While browsing on Facebook, I came across a post from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) discussing how “the Governor’s Executive Budget seeks to make permanent the exemption from social work licensure for individuals working in programs that are regulated, operated, funded or approved by the Office of Mental Health, Department of Health, Office for the Aging, Office of Children and Family Services, Department of Corrections, Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, and local government units or social services districts.”
The NASW states that the current proposal would allow broad sections of the workforce to be unlicensed individuals who have not met the minimum qualifying education, experience, and examination standards to “diagnose and treat” clients with serious mental health concerns. The licensure law was implemented to provide a minimum standard of competence for all mental health professionals, which is critical to monitoring treatment quality. The NASW discusses how the passage of the proposal would allow unlicensed workers to engaged in LMSW and LCSW scopes of practice. This has the potential to be extremely harmful to clients.
The NASW discusses how the proposal would create a “bifurcated system of mental health care” (individuals who received publicly funded or provided services, and individuals who receive services through private health insurance). The NASW is describing this type of system would create a disparity in care since private insurance companies only reimburse individuals with the highest level of credentials. It sounds like that the disparity between economic classes would spread to another area of care that is already suffering. It is unjust to propose or support a law that will further discriminate individuals based upon socioeconomic status.
I would encourage everyone to further look into this proposal, and evaluate how it will affect yourself, social work, our clients, and society. If you find this law unjust, I encourage you to take action!
We strongly urge you to contact members of the Assembly and Senate listed below. Tell them that as a social worker:
- I am strongly opposed to broad-based permanent exemptions included in the Governor’s budget.
- Unlicensed staff lacks sufficient skills, knowledge, experience and supervision to competently engage in tasks such as the diagnosis of a mental illness and psychotherapy. Utilizing unlicensed staff to perform such tasks which are restricted to licensed professionals presents a risk to the welfare of mental health consumers.
- All mental health services in New York State should be provided by competent, qualified and appropriately licensed providers.
- I support NASW’s budget-neutral compromise which moves New York’s state agencies down the road toward licensure compliance and urge you to do the same.
We need ALL SOCIAL WORKERS to call the following legislative leaders:
|Senator Dean Skelos (SD09)Temporary President & Majority Coalition LeaderDistrict Office,Rockville Center (516) 766-8383
Senator Jeffrey Klein (SD34)
Temporary President & IDC Coalition Leader
District Office, Bronx (718) 822-2049
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (SD35)
Democratic Conference Leader
District Office, Yonkers (914) 423-4031
Assemblyman Sheldon Silver (AD65)
District Office, NYC (212) 312-1420
97 Grace Santos Sep 23, 2013 96 Doru Constantin Viziteu District Office,NYC/department mental health work Jun 28, 2013 95 Stacey Harrell May 05, 2013 94 Nadya Tejiram Apr 27, 2013 93 Carmen and Ruth gomez we are in favor governor supports permanent exemption from SW Lincensure for the State Workforce Apr 04, 2013 92 sharanappa tannur good Mar 30, 2013 91 Melissa Young Mar 29, 2013 90 Nancy Simmons There is a professional standard to withhold here, there is also a measure of those standards that the Licensure process addresses and insures. The exam verify a set level of knowledge Mar 27, 2013 89 Liana Ferrante Mar 27, 2013 88 Valerie Kaye Mar 27, 2013