Ask an expert: Why doesn’t ASWB support interjurisdictional compacts to facilitate social work mobility?
About our expert: Jennifer Henkel, LCSW, is ASWB’s senior director of member services and strategic initiatives. For the past seven years, she has led ASWB’s effort to design a mobility solution for social workers.
Jennifer says: By working with our members and consulting with other health care professions, ASWB designed a mobility solution that makes sense for social workers. The model chosen by our 64 member boards in North America is licensure by endorsement. This model streamlines the process for social workers needing a license in an additional jurisdiction to practice in person or electronically.
Some professions use a different mobility model. One example is an interjurisdictional compact, such as the Nurse Licensure Compact, the solution created by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Under the compact model, member jurisdictions agree to recognize one another’s licenses. ASWB members were concerned that this model would require an additional layer of infrastructure, legislative changes, and likely increased fees to make it a reality for social work. They have rejected this costly alternative in favor of the simple, elegant solution represented by endorsement.
Through its Model Social Work Practice Act, ASWB provides jurisdictions with a valuable resource for making legislative changes to make licensure by endorsement a reality.