I think this is a very important need, particularly with the population getting older and social workers moving around to help meet the changing needs of society. One standard for the country would benefit Social Workers and the general population as a whole.
Ronne Rabinowitz, LCSW, ACSW-R, CASAC
This is great, as a new MSW interested in working in mental health in a military community this will be helpful,and help with skills transferability, recognition of experience and a reduction in the costs of obtaining and maintaining credentials.
I support the consolidation of requirements so that Social Workers can practice nationwide and online. International practice should be considered as well. This is the next step in being able to reduce obstacles to practice and synchronizing efforts to serve the public.
Melissa Weisel, LCSW
The ability to change jobs more easily and move around the country would be a benefit to all including the ability to recruit much needed new social workers.
With the increasing popularity of outreach social work in mental health clinics and increasing use of technology in practice such as Skype, meeting the client where he or she is at can cross state lines much more easily in the present day…So not only is the need greater for social work portability, but the basic structure for this to occur is in place.
James Haskins, LICSW
We should not discourage passionate, intelligent, and qualified social workers from staying in the field. Young people move frequently now–across the country, across the world, and back again–and why would we want to deter them from staying committed to a field that will only benefit from a diversity of perspectives and experiences? I am heartened to hear of ASWB’s efforts, and happy to express my support.
This is so important! We invest so much time, money and energy into seeking supervision and earning our practice hours. It would be traumatic to loose all of that because you have to relocate. Life happens and we can’t always control that. We shouldn’t have to worry about our careers because our location changed. If we earned it then we earned it! We shouldn’t have to prove it again and again. I love this profession! I hope that we establish more mobility.
I worked hard and put a lot into earning my credentials in Maryland but hope to someday move to another state. I should be able to continue to practice without added stress and financial costs when I do move.
This is an important issue. As a student, I will be graduating this year with my Bachelors degree. In the state I live in, I can get my license. I plan to get my Masters degree but the opportunity to work in another state is my dream. The state that I want to live in requires that you have a Masters degree in order to be licensed. By being licensed, I would have more opportunities to work in the field while going to school…. Life changes are always around the corner.
With the increasing use of telehealth across multiple disciplines, I feel that social work should be part of the movement to help reach individuals in remote areas of the country who may benefit from their particular area of expertise. By allowing our licenses to be portable, it allows social workers with very specific areas of expertise to support individuals who could significantly benefit from their services.
More people would benefit from greater access to mental health services via technology, and would have better opportunity to find the best fit and specialty for their needs. This is a social justice issue, too. Having greater reciprocity would allow more access to services, simply put. I agree that this would also help with social worker satisfaction and prevention of burn out. I have known several great clinical social workers who have left the field after moving states because the process of going through applying for licensure again is exhausting. Finally, as the technology continues to evolve, we must evolve with it. Each state having unnecessarily rigid licensing laws that “shut out” clinicians from other states is unnecessary, and only hurts the consumer. Please advocate for this change! And please let us know how we can help!
Stephanie Cook, LCSW
The Council on Social Work Education applauds ASWB for taking on this important issue! We are happy to support this effort which will better meet the needs of service users , practitioners, and students!
Council on Social Work Education
The [clinical social work] profession is regarded as the “backbone” of the mental health community. LCSWs have been providing 40-60% of all mental health care treatment in the country for the past 20 years according to the 2013 Bureau of Labor and Statistics report. For CSWA and our members, practice mobility and license portability are workforce issues.
Susanna Ward, Ph.D., LCSW
President and CEO, Clinical Social Work Association
NASW is committed to working collaboratively with ASWB on the social work mobility initiative for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that mobility is a workforce issue and NASW represents that workforce….Because such a large percentage of NASW members are in the health care field, the Affordable Care Act and its technology mandates are another principal reason that NASW is committed to supporting ASWB’s mobility initiative.
Angelo McClain, Ph.D., LCSW
CEO, National Association of Social Workers
NABSW is committed to joining ASWB in this mobility initiative because it would assist our membership in being able to use their license between states. ..With our movement towards internet-based education and social work practice this would assist workers in being able to work across state lines.
Toni Oliver, MSW
President, National Association of Black Social Workers
For CSWE, mobility is a workforce issue: social work graduates, especially the current generation of Millennials and upcoming Generation Z’ers, will move often during their careers and will use technology much more than past generations to connect with clients. Education itself is trending toward digital formats, with distance learning and degree programs proliferating. It is understandable that technology-driven practice would be a natural follow-on to technology-driven education.
Darla Spence Coffey, Ph.D., MSW
President and CEO, Council on Social Work Education
[Military spouses] would like to continue utilizing our professional social work skills when relocating. We love our profession and we do not want our transition to a new state to delay our ability to offer our services. Licensure portability would not only improve morale, reduce stress and financial burden, but it would secure the careers of so many military spouse social workers.
Comment submitted via LinkedIn