliance Process' video

  • Complaint Investigation & Resolution Process

  • Electronic Practice Reports

  • Compliance Toolkit

  • The Compliance Toolkit is a regular feature of the Board's quarterly newsletter that provides tools for handling common ethical dilemmas and issues related to the Standards of Practice found in the Minnesota Social Work Practice Act.

    • Fall 2018 - Can an intern work under another social worker's license until they pass the exam?
    • Winter 2019 - Can a Minnesota social worker provide telehealth services to a client in another state?
    • Spring 2019 - What should I do if I have concerns about a coworker's chemical, mental, or physical health and their ability to practice? 
    • Fall 2019 - What if I am asked to perform a task at my job that I feel is outside the scope of my practice?
    • Winter 2020 - What happens if a complaint is filed against my license?
    • Summer 2020 - Does a DWI need to be reported to the Board at the time of license renewal, and if so, what will happen?
    • Fall/Winter 2020 - How should I handle concerns about client confidentiality and providing telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic?
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