greater washington society
for clinical social work

Promoting the highest standards of clinical social work practice through education, advocacy, and community.

DC Legislative advocacy

Acting Director:  Judy Gallant jg708@columbia.edu
DC Chair: Margot Aronson malevin@erols.com

Please see the alerts below to learn more about L&A activities in DC.

  • Sunday, September 01, 2019 1:51 PM | Anonymous

    DC Board of Social Work update

    The effort of the DC Board of Social Work to develop policy to enable LGSWs to work in private practice settings in order to gain their supervised work experience for the LICSW application is nearing its final shape; the Board is planning to vote on a final policy statement at the September Board meeting. Creating such a policy has required considerable work on the part of the Board: although LGSW training and supervision in agencies is monitored by the Department of Behavioral Health, at present there is no comparable system in place for monitoring LGSW training and supervision in private practice. In fact, just this spring the ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards) established a task force to consider issues in supervision, in light of a variety of questions and concerns raised by Boards across the country.

    GWSCSW members anxious to have the new policy in place have diligently attended the Open Session of Board meetings over the past 8 months. They presented a carefully crafted petition for the Board to review, presented information based on their clinical experience, and gradually earned a role as a sought-after resource. For its part, the Board maintained transparency and decorum as they deliberated (not always an easy feat); they followed through with research when needed; and where in the early sessions patience at times wore thin on one side or the other, the July meeting was collegial, collaborative, and mutually respectful, as well as very productive.

    The Board will not be meeting in August; the next meeting will be Sept 23, with the Open Session beginning, as usual, at 10 AM. Hopefully the policy statement will be ready for a final vote.

    Wanda Wheeler, LICSW, joins the DC Board

    At the July meeting, Board Chair Velva Spriggs, LISW, introduced Wanda Wheeler, LICSW, who joins Danielle Nelson, LGSW, and Selerya Moore, Consumer Member, on the Board. A warm welcome to Ms. Wheeler!

    The Board is still lacking its LSWA member.

    Of the 5,386 licensed DC social workers, 3,718 are LICSWs; 1,533 are LGSWs, 56 are LISWs, and 79 are LSWAs.

    House of Representatives Hearing on DC Statehood Bill

    Please take note that a House of Representatives hearing on H.R.51, Washington DC Admission Act for DC Statehood, will take place on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 10 AM in the in Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2154. Will you be there?

    Statehood requires approval by a simple majority vote of each House of Congress and the President’s signature. It is the simplest and most constitutional way to make the people of the District of Columbia full citizens of the United States of America. Maybe not in this Congress… but every step counts!

  • Saturday, June 01, 2019 9:37 PM | Anonymous

    Following up on the good news announced in Judy Gallant’s article in the March newsletter, that Adele Natter, LICSW, has agreed to be co-chair of the GWSCSW’s DC Legislation and Advocacy Committee, a more formal introduction to the experience she brings to the position is in order.

    Adele has been active with our committee for several years, with a special focus on DC Board of Social Work issues. In private practice since 1998, she is also a Clinical Instructor at the George Washington Medical School’s Psychiatry Residency Program, and supervises graduate social workers working toward advanced licensure. Her previous career has primarily been in mental health clinics and in trauma work.

    In addition to her BA in Psychology from UCLA and her MSW from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Adele holds certifications from the Washington School of Psychiatry in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy and in Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), and has had post-graduate training in psychodynamic psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

    Here’s a hearty welcome to Adele, and a thank-you for stepping forward to take a leadership role.

    And Good News at the April DC Board of Social Work meeting

    At the Open Session of the meeting on April 22, Interim Executive Director Aisha Nixon announced that candidates for the long-vacant Board positions - LICSW and LSWA - are in the final process of being vetted, and hopefully will begin their tenures in time for the June meeting. Ms. Nixon also reported on our latest District of Columbia social work licensee numbers: 5,312 total, with 3,686 LICSWs, 56 LISWs, 1,492 LGSWs, and 78 LSWAs.

    Board Chair Velva Spriggs, LISW, explained that discussion of the Board’s policy on LGSWs working in a private practice setting has been tabled temporarily, while the Board researches supervision issues. She and Board members Danielle Nelson, LGSW, and Selerya Moore spoke of their attendance at a recent meeting of ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards). They shared their enthusiasm about getting to know their counterparts from around the country and Canada, and spoke of the variety of issues faced in other jurisdictions. Happily, ASWB is establishing a Task Force to consider the numerous concerns about supervision; we expect this will be very helpful as our DC Board makes final policy decisions on LGSW private practice issues. ASWB will also be developing a curriculum guide to clarify regulations for college and graduate school social work educators.

    Will the DC Board accept your CEUs?

    Social Work licensees are responsible for making sure that their CEUs will be accepted by their jurisdiction’s Board. Unfortunately, it has become clear that many of our social workers, and a number of organizations, were unaware of the regulation change in 2017, whereby the Board no longer automatically will accept CEUs approved by the Maryland Social Work Board of Examiners. GWSCSW is an approved provider of DC CEUs, but various other organizations have relied on the Maryland approval.

    Before the Open Session of the Board meeting ended, GWSCSW requested that the Board take a new look at the process and qualifications needed for CEU approval.

    For more information about the regulations, the Board’s webpage has a link to the DC Municipal Regulations for Social Work, “Chapter 70 Social Work June 9-8-2017.” CEU information is in section 7009, with the relevant issue at 7009.6. In addition, the HORA – the Health Occupations Revision Act – outlines scope of practice and other social work law; this document is also linked on the DC Board website.

    There was no Board meeting in May. The next meeting of the Board will be Monday, June 24; the Open Session will begin at 10 AM.

    The 2019 License Renewal Process

    The license renewal-on-line process began on May 1, with, as of course you know, a deadline of July 31, 2019. If you have not received an email from the Board explaining the steps of the on-line process, be sure to provide the Board with your updated email address.

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