Adele Natter, Chair, DC Legislation and Advocacy Committee
The DC Board of Social Work (BOSW) makes and enforces policies that affect our work, such as licensing guidelines. These policies are announced at BOSW meetings and are also placed on the Board’s website. The Board solicits our input and feedback.
What is our part? There is only one LICSW on the DC Board, so their understanding of clinical social work tends to be constrained. Unlike the other jurisdictions, we have no lobbyist. While being very respectful, we need to educate the Board about issues that we are dealing with and suggest policies we think are needed, and inform the Board about the real-world effects that the Board’s policies have on our practices.
The L&A Committee responds to issues that members care about. Recently, we advocated to allow clinical supervision in a group format to count towards required hours of supervision for licensure. The BOSW is also keenly aware of problems with the ASWB exam, particularly disparate pass rates. The Board Chair, Velva Spriggs, stated that the BOSW is continuing to discuss and evaluate the issue, and has not taken a position.
The BOSW approved a hybrid meeting schedule for 2023, meaning that in the early months of the year, meetings will be fully virtual, and in later months some will be in-person. The BOSW meets on the 4th Monday of the month, at 10:00. The Webex meeting link can be found on the Board website: https://dchealth.dc.gov/service/social-work-licensing, under “Social Work Agendas”.
The Board members do listen to our statements, and our presence – think strength in numbers here – increases our impact. I am appealing to our DC-licensed members to consider joining the DC L&A Committee. If you can come to Board meeting(s), you’ll get an impression of how the Board works. If not, there are other roles and tasks you can do! Please contact me at email@example.com.
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