News & Views | December 2020

Tuesday, December 01, 2020 8:32 PM | Anonymous

Margot Aronson & Adele Natter

By the time this newsletter is in your hands (or your inbox), a number of decisions will have been made, ranging from the direction of the country for the next four years to a certain change in policy clarified by the DC Board of Social Work.

For those of us living and/or working in the District of Columbia, the election will also have brought about some relevant changes in the Council, the school board, and neighborhood commissions: will the newly elected folks help our DC government address inequities which limit access of minority communities to health and mental health treatment?

Having seen the Covid-19 statistics, we LICSWs will want to learn what we can about the specific social determinants of health/mental health in DC, and to do what we can to be sure that inequities are being addressed.

At the DC Board of Social Work

The issue before the Board in October and November has to do with the months between an MSW’s graduation and the opportunity to sit for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) national examination for the Licensed Graduate Social Worker license. Without a license, the MSW may not practice under the LGSW scope of practice, and, if reported to the Board for doing so, is likely to face a reprimand and a steep fine.

Several area agencies have asked for consideration of a “supervised practice form” that would make it possible for the new graduates, during the waiting period and under LICSW supervision, to begin to get a feel for the career they have chosen.

The Board will have to determine how such a supervised practice would be monitored and tracked, and what responsibilities the agencies that participate would have. The Board also will need to have conversations with the test developer, ASWB, before developing such a form.

Among the questions being considered are:

  • Does the exam pass rate increase with the use of supervised practice?
  • Will monitoring obligations significantly increase the Board’s workload? (Please remember that Board members are volunteers.)

Two final Board items:

The Board is still short one member, who must be a Licensed Social Work Associate (Bachelor’s level), live in DC, and not be a DC government employee. Please encourage any eligible colleagues to apply.

There will be no Open Session meeting of the DC Board of Social Work in December.

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.

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.
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