As an increasing number of Michigan social workers look to private practice as a means of providing services to clients, they face many complex and often overwhelming issues. Questions about fee-setting, ethics, supervision, third-party reimbursement, liability and malpractice insurance are among the many concerns frequently voiced. Created specifically for Michigan clinical social workers, NASW-Michigan has developed a comprehensive manual to addresses many issues and challenges facing the private practitioner, and provides guidelines for establishing and maintaining a successful private practice.
Additionally, NASW-Michigan offers members the opportunity to join special interest work groups. These work groups provide an excellent avenue for new and experienced members of the profession to meet, network and discuss important topics related to a specific area of practice. The Michigan Private Practice Work Group meets on the first Friday of each month (10-11:30am) to update members on issues of insurance, best-practice strategies, peer review, legislative issues and to ask-and-receive answers to questions, ethical issues and any other concerns related to private practice. If you are interested in getting involved please email Director of Member Services & Development Duane Breijak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The most often asked questions during meetings are related to starting a private practice. For this reason, the NASW-Michigan Private Practice Work Group was determined to address this issue by creating a manual for Michigan social workers. To purchase your manual visit http://bit.ly/1RrjFzX. (available to NASW members only)
Much effort, time and research has gone into the development of this manual. It was the goal of the work group to provide a starting point for professionals who are looking toward opening a private practice of their own. As with many new endeavors, additional supports are helpful; the intent the authors hope to provide. If you are thinking of starting a private practice of your own, or are currently practicing, you are encouraged to join the NASW-Michigan chapter Private Practice work group for support, networking, and continual professional development.
Private Practice Tip of the Month:
How Long Do Social Workers Need to Retain Clinical Records?
The State of Michigan requires social workers to retain their clinical records for at least seven (7) years or for seven (7) years after the client reaches the age of majority (18), unless a longer period of retention is required by federal law or is the generally accepted standard of practice. During this time, the clinical record must be kept safe and protected to ensure confidentiality and should be accessible and available to clients. After the period of retention, the files may be destroyed in a manner that ensures confidentiality. Individual insurance companies may mandate longer periods of retention. It is the clinical social worker’s responsibility to be aware of these requirements. NASW Assurance Services recommends lifetime retention of case files.