I received this excellent update today from the KSCSW regarding the possibility of Gov. Bevin consolidating our Board of Social Work with other professional boards. As I have mentioned, NASW-KY is committed to collaborating with the other mental health boards to fight this because we all value the importance of functioning independently of each other with our own boards, code of ethics, scope of practice, and educational and licensure requirements. We respect the inherent similarities and differences of our professions and will do our best to continue advocating for our boards to remain as they are now, while educating the public(and politicians) on why we must remain independent. I cannot stress enough that each board’s licensure fees fund their boards, so no tax payer money is spent on this, a point we must continue to make so it resonates loud and clear to those who state this will save “tax payer” money. Remember, our profession, our license which is our protection as well as that of our clients, our fees, and our future, will be negatively impacted, so please read the below information and continue to contact our political leaders because we must do our due diligence and advocate for our Board of Social Work!
Brenda Rosen, MSW, CSW, ACHP-SW
Executive Director, NASW-KY
*****From the Kentucky Society for Clinical Social Work:
You may have heard mutterings or rumors about the possibility of Gov. Bevin signing an Executive Order to consolidate the Board of Social Work with a variety of other professional boards, thereby creating a “super board.” He has already used this tactic to consolidate other professions (e.g., real estate) and it may be challenged in court. However, this is a very real threat to our profession and by using an Executive Order, Bevin makes it more challenging to combat, as he will be avoiding the normal checks and balances of legislative procedure.
Please consider taking action to STOP this from happening. Here’s why it matters:
1) Professional boards ranging from Social Work to Massage Therapy could be collapsed into a super board. The wide range of consumers served by these professions would lose representation/protection, as would the professionals themselves. Please see the attached list of professional boards housed in the Office of Occupations and Professions which is what is rumored to be consolidated.
2) Boards protect consumers by vetting people who are awarded licenses in our profession. Remember how many forms and signatures it took to get your CSW or LCSW? Those are there to protect the integrity of the profession AND OUR CLIENTS. Without it, who knows who would be licensed to provide services to some of the most vulnerable in our state.
3) Licensing fees collected now go DIRECTLY to the Board of Social Work, who use the funds solely at their discretion. In the event of a super board, our licensing fees would essentially be a professional tax going straight to the government. (This is likely the top motivator for Bevin pursuing this super board. He would have access to monies raised by social workers to shuffle to whatever budgetary item desired.)
4) Any disciplinary decision made by a board can be overturned by the Commissioner. Obviously, that is not the case at the current time. The actions of each licensure board now stand on their own merit, and can be appealed by the licensee to Franklin Circuit Court. Boards are guided by the Code of Ethics of their respective professions. A super board would not be required to follow our ethical code.
5)Each board will lose its ability to promulgate its own regulations. Only the Commissioner (Larry Brown) will have that authority and he can do it without the input of the board! Regulations are, in some ways, as important as the enabling statutes themselves. The statute that establishes the licensure board is like framing a new house. You can see the structure and form, but you can’t live in it. Regulations are the nitty-gritty pieces that allow you to carry out the statute (by analogy, the electricity, plumbing, etc. that allows you to actually live in the house). To have that power taken away from each board is a tremendous loss!
6) The board will lose its ability to have the composition and nominating process that it now has. The Governor would take sole authority to appoint 3 persons to represent each current board that will make up the super board. Our Board is currently appointed by the Governor after nominations are made by social workers.
2) Contact your Legislator: http://www.lrc.ky.gov or call 1-502-564-8100, ext. 517
As our Legislators are out of session now, they should have more availability to be educated about this topic. “The Board is a fiscally efficient mechanism that protects consumers and professionals alike and would be compromised by being combined with other professions,” would be a great opening line.
3) Report Back: Let us know once you’ve called and let us know what, if any, response you got from your legislators by emailing Brenda at: email@example.com