News & Views | June 2020

Monday, June 01, 2020 8:46 PM | Anonymous

Judy Ratliff

Board of Social Work Changes to the Regulations Governing the Practice of Social Work

  1.  There will be a reduction in fees for the initial licensure for Licensed Baccalaureate Social Workers( LBSW) from $115.00 to $100.00 and the annual renewal fee is reduced from $65 to $55.  
  2. The most significant reduction in regulatory burden is the elimination of the current requirement for an applicant with a baccalaureate degree to have 3000 hours of supervised experience in order to qualify for licensure as an LBSW.  THIS REPRESENTS A HUGE CHANGE.  BSWs, PLEASE NOTE.
  3. The number of hours of continuing education pertaining to ethics or standards of practice effective as of 11/13/2019 is an increase from 2 to 6 hours for LCSWs and from 2 to 3 hours for LBSWs and LMSWs.
  4. Licenses will be renewed as usual in 2020, but the completion of 30 CEUs for 2020 and 2021 combined will be delayed until 2021.  Thus, two years of CEUs will be due when licenses are renewed in 2021.
  5. The Board will cease to mail hard copies of licenses, certifications and registrations.  The Board will issue a final hard copy that has no expiration date.  The renewal period will begin in May and the Board will send out email notices at that time. You will have to maintain the final copy.  Insurance providers, employers, boards and citizens may obtain this information on "License Lookup".  Replacement or duplicate of a hard copy license, certification or registration may be requested through an individual online account  NOTE:  The content on License Lookup meets the accreditation standards for primary source verification from the top seven accreditation organizations for healthcare professionals.  This could be a source for those of you looking into getting accredited in other jurisdictions.
  6. Two separate licenses, LBSW and LMSW (masters) are now in effect.

Laws Passed by the Virginia Legislature and Signed into Law in 2020

  1. The Governor approved SB 1046Clinical social workers; patient records, involuntary detention orders, effective 7/1/2020.  The bill adds clinical social workers to the list of eligible providers that includes treating physicians and clinical psychologists, who can disclose or recommend the withholding of patient records, face a malpractice review panel and provide recommendations on involuntary temporary detention orders.
  2. Proposed Study:  There was a recommendation that the Department of Health Professions convene a work group to identify the number of social workers needed in the Commonwealth to adequately serve the population; identify opportunities for the Commonwealth's social work workforce to successfully serve and respond to the increasing needs of individuals, groups and communities in a variety of areas such as child welfare, aging, mental health and other areas of social need; gather information about current social workers in the Commonwealth related to level of education, gender, employer and compensation; analyze the impact of compensation levels on social workers' job satisfaction and performance and other aspects; and make recommendations for additional sources of funding to adequately compensate social workers and increase the number of social workers in the Commonwealth.
  3. HB 42:  Prenatal and postnatal depression, etc.; importance of screening patients:  Under this bill, doctors who provide primary, maternity, obstetrical or gynecological health care services pertaining to prenatal or postnatal depression or other depressions are to provide screening for these diagnoses for every patient who's is currently pregnant or who has been pregnant within the previous five years.
  4. The numerous laws previously put in place limiting a woman's access to abortion were repealed, including the mandatory 24 hour waiting period and ultrasound testing.
  5. Dozens of Jim Crow era laws that limited the rights of black Virginians were removed from the code as these laws had been declared unconstitutional by federal courts years ago.
  6. The Virginia Values Act prohibiting discrimination in housing and employment for all persons passed, making Virginia the first state in the South to do so.
  7. A bill was passed that added protections of the hate crime law to all persons regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, as were other bills to prohibit LGBTQ discrimination.  Conversion therapy for minors is banned under a new law.
  8. Major bills passed to make voting easier.  No-excuse absentee voting was enacted, and election day will now be a holiday.  A repeal of the photo ID requirement for voting passed.  

(Please note that summaries of the bills in items 4-8 are courtesy of Delegate Ken Plum, Reston)

Judy Ratliff, LCSW, (recently retired from work but not from GWSCSW or from life) Co-Chair, VA Legislation and Advocacy Committee.
PO Box 711 | Garrisonville, VA  22463 | 202-478-7638 |

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