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, email@example.com. Chair of VA L&A Committee: Wayne Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org. Chair of MD L&A Committee and Branch Director, Judy Gallant, email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
PO Box 711 | Garrisonville, VA 22463 | 202-478-7638 | firstname.lastname@example.org