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How Do I File a Complaint?

You may file a complaint if you believe a licensed Counselor, Social Worker or Marriage & Family Therapist has violated the law, rules or ethical standards governing the practice of social work. Complaints must be submitted in writing using one of the following two options:

1) The State's occupational licensing portal (preferred), or: 

2)  You can also submit a paper complaint form:  Complaint

How Do I Know if I Should File a Complaint?

You should file a written complaint if a licensed Counselor, Social Worker or Marriage & Family Therapist has:

  • Abused or mistreated you or any client in any way, verbally, financially or sexually.
  • Lied to or misled you or any client in the provision of services or billing.
  • Suffered discriminatory or culturally inappropriate treatment.
  • Treated you or any client while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Released information without your consent.
  • Been negligent in your treatment or in the treatment of any client.
  • Shown an inability to practice safely and competently for any reason.

What Happens after I File a Complaint?

Complete details on the Board's Investigative process can be found here.

The Board has the authority to discipline Licensed Counselors, Social Workers or Marriage & Family Therapists. All complaints are reviewed by the Deputy Director to assess jurisdiction and severity. If warranting investigation, complaints are set up as official investigations and assigned an investigator. Through an investigation process that may include interviews, research, subpoenaing documents, or legal consultation, the allegations are substantiated or dismissed.

The Board's Professional Standards Committees review all investigations. The committee may require the licensed Counselor, Social Worker or Marriage & Family Therapist to respond in writing, in a face-to-face meeting, or through legal counsel. A committee may decide that it should investigate the complaint further, or the committee may take action based on the findings of the investigation. If the investigation shows that a licensed Counselor, Social Worker or Marriage and Family Therapist has violated laws, rules or ethical standards they may face:

  • Permanent reprimand placed on the license
  • Disciplinary action, including suspension or revocation of the license or certificate
  • Probation and/or limitations added to the license or certificate through the implementation of a legal consent agreement, constructed by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office
  • Additionally, the Board may require the licensee to take part in impairment-appropriate therapy or treatment