LAW & ETHICS PART TWO
Writing Letters/Opinions & Treatment of Minors
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Jul 23, 2021 09:00 am – 12:15 pm PST
Topic: Chapter L&E (3 CEs)
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“Writing Letters and Offering Opinions”
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Mike Griffin, LCSW, Esq.
CAMFT Staff Attorney
This 1 ½ hour workshop provides an overview of key issues that are important for therapists to consider when offering their professional opinion, including circumstances where the therapist is asked to write a letter for a client/patient. The workshop will discuss key legal and ethical issues, which apply to this topic, including sections of the Code of Ethics that apply when working with court-involved cases. Vignettes will be utilized for discussion, as time allows.
Participants will gain a greater understanding of key legal and ethical issues that are important to consider before offering a professional opinion regarding a client, including circumstances where a therapist is asked to write a letter or to offer their opinion in in court-involved cases.
Measurable Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to:
1. Describe and discuss three or more sections of the CAMFT Code of ethics that are relevant to consider before writing a letter regarding a client/patient.
2. Describe three or more questions that a therapist should consider before writing a letter for a client.
3. Describe and discuss one or more sections of the CAMFT Code of Ethics that are relevant for a therapist to consider before offering their opinion in a case that is court-involved.
4. Explain why a therapist should consider their scope of competence when offering their professional opinion in a letter, or in testimony.
“The Fundamentals of Minor Consent”
10:45 am – 12:15 pm
Alain Montgomery, Esq.
CAMFT Staff Attorney
Working with minors requires an understanding of the laws that pertain to minor consent. During this 90-minute presentation, CAMFT Staff Attorney Alain Montgomery will review who can lawfully consent to a minor’s mental health care treatment in California, the criteria specified in pertinent laws authorizing minors to consent to their own treatment, and common issues related to the confidentiality of the minor’s healthcare information.
Participants will gain a better understanding of the applicable minor consent laws and the CAMFT ethical standard(s) that relate to minor consent. As a result of the workshop, participants will be better equipped to make informed legally and ethically sound decisions when working with minors.
Measurable Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:
1) Define the elements required for valid consent of a minor’s mental health treatment under California law 2) Identify the ethical standard(s) relevant to a therapist’s duty to determine who has the legal authority to consent to treatment for a minor
3) Distinguish between legal and physical custody of a minor in California
4) Identify when parents or legal representatives have the legal authority to consent to mental health treatment for a minor
5) Identify the circumstances and laws that allow a minor to consent to their own mental health treatment in California
6) Distinguish the laws that determine when either parents/legal representatives or minors are authorized to inspect, access and authorize the disclosure of the minor’s confidential information
I. Introduction – Fundamental Considerations When Treating Minors
a. The age of the minor
b. The minor’s family system
c. The mechanism that allows a non-biological parent adult to consent to a minor’s treatment
d. Other laws linked to minor consent laws that prescribe who can inspect, access and authorize the disclosure of the minor’s confidential information
a. The Therapist’s Ethical Expectation: CAMFT Code of Ethics 10.11
b. The Definition of Consent
c. Who Qualifies as a Minor Under California Law?
III. Individuals Other Than a Minor Who Can Lawfully Consent to a Minor’s Health Care Treatment
i. Biological Parents:
1. Married Parents
2. Unmarried Parents
ii. Rights Determined by a Custody Order – Divorced Parents or Unmarried Parents Whose Rights are determined by a Custody Order
1. Legal Custody
2. Physical Custody
a. Divorced Parents with Joint Legal Custody
b. Divorced Parents where one Parent has Sole Legal Custody
iii. Legal Guardians: Legal guardians generally have the same rights as biological parents with respect to making mental health care decisions for minor children under their care
iv. Adoptive Parents
v. Foster Parents
vi. Wards or Dependents of the Court
vii. Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit
2. Domestic Partners
IV. Minors Who Possess the Legal Authority to Consent to Their Own Treatment
a. Circumstances Where Minors Can Consent to Their Own Treatment
i. Emancipated Minor ii. Minors Living Separate and Apart of Parents
iii. Minors who are Married
iv. Minors who are in the Armed Forces
v. Minors Seeking Dependency Treatment
vi. Laws that Give Minors the Right to Consent to Their Own Treatment
1. Family Code
2. Health and Safety Code 3. Which of the Two Laws May Providers Rely On?
V. Minor Consent Under HIPAA
VI. Parental Right’s to a Minor’s Health Care Information
1. Information Parents Entitled to Know about the Minor’s Treatment 2. Parental Right’s to Access/Inspect the Minor’s Health Care Record
3. Parental Right’s to Authorize the Release or Disclosure of the Minor’s Health Care Record
VII. Minor’s Right to Health Care Information
a. Minor’s Right to Inspect/Access his/her Health Care Record
b. Minor’s Right to Authorize the Release of his/her Health Care Record
VIII. Best Practices When Treating Minors
a. Determine the relationship of the individual requesting service on behalf of the minor
b. Review any applicable court documents (i.e., custody order, parentage order, birth certificate)
c. At the outset of treatment, clarify your role with the child and the parents; clarify whom you will communicate with, what you will communicate, when you will provide status updates to the parents and how you will do that.
IX. Rights not Linked to Consent: The Decision to Invoke or Waive Privilege on Behalf of a Minor
a. Only the minor’s attorney, or the minor’s court-appointed guardian ad litem can make the decision to waive or invoke privilege on behalf of the minor.
Michael Griffin, Esq., LCSW has been a member of the CAMFT legal team since 2007. A graduate of the USC School of Social Work and Chapman University School of Law, Mr. Griffin earned his LCSW in 1982 and his California license as an Attorney in 2002. He has a broad professional background in various mental health settings (including Western Youth Services in Orange County, California, and Rady Children’s Psychiatry Dep’t in San Diego) as a clinician, administrator, supervisor, clinical case manager, school program coordinator, and outpatient clinic director, and has served as an oral examiner for LCSW candidates. In addition to his work for CAMFT, Mr. Griffin is a practicing psychotherapist with adults, adolescents and children in Laguna Niguel, California.
Alain Lance Montgomery, Esq., is a member of the State Bar of California. Alain received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Juris Doctor degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Prior to joining the CAMFT legal department, Alain worked in public interest law as a legal advisor for the Superior Court of California where he helped self-represented parties navigate the complexities of small claims litigation. As a member of the CAMFT legal department, Alain has served as part of the support staff for the CAMFT Ethics Committee and has represented the Association at various state regulatory board meetings. After graduating from college and before attending law school, Alain worked as a ski instructor at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort.
It is the Refund Policy of Central San Joaquin Valley Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists is as follows: Fees for chapter events are nonrefundable except in the case the event is cancelled or rescheduled. Due to the current pandemic issues facing our country, refunds will be considered by the Continuing Education committee and Board of Directors.
Should you have a grievance, question or concerns regarding this course, the instructor, or any other aspects of our Continuing Education Program, please contact the Continuing Education Program Administrator or Chapter President. Contact information can be found on our website at www.camft-csjvchapter.org. Our Program Administrator will work diligently to rectify your concerns to your satisfactory as quickly as possible.
Facilities in which Central San Joaquin Valley Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists have agreed to utilize are accessible to persons with disabilities. If you have a special need and plan to attend the workshop, please contact Michael Crile, at (559) 931-5618 or Michael.email@example.com. Please allow as much advanced notice as is possible to ensure that we have ample time to meet your required needs.
Course meets the qualifications for 3 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs , LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Central San Joaquin Valley Chapter of CAMFT is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs. Central San Joaquin Valley Chapter of CAMFT maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. (CEP #62276)