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Ethics Violations Bring Sanctions

The social worker knew the relationship violated the code and did nothing to prevent it.

The Executive Committee of the NASW Board of Directors on June 24, 2005, sanctioned a social worker who was found by the Montana Chapter to have violated the association's Code of Ethics.

The Executive Committee imposed the sanctions because Craig Simmons, a social worker from Montana, failed to complete corrective actions recommended by the chapter.

During a hearing, the chapter determined that Simmons violated code section 1.06 Conflicts of Interest (b) and (c); section 1.09 Sexual Relationships (a), (b) and (c); section 1.16 Termination of Services (d); and section 5.05 Integrity of the Profession (a).

Simmons, who was married, allowed and encouraged a sexual relationship with a married client that resulted in two divorces. He later married and eventually divorced the client. Simmons acknowledged knowing that his relationship was in violation of the code and did nothing to prevent the relationship from developing.

The Executive Committee voted to revoke Simmons' NASW membership and credentials, notify the Montana licensing board of the infractions, and publish the sanctions for one year in the NASW News and on NASW's Web site and in the Montana Chapter's newsletter.

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