Court: Licensed counselor not needed for health center

CHARLESTON, W.Va.- The West Virginia Supreme Court says a domestic violence counseling center can be considered a behavioral health center by the state government, even though it is not staffed by a licensed counselor.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the justices on Wednesday issued a unanimous opinion overturning a Kanawha County judge’s ruling in the case.

Kanawha County Chief Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey had earlier upheld an administrative decision denying the Domestic Violence Survivors’ Support Group application to be considered a behavioral health center. The nonprofit center, which is doing business as the Domestic Violence Counseling Center, provides counseling to victims of domestic violence.

Justice Margaret Workman wrote in the opinion that Bailey failed to recognize that the center’s nonprofit status means it’s exempt from a requirement to employ a licensed counselor.

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