Sex with an under-age client alleged: state suspends counselor - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sex with an under-age client alleged: state suspends counselor

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Charges of having sex with a 17-year-old female client led the state Department of Health to immediately suspend the credential of a Pierce County registered counselor.

The credential of Andrew Phillips (RC.RC.60010154) has been immediately suspended. He cannot practice or work as a counselor in Washington pending the outcome of a hearing.

Charging documents in the case say Phillips abused his position of trust and took advantage of a vulnerable minor. He violated patient boundaries by allegedly having sex with the minor. She was living with Phillips at the time and was placed in the home as part of a dependency action.

Phillips provided counseling services to the teen in July and August 2009. The statement of charges says Phillips hugged and kissed the minor, and engaged in oral sex and sexual intercourse with her multiple times between October and November 2009.

Consumers who believe a health care provider acted unprofessionally are encouraged to call the Department of Health at 360-236-4700 to report their complaint. A complaint form is also online (www.doh.wa.gov/hsqa/Professions/documents/complaint.pdf). The form can be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to the agency's Health Systems Quality Assurance division.

The Department of Health protects and promotes public health, safety, and welfare in Washington by regulating the competency and quality of health care providers. The agency establishes, monitors, and enforces qualifications for licensing, consistent standards of practice, continuing competency mechanisms, and discipline. Rules, policies, and procedures promote the delivery of quality health care to people in Washington.

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