The NASW National Board of Directors’ Executive Committee approved the sanctioning of Erika Maxon on April 27, 2011, based on a self-report from this member of the Arizona Chapter. According to the self-report, Maxon developed a personal and sexual relationship with a client who was also a minor.
The National Ethics Committee reviewed the matter and determined that the following sections of the NASW Code of Ethics were violated: 1.06(a) (b) (c), Conflicts of Interest, 1.09(a) (c), Sexual Relationships and 4.05(a) Impairment. Due to the legal issues involved and the egregious nature of the violations, the NEC recommended several corrective actions, including the following: self-report the misconduct to the appropriate state child protective services authorities, in accordance with applicable Arizona child abuse reporting statutes; if currently licensed, self-report to the state licensing board and to her employer at the time of the alleged incident. The member stated that she is no longer in the field of social work, therefore, the NEC also recommended that if Maxon seeks to return to the social work profession, counseling should be sought from a professional with an expertise in the subject areas of the Code of Ethics that were violated for a period of no shorter than one year or until such time that the counselor believes the issues have been successfully resolved.
The NEC requested that the self-reporting NASW member submit proof of completion of the recommended corrective actions within seven days of receipt of the decision letter. In addition, due to the seriousness of the violations, the committee also recommended the following immediate sanction: suspension of the Respondent’s NASW membership and credentials. Proof of successful completion of counseling would be required for consideration of reinstatement of membership. Finally, if the above recommended corrective actions were not completed as scheduled, the NEC recommended the following contingent sanction: publication of findings in the NASW News and Sanctions in Force List.
The complainant did not submit proof of any corrective action taken. In additional to the Executive Committee imposing all contingent and immediate sanctions, the National Ethics Committee reported the child abuse to the appropriate authorities.