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CE Program - Complex Documentation Challenges in Clinical Social Work: Ethical and Risk-Management Issues

  • February 23, 2024
  • 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Online ZOOM
  • 0


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Complex Documentation Challenges in Clinical Social Work: Ethical and Risk-Management Issues

February 23, 2024 | 11:00 am to 2:00 pm Eastern Time

Presenter: Dr. Frederic Reamer

Target Audience: Clinical Social Workers and other Behavioral Health Professionals

Content level: Intermediate to Advanced

CE credits: 3 (Ethics)

About the webinar:

Clinical social workers face complex documentation decisions that can have profound consequences. When is it appropriate to be vague in a clinical note in order to protect clients? Should parents of minor clients have a right to access clinicians' records? How should practitioners respond to subpoenas that demand disclosure of records? Under what circumstances should clients have access to their own records? Substandard documentation can harm clients and expose social workers to the risk of ethics complaints and litigation. This webinar will include a succinct overview of documentation challenges in social work. Dr. Frederic Reamer will draw on his extensive experience as an expert witness in litigation and licensing board cases and highlight key decisions clinical social workers make regarding the purposes, content, wording, and storage of documentation. He will review relevant ethical standards and legal considerations and risks. Case examples will be included.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this webinar participants will be able to: 

  1. Identify documentation challenges in clinical social work.
  2. Apply key social work ethics standards
  3. Develop policies and protocols to protect clients.

    About the instructor:

    Frederic G. Reamer is Professor Emeritus in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College, where he has been on the faculty since 1983. His research and teaching have addressed a wide range of human service issues, including mental health, health care, criminal justice, public welfare, and professional ethics. Dr. Reamer received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1978) and has served as a social worker in correctional and mental health settings. He has also taught at the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration (1978-1981), and the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Social Work (1981-1983). 

    Dr. Reamer has served as Director of the National Juvenile Justice Assessment Center of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (1979-1981); as Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor of Rhode Island (1987-1990); and as a Commissioner of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation, the state housing finance agency (1987-1995). Dr. Reamer served on the State of Rhode Island Parole Board from 1992 to 2016. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Social Work Education (1990-1994). He serves as Associate Editor of the National Association of Social Workers Encyclopedia of Social Work (Oxford University Press and National Association of Social Workers). Since 2012, Dr. Reamer has served as the ethics instructor in the Providence (RI) Police Department Training Academy.

    Dr. Reamer has conducted extensive research on professional ethics. He has been involved in national research projects sponsored by The Hastings Center, the Carnegie Corporation, the Haas Foundation, and the Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Healthcare at the Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania. He has published 24 books and 175 journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia articles.  

      Dr. Reamer has been an essayist on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition (“This I Believe” series), a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and a guest on various radio and television broadcasts. Since 2007, Dr. Reamer has served as host and producer of the National Public Radio series This I Believe—New England, broadcast weekly. He is featured in the podcast series Trapped in Treatment produced by Paris Hilton, Warner Brothers, and iHeart Media; Yahoo News national series  Unfiltered; and as a commentator in the video documentaries, America’s Serial Killers: Portraits in Evil and Rampage: Killing without Reason. He is also a featured expert on the PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) series This Emotional Life.  

      Dr. Reamer has lectured extensively nationally and internationally (including India, China, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Djibouti, Bahrain, Indonesia, Diego Garcia, Spain, Romania, Poland, Greece, and Canada) on the subjects of professional ethics and professional malpractice and liability. He has served as an adjunct professor and visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, Tulane University, Simmons University, Smith College, University of Oklahoma, and Augsburg University.  Dr. Reamer chaired the national task force that wrote the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and served on the code revision task force. He chaired the international commission sponsored by the Association of Social Work Boards to develop Model Regulatory Standards for Technology and Social Work Practice. Dr. Reamer also chaired the national task force sponsored jointly by the National Association of Social Workers, Association of Social Work Boards, Council on Social Work Education, and Clinical Social Work Association to develop Technology Standards in Social Work Practice. He has served as an expert witness and consultant in 130 court and licensing board cases addressing professional ethics. 

      Dr. Reamer received the "Distinguished Contributions to Social Work Education" award from the Council on Social Work Education (1995); Presidential Award from the National Association of Social Workers (1997); Richard Lodge Prize from Adelphi University for “outstanding contributions to the development of social work theory” (2005); Edith Abbott Award from the University of Chicago for “distinguished service to society and outstanding contributions at the local, national or international levels” (2005); Neil J. Houston, Jr. Memorial Award for “dedicated service and citizen contribution toward the criminal justice profession and the public interest” (2009); International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award from the National Association of Social Workers for significantly advancing "the public image of social work" (2012); Excellence in Ethics Award from the National Association of Social Workers (2015); and inaugural Contributor Award from the Association of Social Work Boards (2019). In 2016 Dr. Reamer was named a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers for his "commitment and dedication to the social work profession and to the improvement of social and human conditions at the local, state, national, and international levels."    

      Fee & Registration:

      The cost is $70 for CSWA members, and $95 for non-members. If you are not a CSWA member, click here to learn more about CSWA benefits and join today.  Registrations will be accepted until the start of the webinar or until the webinar is full. Cancellations must be received 48 hours prior to the live webinar to receive a refund. Each registered participant will receive zoom log-in information via email from two days prior to the webinar.

      Course interaction & CE completion requirements:

      This live webinar is fully interactive. Attendees may ask and answer questions throughout the presentation and participate in instructor-led discussions.

      To earn 3 CE credits, participants must log in at the scheduled time, attend the entire course, complete and pass an online post-test and complete a course evaluation. Certificates of completion will be provided once the evaluation is submitted.

      System Requirements to Participate:

      On a PC:
      Internet Explorer 9, Mozilla Firefox 34, Google Chrome 39 (JavaScript enabled) or the latest version of each web browser
      Windows XP, Windows Server 2008 or later
      Cable modem, DSL or better Internet connection (1 Mbps or faster)
      Dual-core 2.4GHz CPU or faster with 2GB or more of RAM

      On a Mac:
      Safari 6, Firefox 34, Google Chrome 39 (JavaScript enabled) or the latest version of each web browser
      Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or newer
      Cable modem, DSL or better Internet connection (1 Mbps or faster)
      Intel processor (2GB of RAM or better)

      Participants wishing to connect to audio using VoIP will need a fast Internet connection, a microphone, and speakers (a USB headset is recommended).

      On an iPad, iPhone, Android or Windows mobile device:
      Free Zoom at ; WiFi connection recommended for VoIP audio

      Special Accommodations: 

      To request special accommodations, please contact our administrator immediately upon registration. All special requests must be made within a minimum of 5 business days prior to the event.

      CE Provider Information:

      Clinical Social Work Association, provider #1719, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 8/23/23-8/23/26. Social workers completing this course receive 3 ethics continuing education credits.

      Unsure if your state accepts ACE program for continuing education credit? Please click HERE for a map, and check with your state board for their licensure renewal requirements. 

      Questions? Contact Angela Katona, CSWA Executive Administrator at

      If you do not receive an email upon registering, please reach out for assistance by emailing All inquiries regarding registration status, links or other event-related concerns must be made at least 24 hours prior the start of an event. Staff will not be able to provide assistance right before or during the event. 

      This program will be recorded for registrants. 

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