• Friday, March 03, 2023 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    I’d like to recognize and thank some of the members (including new or new-ish ones*) who have stepped up to join one of our committees to work on legislation and advocacy issues. In DC, these folks include: Carolina Duarte*, Gina Sangster, Tony Hain*, and Deborah Newmark. In Maryland, our committee includes: Alex Wood, Arthur Flax*, Becky Deku, Betsy Amy, Dan Buccino, Eileen Ivey, Erica Werfel, Jasmine Genus, and Rob Zelikoff. If you, too, would like to think together about the next steps we will need to take to convince lawmakers to support the Interstate Compact, or help us determine the position the Society takes on issues such as whether or not to support efforts to do away with all licensing testing by our Social Work Boards (see the MD report in this newsletter), please let one of us know. All voices are welcome and important and help us determine what to include in our testimony about bills or in what issues may be brought to one of the Boards of Social Work.

    As always, please contact us with any questions, comments or to join one of the committees. Chair of DC L&A Committee: Adele Natter, telladelelicsw@gmail.com. Chair of VA L&A Committee: Wayne Martin, wamnoles@aol.com. Chair of MD L&A Committee and Branch Director, Judy Gallant, judy.gallant@verizon.net. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Thursday, December 01, 2022 6:18 PM | Anonymous

    Judith Gallant, L&A Branch Director

    At the beginning of November, the Legislation and Advocacy Branch hosted our 8th yearly L&A event, where we hear about the current political climate in the nation and each jurisdiction, issues that we see as potentially important for the coming year, and how membership can be helpful in our efforts, from our lobbyists, committee chairs and Laura Groshong of the Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA). This year’s “virtual luncheon” was well attended, and participants learned about: efforts in MD to expand availability of Community Mental Health Centers, as well as efforts to enact legislation to ensure permanent payment parity for telehealth and in-person treatment; our Virginia L&A team’s meeting with representatives from VA’s Board of insurance, as well as Virginia’s Governor Youngkin’s requirement that professional Boards reduce regulations by 25% and how the Board of Social Work’s response will make it easier for out-of-state licensee’s to become licensed in Virginia; how DC’s committee has advocated for permitting clinical supervision for licensure to be allowed in a group format. Laura Groshong discussed that there are currently 10 bills in Congress that address CMS coverage of telehealth once the national State of Emergency ends. In general, audio only is not seen as important as video telehealth, and may or may not be part of any bills passed. She addressed some issues raised by the statistics released in August by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) that showed great discrepancy in pass rates between white and black test-takers. Currently, all mental health disciplines have a national test required for licensing. CSWA is in talks with the new Executive Director of ASWB and has offered support in changing the current test.

    We have just received word from Laura Groshong that the Social Work Interstate Compact will be released and be ready for state legislators and Boards of Social Work to review at the beginning of January 2023. We are hopeful that some states will be able to pass it through their legislature this year. At least seven states must pass the Compact into law before an administrative body can be formed to create a functioning compact between those states. We will share ways with you in the near future that you may become involved through contacting your state representatives and asking for their support on this exciting possibility.

    Parts of meetings of the Board of Social Work in each jurisdiction are open to the public. We encourage members to attend meetings as you are able. Generally, the Boards appreciate feedback from members. Links to information about each jurisdiction’s meetings can be found below.

    https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/social/social_calendar.htm In Virginia, meetings are held quarterly in Henrico, VA. The next meetings are scheduled at 10 am on December 9, 2022, and March 10, 2023. Please check on-line or call to confirm that a meeting will take place, as the schedule can change.

    https://dchealth.dc.gov/service/social-work-licensing In DC, meetings are held on the fourth Monday of the month at 10 am. Meetings are currently held virtually. Consult the Board’s website or call to confirm scheduling information and for the on-line meeting link.

    https://health.maryland.gov/bswe/Pages/default.aspx In Maryland, meetings are held on the second Friday of each month at 10:30 am. While based in Baltimore, they are currently held virtually. Consult the Board’s website or call to confirm scheduling information and for the on-line meeting link.

    As always, please contact us with any questions, comments or to join one of the committees. Chair of DC L&A Committee: Adele Natter, telladelelicsw@gmail.com. Chair of VA L&A Committee: Wayne Martin, wamnoles@aol.com. Chair of MD L&A Committee and Branch Director, Judy Gallant, judy.gallant@verizon.net. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Tuesday, June 01, 2021 8:56 PM | Anonymous

    Judy Gallant, Director of Legislation| Email: judy.gallant@verizon.net 

    Interstate Compact for Social Workers on the (Distant) Horizon

    In November 2020, the Department of Defense (DOD) put out a Request for Proposals for a grant to develop Interstate Compacts for Licensure Portability. The grant would allow 5 selected professions to work with the Council of State Governments’ National Center for Interstate Compacts to develop model interstate occupational licensure compact legislation. The primary impetus of the DOD-funded grant is to address licensing portability issues that affect military spouses, but will apply to all practitioners of the profession.

    CSWA initially applied for the grant, and named the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) and NASW as stakeholders that should also be involved. In addition to DOD selecting the social work profession, teachers, dentistry/dental hygienists, cosmetologists and massage therapists will also receive the grants.

    The $500,000 of grant money for each profession goes to the Council for State Governments (CSG), and a small amount of the grant may be used to fund travel and hotels for staff of CSWA, ASWB and NASW to meet together with the CSG. The meetings with CSWA, NASW and ASWB will have the goal of helping CSG understand the issues involved for our profession in order for agreements to be reached about how the Model State legislation will be designed. A 20-member advisory group will examine current policies, best practices and alternative structures in order to establish recommendations for the contents of an interstate compact. Kendra Roberson, CSWA President; Laura Groshong, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice; Margot Aronson, CSWA Deputy Director of Policy and Practice, GWSCSW Co-Chair of DC Legislation and Advocacy; and Judy Gallant, CSWA Government Relations Committee member, GWSCSW Director of  Legislation and Advocacy will all be part of the advisory group to the Council for State Governments.

    The scope of the DOD/CSG assistance includes the drafting of a model interstate compact legislation by CSG lawyers, developing a legislative resource kit, and convening a national meeting of state policymakers to introduce the compact. This part may take 14-18 months to accomplish. Activities that are not part of the grant, but which will still need CSWA, NASW, and ASWB support and cooperation, will be creating the Interstate Commission that will govern compact activities and potentially mediate any disputes between states. A shared contact data system will also need to be developed. State Legislatures, along with Boards of Social Work, will need to be encouraged to consider, and then to vote for becoming part of the Social Work interstate compact for licensure portability. This is the time that members of CSWA, GWSCSW and NASW will likely be able to have the most impact through personal advocacy with legislators. We will be talking about this more as that time comes closer. It may be 3-4 years before we see any states joining the interstate compact that will govern social workers interstate licensure.

    Some resources that may answer some of your questions:

    There was a recent lively list-serv conversation on this topic, raising important points. Questions about how this might impact our practices, in-person provision of services, decreased income potentially as a result of lower fees from competing out-of-state practitioners, and other issues were raised. Other questions that will need to be addressed: Will the compact include standardized licensure fees? Will CEUs earned in one state be accepted in all states participating in the Compact? Some state standards for licensure are more stringent than others. How will these discrepancies be resolved? Will some states need to raise (or lower) their standards? How will fees be handled?

    Be sure to contact one of us with any questions, suggestions, or information you might have, or to join one of the committees: in DC, Margot Aronson at malevin@erols.com or Adele Natter at anatter@verizon.net; in Maryland, Judy Gallant, judy.gallant@verizon.net; and in Virginia, Judy Ratliff, jratliff48@hotmail.com or Wayne Martin at wamnoles@aol.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

PO Box 711 | Garrisonville, VA  22463 | 202-478-7638 | admin@gwscsw.org

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