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AB-456 Healing arts: associate clinical social workers.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/27/2017 09:00 PM
AB456:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 27, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 456


Introduced by Assembly Member Thurmond

February 13, 2017


An act to amend Sections 4996.18 and 4996.23 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to healing arts.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 456, as amended, Thurmond. Healing arts: associate clinical social workers.
Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of clinical social workers by the Board of Behavioral Sciences, which is within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law requires an applicant for licensure to comply with specified educational and experience requirements and requires a person who wishes to be credited with experience toward licensure to register with the board as an associate clinical social worker prior to obtaining that experience.
This bill would authorize postgraduate hours of experience to be credited toward licensure so long as the person applies for registration as an associate clinical social worker the board receives the application within 90 days of the granting of the qualifying master’s degree or doctoral degree and the applicant is granted registration by the board. The bill would prohibit an applicant from being employed or volunteering in a private practice until the applicant is granted registration by the board.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 4996.18 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

4996.18.
 (a) A person who wishes to be credited with experience toward licensure requirements shall register with the board as an associate clinical social worker prior to obtaining that experience, except as provided in subdivision (j). The application shall be made on a form prescribed by the board.
(b) An applicant for registration shall satisfy the following requirements:
(1) Possess a master’s degree from an accredited school or department of social work.
(2) Have committed no crimes or acts constituting grounds for denial of licensure under Section 480.
(3) Commencing January 1, 2014, have completed training or coursework, which may be embedded within more than one course, in California law and professional ethics for clinical social workers, including instruction in all of the following areas of study:
(A) Contemporary professional ethics and statutes, regulations, and court decisions that delineate the scope of practice of clinical social work.
(B) The therapeutic, clinical, and practical considerations involved in the legal and ethical practice of clinical social work, including, but not limited to, family law.
(C) The current legal patterns and trends in the mental health professions.
(D) The psychotherapist-patient privilege, confidentiality, dangerous patients, and the treatment of minors with and without parental consent.
(E) A recognition and exploration of the relationship between a practitioner’s sense of self and human values, and his or her professional behavior and ethics.
(F) Differences in legal and ethical standards for different types of work settings.
(G) Licensing law and process.
(c) Except as provided in subdivision (j), an An applicant who possesses a master’s degree from a school or department of social work that is a candidate for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education shall be eligible, and shall be required, except as provided in subdivision (j), to register as an associate clinical social worker in order to gain experience toward licensure if the applicant has not committed any crimes or acts that constitute grounds for denial of licensure under Section 480. That applicant shall not, however, be eligible to take the clinical examination until the school or department of social work has received accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education.
(d) All applicants and registrants shall be at all times under the supervision of a supervisor who shall be responsible for ensuring that the extent, kind, and quality of counseling performed is consistent with the training and experience of the person being supervised, and who shall be responsible to the board for compliance with all laws, rules, and regulations governing the practice of clinical social work.
(e) Any experience obtained under the supervision of a spouse or relative by blood or marriage shall not be credited toward the required hours of supervised experience. Any experience obtained under the supervision of a supervisor with whom the applicant has a personal relationship that undermines the authority or effectiveness of the supervision shall not be credited toward the required hours of supervised experience.
(f) An applicant who possesses a master’s degree from an accredited school or department of social work shall be able to apply experience the applicant obtained during the time the accredited school or department was in candidacy status by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education toward the licensure requirements, if the experience meets the requirements of Section 4996.23. This subdivision shall apply retroactively to persons who possess a master’s degree from an accredited school or department of social work and who obtained experience during the time the accredited school or department was in candidacy status by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education.
(g) An applicant for registration or licensure trained in an educational institution outside the United States shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board that he or she possesses a master’s of social work degree that is equivalent to a master’s degree issued from a school or department of social work that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education. These applicants shall provide the board with a comprehensive evaluation of the degree and shall provide any other documentation the board deems necessary. The board has the authority to make the final determination as to whether a degree meets all requirements, including, but not limited to, course requirements regardless of evaluation or accreditation.
(h) A registrant shall not provide clinical social work services to the public for a fee, monetary or otherwise, except as an employee.
(i) A registrant shall inform each client or patient prior to performing any professional services that he or she is unlicensed and is under the supervision of a licensed professional.
(j) Postdegree hours of experience shall be credited toward licensure so long as the applicant applies for the associate clinical social worker registration the board receives the application within 90 days of the granting of the qualifying master’s or doctoral degree and the applicant is thereafter granted the associate clinical social worker registration by the board. An applicant shall not be employed or volunteer in a private practice until registered as an associate clinical social worker by the board.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4996.23 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

4996.23.
 (a) To qualify for licensure as specified in Section 4996.2, each applicant shall complete 3,200 hours of post-master’s degree supervised experience related to the practice of clinical social work. The experience shall comply with the following:
(1) At least 1,700 hours shall be gained under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker. The remaining required supervised experience may be gained under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional acceptable to the board as defined by a regulation adopted by the board.
(2) A minimum of 2,000 hours in clinical psychosocial diagnosis, assessment, and treatment, including psychotherapy or counseling.
(3) A maximum of 1,200 hours in client centered advocacy, consultation, evaluation, research, direct supervisor contact, and workshops, seminars, training sessions, or conferences directly related to clinical social work that have been approved by the applicant’s supervisor.
(4) Of the 2,000 clinical hours required in paragraph (2), no less than 750 hours shall be face-to-face individual or group psychotherapy provided to clients in the context of clinical social work services.
(5) A minimum of two years of supervised experience is required to be obtained over a period of not less than 104 weeks and shall have been gained within the six years immediately preceding the date on which the application for licensure was filed.
(6) Experience shall not be credited for more than 40 hours in any week.
(b) An individual who submits an application for examination eligibility between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2020, may alternatively qualify under the experience requirements that were in place on January 1, 2015.
(c) “Supervision” means responsibility for, and control of, the quality of clinical social work services being provided. Consultation or peer discussion shall not be considered to be supervision.
(d) (1) Prior to the commencement of supervision, a supervisor shall comply with all requirements enumerated in Section 1870 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations and shall sign under penalty of perjury the “Responsibility Statement for Supervisors of an Associate Clinical Social Worker” form.
(2) Supervised experience shall include at least one hour of direct supervisor contact for a minimum of 104 weeks. For purposes of this subdivision, “one hour of direct supervisor contact” means one hour per week of face-to-face contact on an individual basis or two hours of face-to-face contact in a group conducted within the same week as the hours claimed.
(3) An associate shall receive at least one additional hour of direct supervisor contact for every week in which more than 10 hours of face-to-face psychotherapy is performed in each setting in which experience is gained. No more than six hours of supervision, whether individual or group, shall be credited during any single week.
(4) Supervision shall include at least one hour of direct supervisor contact during each week for which experience is gained in each work setting. Supervision is not required for experience gained attending workshops, seminars, training sessions, or conferences as described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a).
(5) The six hours of supervision that may be credited during any single week pursuant to paragraph (3) shall apply only to supervision hours gained on or after January 1, 2010.
(6) Group supervision shall be provided in a group of not more than eight supervisees and shall be provided in segments lasting no less than one continuous hour.
(7) Of the 104 weeks of required supervision, 52 weeks shall be individual supervision, and of the 52 weeks of required individual supervision, not less than 13 weeks shall be supervised by a licensed clinical social worker.
(8) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), an associate clinical social worker working for a governmental entity, school, college, or university, or an institution that is both a nonprofit and charitable institution, may obtain the required weekly direct supervisor contact via live two-way videoconferencing. The supervisor shall be responsible for ensuring that client confidentiality is preserved.
(e) The supervisor and the associate shall develop a supervisory plan that describes the goals and objectives of supervision. These goals shall include the ongoing assessment of strengths and limitations and the assurance of practice in accordance with the laws and regulations. The associate shall submit to the board the initial original supervisory plan upon application for licensure.
(f) Experience shall only be gained in a setting that meets both of the following:
(1) Lawfully and regularly provides clinical social work, mental health counseling, or psychotherapy.
(2) Provides oversight to ensure that the associate’s work at the setting meets the experience and supervision requirements set forth in this chapter and is within the scope of practice for the profession as defined in Section 4996.9.
(g) Except as provided in subdivision (j) of Section 4996.18, experience shall not be gained until the applicant has been registered as an associate clinical social worker.
(h) Employment in a private practice as defined in subdivision (i) shall not commence until the applicant has been registered as an associate clinical social worker.
(i) A private practice setting is a setting that is owned by a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed psychologist, a licensed professional clinical counselor, a licensed physician and surgeon, or a professional corporation of any of those licensed professions.
(j) Associates shall not be employed as independent contractors, and shall not gain experience for work performed as an independent contractor, reported on an IRS Form 1099, or both.
(k) If volunteering, the associate shall provide the board with a letter from his or her employer verifying his or her voluntary status upon application for licensure.
(l) If employed, the associate shall provide the board with copies of his or her W-2 tax forms for each year of experience claimed upon application for licensure.
(m) While an associate may be either a paid employee or volunteer, employers are encouraged to provide fair remuneration to associates.
(n) An associate shall not do any of the following:
(1) Receive any remuneration from patients or clients and shall only be paid by his or her employer.
(2) Have any proprietary interest in the employer’s business.
(3) Lease or rent space, pay for furnishings, equipment, or supplies, or in any other way pay for the obligations of his or her employer.
(o) An associate, whether employed or volunteering, may obtain supervision from a person not employed by the associate’s employer if that person has signed a written agreement with the employer to take supervisory responsibility for the associate’s social work services.
(p) Notwithstanding any other law, associates and applicants for examination shall receive a minimum of one hour of supervision per week for each setting in which he or she is working.