California removes obstacles for social workers on the move

Date: November 21, 2019

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Recent legislation signed by California governor Gavin Newsom makes it easier for social workers to add a license in the Golden State. Beginning January 1, 2020, licensees who have practiced for at least two years in the professions regulated by the Board of Behavioral Sciences will be able to save time and expense to get a California license.

As it stands, an applicant for California licensure who is already licensed in another jurisdiction must follow the same steps as a social worker who is getting licensed for the first time. But when the new law takes effect, the California board will accept the applicant’s degree program, supervised work experience hours, and examination score. The board will, however, continue to require licensees to complete California-specific tasks, including completing certain CE coursework and passing a law and ethics exam.

According to her website, the law’s author, Senator Patricia Bates—herself a former social worker—said of Senate Bill 679, “This bipartisan new law will help boost California’s mental health workforce and provide needed services to more people. I am glad that California has made it easier for many new Californians to practice their chosen profession in our communities.”

Read more about California’s efforts to improve practice mobility.