In Texas, HHSC regulates licensure for the following professions:
- Social Workers
- Licensed Professional Counselors
- Marriage and Family Therapists
- Chemical Dependency Counselors
- Sex Offender Treatment Providers
The Complaints Management and Investigative Section of HHSC will make a determination regarding the validity of a complaint and, if necessary, will initiate an investigation. Texas law allows a complaint against a licensed human services professional to be filed up to five years after the termination of the professional relationship between yourself and a client. The filing time is longer if the client was a minor.
During the disciplinary process, if you are the subject of a complaint, you have rights and legal options. When a disciplinary investigation is opened, you will have an opportunity to respond to the initial allegations. With completion of the investigation, the complaint may be dismissed based on your initial response and other evidenced gathered.
However, the investigation may result in the case moving forward through the investigatory process, at which time you may have the opportunity for an informal conference, a remedial plan, or the case may be heard at an administrative hearing. Final decisions by the Board can be appealed at the Travis County district court level.
If a complaint is found to be credible, the consequences could include a formal reprimand, a license suspension, or even revocation. Moreover, the Commission publishes disciplinary actions online for up to seven years after the completion of the disciplinary process and a determination of any penalty – meaning the damage to your career can be serious. That’s why you want to do all you can to protect your license and your reputation.