Meeting of the Board of Regents | November 2010
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
The Professional Practice Committee
Proposed Amendment to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Limited Permits for Licensed Master Social Workers and Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Experience, Supervision, and Endorsement Requirements for Licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker
November 2, 2010
Issue for Decision
Should the Regents amend sections 74.3, 74.4, 74.5, 74.6, and 74.7 and add a new section 74.9 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education relating to limited permits for licensed master social workers (LMSW) and licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) and experience, supervision, and endorsement requirements for licensure as an LCSW in New York?
Reason(s) for Consideratio
Review of policy.
The proposed amendment is before the Professional Practice Committee for recommendation and will be presented to the Full Board for adoption as an emergency measure and as a permanent rule at its November 2010 meeting. A statement of facts and circumstances justifying the emergency action is attached.
A Notice of Proposed Rule Making was published in the State Register on June 30, 2010. The proposed amendment was adopted as an emergency measure by the Board of Regents at its June and September 2010 meetings, effective June 29, 2010 and September 24, 2010. A Notice of Revised Rule Making was published in the State Register on September 29, 2010. Supporting materials for the proposed amendment are available upon request from the Secretary to the Board of Regents.
Section 7704(2) of the Education Law requires an applicant seeking licensure as an LCSW to complete three years of full-time supervised post-graduate clinical social work experience in diagnosis, psychotherapy and assessment-based treatment planning, or its part-time equivalent obtained over a period of not more than six years. The law does not require the applicant to complete any other social work experience, although the practice of licensed clinical social work includes other activities, including case management, advocacy, and testing. Such activities are not acceptable toward completion of the experience requirement under the current law. The emergency regulations adopted in June require an applicant to complete 2,000 client contact hours in diagnosis, psychotherapy, and assessment-based treatment planning over a period of not less than 36 months and not more than 72 months under a qualified supervisor. While this is a 30 percent reduction from the current requirement for 2,880 client contact hours over the same period of time, it is still among the highest requirements for clinical hours in the U.S., and the Department believes 2,000 client contact hours provides sufficient experience to ensure client protection once the applicant is licensed.
The emergency regulation also amended section 74.3 of the Commissioner’s regulations to clarify the experience requirements for licensure as an LCSW in New York. The amendments require an applicant for licensure to complete the required experience as an LMSW or permit holder in New York, except in certain limited circumstances. For experience completed in another jurisdiction, the experience must be obtained after the applicant completes his or her master’s degree. The amendment requires the applicant to complete the experience in an acceptable setting under a qualified supervisor, as defined in section 74.6 of the Commissioner’s regulations. The amendment also requires the supervisor to maintain records of the applicant’s client contact hours and supervision and to submit verification of the client contact hours and supervision on forms prescribed by the Commissioner.
The June emergency action also amended section 74.4 of the Commissioner’s regulations to clarify that limited permit applicants must be of good moral character and that the permit may only be issued for work in an authorized setting under a qualified supervisor. In addition, the amendment strengthens the requirement that the supervisor is responsible for the services provided by the permit holder and limits a licensee to supervising no more than five permit holders at any one time. Since the permit holder is only authorized to practice under supervision, this restriction is appropriate for public protection and consistent with the requirements in other professions. An LMSW or LCSW permit holder who is practicing clinical social work under supervision must be under general supervision as defined in the proposed amendment.
Section 74.5 of the Commissioner’s regulations establishes the fee and experience requirements for an LCSW to qualify for the insurance privilege established in section 3221(l)(4)(D) or 4303(n) of the Insurance Law. The emergency amendments adopted in June increased the application fee from $85 to $100 and continued the requirement that the applicant complete 2,400 client contact hours of psychotherapy. The emergency item also specified that experience for the insurance privilege must be obtained after licensure as an LCSW over a period of not less than three years. In addition, the applicant would have to have no less than 400 client contact hours in any one year in order to qualify for the privilege. In order to clarify the process of meeting the requirements in Insurance Law, the amendment also defined an acceptable setting for the practice of licensed clinical social work and required an LCSW to submit for approval by the State Board for Social Work a plan for appropriate supervision. The amendment also defined acceptable supervision for the privilege as two or more hours per month of individual or group consultation or enrollment in a program in psychotherapy offered by an institution of higher education or by a psychotherapy institute chartered by the Board of Regents. This amendment also eliminated peer supervision, which is not authorized by the Insurance Law, and clarifies the pathway to the insurance privilege.
The emergency amendments to section 74.6 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education established the supervision requirements for a licensed master social worker providing clinical social work services. An LMSW who has submitted an application for licensure as an LCSW must maintain registration as a LMSW in New York and may practice only under supervision until licensed as an LCSW. The amendments clarify what constitutes an acceptable setting for the practice of clinical social work and require the supervisor to provide at least 100 hours of individual or group supervision to the LMSW, distributed appropriately over a period of at least 36 months. The LMSW would also be able to submit a plan for supervised experience toward licensure as an LCSW, for review and approval by the State Board for Social Work. By obtaining such approval prior to starting a position, an applicant would be able to avoid working for three years in a position which cannot be accepted toward meeting the experience requirements for licensure as an LCSW because the setting or supervisor was not authorized by law and/or regulation. The State Board’s review and approval of the voluntary plan would both protect the public and provide assurances to the LMSW that the setting and supervisor are authorized to engage in the practice of clinical social work in New York. Since an LMSW may provide diagnosis, psychotherapy and assessment-based treatment planning under supervision without seeking licensure as an LCSW, the amendment requires such an LMSW to receive at least two hours per month of in-person individual or group clinical supervision.
Section 7706(2) of the Education Law provides an exemption from licensure for an individual with a bachelor’s degree in social work, if the person is under the general supervision of an LMSW or LCSW and engages in non-supervisory and non-clinical activities only. The June emergency amendments to section 74.7 of the Commissioner’s regulations provided standards for an individual with a BSW or MSW degree to provide licensed master social work services, under supervision. In order to clarify the boundaries of practice, the amendment clearly states that the individual may not provide administrative supervision or engage in the practice of licensed clinical social work or use the title “LMSW” or “LCSW.”
The emergency regulations also added a new section 74.9 to allow the Department to endorse for practice in New York the license of an LCSW licensed in another jurisdiction. The applicant would have to have at least 10 years of licensed practice during the 15 years immediately preceding the application for licensure in New York. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate: licensure as an LCSW on the basis of a master’s degree in social work from an acceptable school, post-degree supervised clinical experience, and the passage of a clinical examination in social work acceptable to the department. The applicant must also be of good character, complete coursework in the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse, and submit the application for licensure and fee established in law and regulation.
The Department received comments from professional associations, state and private agencies and interested individuals. Based upon the comments submitted, section 74.5 was revised to allow certain individuals who started their experience for the insurance privilege prior to January 1, 2011, to submit experience obtained prior to licensure as an LCSW toward the experience requirements for the insurance privilege. An assessment of public comment is attached.
VOTED: That sections 74.3 through 74.7 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be amended and that section 74.9 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be added, as submitted, effective November 19, 2010, as an emergency action upon a finding by the Board of Regents that such action is necessary for the preservation of the public health and general welfare to ensure that the rule remains continuously in effect until it is adopted as a permanent rule.
VOTED: That sections 74.3 through 74.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be amended and that section 74.9 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education be added, as submitted, effective December 8, 2010.
Timetable for Implementation
If adopted at the November 2010 Regents meeting, the proposed amendment will become effective as a permanent rule on December 8, 2010.