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News & Press: Professional Guidance

New rule for social workers with criminal charges in effect.

Friday, January 25, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Attn: Future social workers who have criminal charges

There is a new, active rule in Ohio Administrative Code that could limit your employment options based on criminal background. This rule relates to social workers (and other providers) who want to provide services like case management and psychotherapy to Medicaid consumers. Many entry-level social work jobs rely on Medicaid provider enrollment, so it is important that you consider seriously whether this rule could limit your opportunities post-graduation.

The good news is that there are options you may be able to pursue now to avoid any delay as you start your career.


Want to find out if this rule could impact you?

First, read through OAC 5160-1-17.8 Provider screening and application fee to see which tier contains your particular charge(s). Note that the exclusionary time period doesn’t start until after all probation, parole, or incarceration is finished. If you find that your particular charge(s) will limit your ability to enroll as a Medicaid provider either, you should then determine your options. Please watch this video from the Ohio Poverty Law Center on the ODM rule and what options might be available if it impacts you.

We know that this process might be scary and frustrating. Please remember that NASW Ohio has been and will continue advocating for policies that are accommodating and accepting of social workers with criminal backgrounds. If you are worried that this rule will have a negative impact on your next steps post-graduation, we recommend sharing your concerns with your advisors early so that you can prepare and plan for success. NASW Ohio is here as a resource as well - (614) 461-4484.


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