News & Views | June 2021

Tuesday, June 01, 2021 8:25 PM | Anonymous

Adele Natter Margot Aronson, Committee co-chairs


As of the first week in May, the District of Columbia Board of Social Work has opened the renewal process for DC licensees due by July 31, 2021.  All current licensees should have received an email with detailed instructions, sent by Mavis Azariah, the Board’s Health Licensing Specialist, in late April.  Be aware that there will be no paper option this year; all renewals must be made on-line.

If you have not received the informative email, please let Ms. Azariah know.  And, if your information (name, mailing address, email address, phone number, etc.) has changed since your last renewal, please send your new contact information to her at   For name changes, you will need to include a copy of the name change document/s (marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc.).


The Public Health Emergency was extended by Mayor Bowser to May 20, 2021.  At this writing, it is not expected to be extended again beyond that date.

The DC Licensure Waiver  was extended to May 20, 2021 and was recently amended so that the waiver is in effect 60 days beyond the end date of the Public Health Emergency.  But any clinical social workers working for continuity of care in DC under the waiver, who plan to continue working in DC,  should apply for licensure in DC now.

Telehealth Policy: Clinical social workers can practice using audio, visual, and telephone, as long as they practice within ethical and HIPAA standards of care. This policy will likely be in place for some time after the end of the public health emergency, or perhaps made permanent. Watch for an announcement on the Board’s website as well as the GWSCSW list-serve.

Continuing Education policy changes: The requirement for live, in-person, interactive CE classes has been suspended during the current licensing period, to July 31, 2021.  CE  classes can be recorded or online; but in-person classes also meet the CE requirements.  

40 hours of approved CE units per licensing cycle are required and must include:

  • 6 hours of Ethics
  • 2 hours of LGBTQ training
  • 4 hours in Public Health Priorities

The required Public Health Priorities CEUs must relate to one or more of the following key public health priorities:

  1. Responsible opioid prescribing and effective pain management;
  2. Nutrition and obesity prevention;
  3. Identifying and reporting abuse (child and adult), neglect (child and adult), human trafficking, and domestic violence;
  4. Sexual health (including taking sexual history, discussing sexual experiences with patients, sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/AIDS), HPV vaccines, connections to cancer, latent tuberculosis, safe sex, and birth control);
  5. Ethics and appropriate patient interactions (i.e. boundaries, patient privacy, and communications including telehealth);
  6. Smoking, vaping, and tobacco (including dangers, smoking cessation, and non-smoke tobacco products);
  7. Preparing your patients for an emergency and handling vulnerable populations in an emergency;
  8. Identifying impairment (physical or mental) in patients and providers (including complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act);
  9. Vaccinations (including legal requirements and appropriate exemptions); and, 
  10. Implicit bias, cultural competence and Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in health and health care.

Ethics CEUs can be used to satisfy the Public Health Priorities when the topic fits one of the 10 categories listed above (which are pretty broad).  On your license renewal you will indicate which Public Health Priority is covered by the CEU.

LBGTQ CEUs are separate and may not be used to satisfy another requirement. 

There is no longer a requirement for HIV CEUs.

More detailed information and cites can be found on the DC Social Work Board website.


Thank you to everyone for your attention and questions about the DC Board of Social Work, its policies, and policy  changes during the pandemic.  Quite a few of our members have attended Board meetings and advocated on issues of interest.  The Board has taken notice of your interest and advocacy and has become more responsive and cognizant of the effects of policies and policy changes ‘on the ground.'

Remember:  DC Board of Social Work Open Session meetings are, typically, the 4th Monday of each month, beginning at 10 AM.  A detailed agenda, the virtual meeting link, and the minutes from the last meeting are all on the website several days before the meeting.  Proposed agenda items must be submitted to Ms. Azariah at least a week before the meeting.  We have observed that robust attendance by the public is welcomed and, clearly, valued by the Board. NEXT DC BOARD MEETING is scheduled for Monday, June 28, 10:00 am 


On January 3 of this year, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced bill HR 51 to the House, with 216 co-sponsors in support of DC Statehood.  The bill passed on April 22, with a bipartisan 216 to 208 vote!

The House bill is now in the Senate. The Senate version, S 51, introduced by Senator Tom Carper of Delaware on January 26, has 45 cosponsors.  The numbers of cosponsors on each bill represent a huge (and obviously effective) effort on the part of District residents to educate our families and friends and colleagues in states across the nation about the importance of this issue.  Kudos!

And now, the rights of DC residents to have a voice in the selection of those who make the laws we must obey - and an end to the rights of Congressional members from around the country to nullify and amend our local laws at whim - is in the hands of the Senate. 

Adele Natter, LICSW, Co-Chairs the GWSCSW Legislation & Advocacy Committee for DC.. Adele has been an active participant on the Committee for the past four years; she represented GWSCSW on a Board of Social Work sub-committee, which included NASW and CSWA representatives. Adele maintains a private practice focused on helping individuals with anger and emotional regulation issues. She is also a Clinical Instructor in the Psychiatry Residency Program of the George Washington University Medical School. She holds a BA in Psychology from UCLA and received her MSW from the University of Maryland.

Margot Aronson, LICSW, co-chairs the GWSCSW Legislation and Advocacy Committee for DC along with Adele Natter, LICSW. A past GWSCSW president, she has also served as newsletter editor and director of Legislation & Advocacy. Margot currently advocates on mental health and LCSW practice issues for us all at the national level as the Clinical Social Work Association Deputy Director for Policy and Practice.

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