Wayne Martin, Chair, VA Legislation and Advocacy Committee
First, let me pay tribute to and acknowledge the years of work provided by retiring Virginia L and A Co-chair, Judy Ratliff, LCSW. For many years Judy served as the Chair of the Virginia L and A Committee. She was dedicated, assertive, and inspirational. She made sure that the concerns of the Northern Virginia members of the GWSCSW were acknowledged and listened to by the leadership of the VSCSW. This has always been a unique partnership. The VSCSW and the GWSCSW share equally in the expenses of the lobbyist (Sue Rowland); however, given the history (that goes back more than 25 years) of this relationship, the VSCSW has always taken the lead with legislative activities in the Commonwealth. Judy insisted that she (and now, we) be included in all conversations and decisions. She was instrumental in getting our lobbyist, Sue, to come out of semi-retirement for one more year to serve us in her capacity as legislative consultant. (Sue had retired; and after months of interviewing other firms with no results, Judy’s urging, or guilting, helped Sue agree to come back for one more year.) The GWSCSW owes Judy Ratliff a debt of gratitude. It has been an honor to serve as her Co-Chair.
The joint groups (VSCSW Legislative Committee and the VA L&A Committee of the GWSCSW) currently have monthly zoom meetings with Sue Rowland. This is to communicate concerns and issues that may arise during the January Virginia Legislative session, to monitor legislation that may impact Virginia LCSW’s, and to consider our own legislation. Preparation is essential as one never knows what “surprises” we may face. The role of our lobbyist is to review and monitor bills that could impact us and to report back to the committees. At this moment, there is no “critical legislation” for the upcoming legislative session. I add the word, “yet”.
During our meetings, we rely on Joe Lynch, the VSCSW Legislative V.P. Joe has done extensive research on many of the current hot topics. Some of his work is featured in the boxed information below. Judy and I have supported his efforts and have let Joe take the lead. He attends the Virginia Board of Social Work meetings- has been an advocate for LCSW’s and often provides public comments that can assist the Board in their decision-making process. Joe has a working relationship with Virginia NASW's long time Executive Director, Debra Riggs.
The committee continues to hear complaints from our members about insurance companies lack of timely payments and increasing barriers to reimbursement. Before we can consider legislation, we need facts and specifics. In order to gather this information, Joe has written a membership survey, “Survey to Measure the Current Status of LCSW/ Carrier Relationship: Practices That Are Barriers to getting claims Paid and Are Disincentives for Accepting Clients with Insurance.” The survey, once finalized, will be posted on the GWSCSW Webpage. PLEASE COMPLETE this very important survey and email it back to Joe Lynch.
The committee continues to monitor the response and reaction to the ASWB Clinical Exam; the effort for an Interstate Compact; and other regulatory matters; the Committee pays close to attention to any regulatory proposals or changes. We encourage ALL our members to be knowledgeable and we encourage reading the minutes of the Va. Board of Social Work and look at the “Town Hall” section for proposals. All of this is public information. Check out the website of the Virginia Board of Social Work, https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/social/
Finally, the best way each member can assist the committee, is to know their respective Virginia state Delegate and Senator. Make sure they know you vote and are concerned about mental health issues.
Virginia will have a Special Election on January 10, 2023, for one House of Delegates seat (35th District, Fairfax County) and one Senate of Virginia seat (7th District, Norfolk City, Virginia Beach City). Sue Rowland says that the turnout will likely be very low and the “whoever shows up” rule will be very important in this one.
There is an election next November (2023) and all 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly are up for re-election. Politicians listen to their constituents.
If anyone is interested in being a part of this GWS Virginia L&A Committee, please contact either our Branch Chair, Judy Gallant, firstname.lastname@example.org or myself, Wayne A. Martin, LCSW, email@example.com
Virginia Board of Social Work Board Members
Eboni C. Bugg, MSW, LCSW
First Term Ends June 30, 2025
Sherwood Randolph, Jr., MSW, LCSW
First Term Ends June 30, 2026
Canek Aguirre, Citizen Member
Second Term Ends June 30, 2024
Angelia Allen, Citizen Member Second Term Ends June 30, 2023
Jamie Clancey, MSW, LCSW
Vice-Chairperson Second Term Ends June 30, 2023
Denise Purgold, MSW, LCSW First Term Ends June 30, 2026
Elke Cox, MSW, LCSW First Term Ends June 30, 2026
Gloria Manns, MSW, LCSW Second Term Ends June 30, 2024
Teresa Reynolds, MSW, LCSW First Term Ends June 30, 2024
Governor Youngkin has appointed 3 new members to the Virginia Board of Social Work. They are:
Sherwood Randolph, Jr., MSW, LCSW, Denise Purgold, MSW, LCSW, and Elke Cox, MSW, LCSW. For the first time in the Board’s history a Citizen Member of the Board, Canek Aguirre, was elected to be the Chairperson.
Governor Youngkin has issued Executive Order 19 that requires Health Regulatory Boards to reduce their regulations by 25%. On October 26, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that “…the Virginia Board of Social Work, a health regulatory board under the Department of Health Professions, has enacted regulations that will speed up the process by which a social worker from another state can receive a license in Virginia…”.
The Va. Board of Social Work is one of the first of the boards to comply with the Executive Order issued by Governor Youngkin. This reduction should make the process of getting a Virginia clinical license through “endorsement” more efficient. Changes to the regulations allow for out-of-state practitioners to apply for a Virginia license without the verification of 24 months of post-licensure active practice or providing evidence that their education and supervised experience are substantially equivalent to Virginia’s requirements. Out-of-State Social Work licensees that hold a comparable LCSW, LMSW or LBSW in good standing can quickly and efficiently apply for licensure in Virginia by applying online (which includes a fee), and providing verification of passing an examination at the level for which they are seeking licensure.
The Board of Social Work regulations will allow out-of-state applicants who took a state social work exam or whose examination was waived by the initial licensing state to gain licensure without taking the national examination. This regulation directly affects seasoned out-of-state licensees who may not have been required initially to pass the national social work examination.
Those who are licensed in MD and DC and want a VA license, should consult with the VA. Board of Social Work on the new endorsement process.
PO Box 711 | Garrisonville, VA 22463 | 202-478-7638 | firstname.lastname@example.org