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Boundary Issues Figure in Ethics Sanctions

Two social workers are sanctioned for Code of Ethics violations.

The NASW National Board of Directors' Executive Committee has approved sanctions against two social workers for NASW Code of Ethics violations, based on surrogate complaints filed by NASW chapters.

Deborah A. Willey. The committee approved the sanctioning of Deborah A. Willey in September 2006, based on a surrogate complaint submitted by the New Hampshire Chapter.

Willey entered into a settlement agreement with the State of New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice in which she admitted to engaging in a dual relationship with significant boundary violations while treating a patient over a period of more than three years.

The board reprimanded Willey and revoked her license to practice social work for a minimum of four years, beginning May 13, 2005. To reapply for her license, Willey must meet board requirements including but not limited to obtaining psychological evaluation and treatment, engaging in continuing education during the period of revocation and engaging in supervision for no less than 12 consecutive months.

The NASW Executive Committee found Willey in violation of NASW Code of Ethics sections 1.04 Competence, 1.06 Conflicts of Interest, 1.07(b)(c)(i) Privacy and Confidentiality, 3.04(a) Client Records, 3.05 Billing and 4.01(c) Competence.

The committee approved suspension of her NASW membership and any NASW-issued credentials, publication of the findings and sanctions in the national NASW News, and publication in the "Sanctions in Force" list until May 13, 2009.

Willey may be reconsidered for NASW membership at a future date, with verification that she completed the licensing board's recommended actions and that her license is reinstated.

Anthony Matranga. The NASW Executive Committee approved sanctions against Anthony Matranga of Texas based on a surrogate complaint submitted by the Texas Chapter.

In December 2003, the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners' Ethics Committee issued an agreed order concluding that Matranga violated the rules for social work licensure by engaging in conduct unbecoming to the profession of social work.

The board concluded in part that that Matranga violated rules related to reporting neglect and abuse, setting and maintaining professional boundaries, having sexual contact with a client and exploiting his position of trust with a client or person who has been a client.

The board imposed a 10-year suspension of Matranga's license, among other recommendations during the period of suspension.

Based on Texas board's findings, the NASW Executive Committee found Matranga in violation of the NASW Code of Ethics sections 1.06(b) Conflicts of Interest and 1.09(a)(c) Sexual Relationships.

The committee approved suspension of his NASW membership and credentials, publication of the findings in the national NASW News, and publication in the "Sanctions in Force" list for 10 years or until such time as Matranga provides proof that he has met all conditions set out by the Texas board, whichever is earlier.

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