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Erin LeBel, MSW, LICSW Executive Director Board of Registration of Social Workers (617) 727-3064 revised 1/14.

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Presentation on theme: "Erin LeBel, MSW, LICSW Executive Director Board of Registration of Social Workers (617) 727-3064 revised 1/14."— Presentation transcript:

1 Erin LeBel, MSW, LICSW Executive Director Board of Registration of Social Workers (617) revised 1/14

2 Consumer Protection agent of the Commonwealth. Volunteer members appointed by the Governor {some public (3), some professional (6)} hold monthly meetings. Protect consumers by establishing and enforcing Regulations (i.e. licensure requirements, standards of practice, etc). Enforce via the complaint and discipline process. Who is the Board??

3 Who am I?? DPL Relationship to the Board Board staff –Executive and Associate Ex. Director, & Admin Assistant –Board Counsel –Board Investigator –Prosecutor All staff work is shared with other Boards at the DPL Staff work in an advisory role, as well as to execute all decisions made by the Board All day to day business done by the Staff

4 Do I need a license? In MA in order to call yourself a “social worker” and/or perform “social work” you must be licensed!* * State, county or municipal social workers are exempt from this law. YES!!!

5 Do I still need a license if I’m a Macro major? YES!! Certified LCSW = Licensed Certified Social Worker (not Clinical) Still required by the LAW!

6 How do I get a license? Education Supervision Moral Character Examination

7 What Education is needed? MSW from a CSWE accredited school is required for both the LCSW and LICSW DEGREE MUST BE EARNED

8 What Supervision is needed to become licensed? LCSW = Field Placement Supervision LICSW = 2 years post LCSW by a LICSW!

9 What’s “Moral Character”? Perception of others (References) Professional History (Other licenses) Personal Criminal History (CORI)

10 What Exam is needed? LCSW = ASWB Masters LICSW = ASWB Clinical

11 The Exam Computer based exam taken at a specified testing site 170 multiple choice questions 4 hour testing window Broken down into 10 content areas Scaled score of 75 is MA’s passing score (don’t worry about the number score, if you pass you PASS!) Special accommodations available for candidates with disabilities and ESL candidates

12 Studying??  ASWB’s $30 Study Guide or $85 on-line practice exam (ASWB , or Online at  NASW live test prep course (members $100, non- members $155 No endorsement intended Check with your school regarding other resources that they may have!

13 Will I pass the test? Most Pass the First Time Quality School = Quality Students Close to 90% pass rate in 2011 for MA candidates! YES! YOU WILL PASS

14 BUT……….???? Re-takes available in 90 days $ for Exam only Exam Approval is good for 1 year

15 What is the process? Call ASWB {(866) } or download application (www.aswb.org) Apply Receive approval to test (within approx. 2 weeks) Register for the exam, via ASWB (must wait 1 wk to schedule test date). PASS!!!! Pay for license Receive license **NOT LICENSED UNTIL ACTUALLY PAY FOR YOUR LICENSE**

16 What’s the application require? Notarized application Fee Official sealed transcript 3 references* {1 supervisory, 2 professional} Supervisory reference should be whomever was your placement supervisor. Professional references can be anyone who can attest to your social work abilities and good moral character. *At least 1 reference must hold LCSW or LICSW

17 HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? $173 Application fee $230 for Examination ($260 for LICSW exam) $68 for initial license fee GOOD NEWS= $68 (LCSW) or $82 (LICSW) ONLY every 2 years afterwards. Still one of the lowest in the country!

18 Seeking Licensure in Another State ? Requirements are state specific Most states will recognize exam scores if taken in MA Not all states license at same levels Beware of different acronyms (LCSW=LMSW=LGSW=LSW) Ok to live out of state and maintain MA license For more info about specific state requirements, visit and check out the Laws and Regulations section.

19 Now that you are licensed Some Important Issues … MAILING ADDRESS It is PUBLIC RECORD!!!! Any USPS acceptable address where you can receive mail is ok Keep it Current –On-line change is the easiest –By mail

20 Other Important Issues … THE RULES First set of regulations is free and provided automatically when you request application from ASWB Regulations are also on our website KNOW THE RULES!! Remember this is what the Board enforces via the complaint process!

21 Other Important Issues… SCOPE OF PRACTICE LCSWs may not provide PRIVATE/ INDEPENDENT clinical services; may provide such services ONLY as an employee. AND LCSWs may provide clinical social work services ONLY under LICSW supervision. This is enforced via the complaint process too!

22 Other Important Issues… SUPERVISION: FOR CLINICAL PRACTICE 1 hour per week (or pro-rated), individual, face-to- face, by LICSW. Supervision is required to Maintain your LCSW, it is not just for moving up to the LICSW.

23 SUPERVISION: NON -Clinical LCSW No Supervision Required to MAINTAIN License LCSWs may: Provide non-clinical social work services, as defined in 258 CMR 8.05, including case management services of a non-clinical nature, autonomously in any practice setting;

24 What is Clinical Social Work? Use of your social work knowledge & training to assess, diagnose, prevent or treat disorders, conditions, or addictions. Doing so through the provision of therapy to improve, restore or enhance… Includes: Individual, Family, Group, (etc.) counseling and performance of related collateral contacts and record keeping.

25 What is Non-Clinical Social Work? Use of your social work knowledge & training to improve, restore or enhance through the provision of services other than Counseling. Includes: Case management, community organization, program planning & dev., assessment of needs for non-clinical services…

26 Other Important Issues… CONTINUING ED* –( a) LICSWs – thirty (30) continuing education hours –(b) LCSWs – twenty (20) continuing education hours * Social Workers employed by the state, county or municipal government, shall be exempt from the continuing education requirement

27 Other Important Issues… CONTINUING ED Criteria for Approved Continuing Education: Must be approved by a recognized entity (NASW, ASWB, another state’s SW Board, CSWE SW School) Board Policy allows 25% to come from select few other professions (Psychology, Mental Health, Nursing, etc). Check the Policy 1 st !

28 Other Important Issues… RENEWALS All Social Work licenses expire on 10/1/even year. Approved C.E. is required per renewal cycle (be sure to review the Regs for any changes!) Renewals require certification Random audits are performed after renewal Failed auditees are sanctioned by the Board!

29 Top Five Ways to Avoid Problems if Audited 1. Count CEUs BEFORE submitting renewal. 2. Ensure CEUs are approved by a recognized entity/ meet the Regulatory requirements. 3. Maintain CE documentation for at least 2 licensure cycles. 4. If extenuating circumstances exist that warrant extension to complete CE and/or waiver, request it! Must be requested BEFORE renewing. 5. Keep up to date on any new policies regarding CE requirements.

30 RENEWAL TIMETABLE {- 90 days} Renewal Sent Should be locating all CEU documents now {late +2 days} $57 late fee {late +One year} PAIN, CEUs! {late +Two years} TORTURE, RE-TEST!

31 You are almost there!!! Good luck! Thanks for listening… Remember that our website has a wealth of information! www. mass.gov/dpl/boards/sw

32 ENFORCEMENT Overview of the Complaint Process

33 Complaints by the Numbers There are approximately 20,000 licensed social workers in the Commonwealth On average, the Board opens 100 complaints per fiscal year (Including CE audits) Complaint ≠ Disciplinary action….only an investigation

34 The Complaint Process Complaint Intake Investigation conducted Board Review Decision rendered/ Prosecution

35 Investigation Always begins with licensee notification, includes copy of complaint, and requests response. Investigation may then include: Site visit to clinic/ facility Interview with staff or other third party Clinical or medical records from third party Follow-up information from complainant Any other info, at the discretion of the investigator

36 General Expectations of Response 1.A narrative response to the allegations. 2.A complete set of treatment records when applicable 3.Continuing education certificates for the most recently completed license cycle.

37 Board Review Reviewed at monthly Board meetings. Board may hold informal investigative conference with licensee and complainant to obtain further information and/or request investigator to gather more information Board determines if evidence of a Regulatory violation is shown.

38 Two Potential Outcomes No violation A.Case Dismissed due to:  No violation  Insufficient Evidence B.Case Dismissed with an Advisory  Board concerned, but no probable violation and general advisory issued Evidence of a violation If evidence of a violation, Board will forward to the Office of Prosecutions for formal disciplinary action/ sanctions.

39 Sanctions?! What Sanctions… A range of sanctions can be imposed based upon the severity of the violation(s):  Administrative civil penalty/ Fine  Formal Reprimand  Probation  Stayed Suspension  Suspension  Voluntary Surrender  Revocation

40 Consumer Complaints, Some Common Themes… o Communication o Treatment Records o Boundary Issues o Confidentiality o Competency The vast majority of consumer complaints involve issues related to these topics

41 EASY DO’S TO AVOID A CONSUMER COMPLAINT! Offer referral if needed Ensure fully signed consent forms Complete treatment records…burden of proof on licensee Communicate Know the rules…ignorance is not an accepted justification. Exercise caution, clarity and compassion Use supervision

42 Good luck in your practice as a Social Worker in Massachusetts!


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