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Minimizing Vicarious Liability for Clinical Supervisors
Minimizing Vicarious Liability for Clinical Supervisors

Clinical supervision is an essential component of training and competency development for behavioral health providers and a primary vehicle for assuring that clients receive high-quality care. Liability issues can be among the more stressful aspects of providing clinical supervision. Supervisors need to be aware that they are subject to vicarious liability, where they are held responsible for the actions of their supervisee. This can expose the supervisor to licensing board complaints and potential lawsuits. In reviewing claims data, a liability insurance carrier found that allegations involving supervision were among the top three most common and costly types of adverse incidents affecting counselors (CNA and Healthcare Providers Service Organization, 2019).

This course will explain the common sources of vicarious liability and ways that clinical supervisors can reduce their risks through effective supervision practices. While this course cannot provide you with the legal expertise to determine which specific circumstances will expose you to potential risk, we will explore the common factors that elevate risk and supervision strategies you can use to reduce your risk of vicarious liability. Completely eliminating the risk of liability claims is not possible, however, delivering quality supervision that meets established professional standards may reduce risk.

The goal of this course is to provide addictions, behavioral health counseling, marriage and family therapy, psychology, and social work professionals in health and human service settings with information on how to reduce vicarious liability in clinical supervision.

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