Update - Social Work Interstate Compact
Laura Groshong, LICSW, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice
Judy Gallant, LICSW, CSWA Deputy Director of Policy and Practice
As most of you know, CSWA has been working for over 2 years on a project funded by the Department of Defense and led by the Council of State Governments to develop the Interstate Compact for Social Workers for occupational licensing portability. Representatives from CSWA, NASW and ASWB have been working with the National Center for Interstate Compacts (part of the Council of State Governments) on the framework and language for a Compact to be put into place.
One question that has come up frequently is which levels of social work practice will be covered by the Compact. The answer is that all forms of licensed social work practice will be eligible to join the Compact, i.e., licensed clinical social work; licensed associate social work; and licensed bachelor social work practice. The only way a licensed social worker will be eligible to work through the Compact is to abide by the scope of practice established in the Compact language. For clinical social workers this means having met the standards for clinical social work licensure in their home state.
Another question that has come up often is whether LCSWs who have not taken the ASWB Clinical Examination will be able to join the Compact. If an LCSW was grandparented into licensure in their home state without taking the Examination, they do not need to take the examination to join the Compact.
The Compact, once finalized, will be distributed to stakeholders in each state and a campaign started to inform state legislatures and Boards of Social Work about the compact. The Compact will need to become law in at least 7 states in order for Social Workers to be able to participate in states that agree to accept it. Once we have a finalized document, we will also be informing you, our members, how you can best help advocate for this to be enacted within your state.
Unfortunately, even though we were expecting the Compact to be finalized by the beginning of 2023, this has not yet happened. Kendra Roberson, PhD, CSWA President, and Laura Groshong, LICSW, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice, along with others who have been working in the Technical Assistance Group, will be attending a meeting in DC in early February in order to finalize the Compact language. We are hopeful that the Compact will be sent to all states and jurisdictions shortly after that.
Because many state legislatures meet for limited amounts of time, frequently at the beginning of each year, it is unlikely that legislatures will be able to approve the Compact within 2023. It is more likely that legislatures will be considering, and hopefully, voting the Compact into law, in 2024. Once at least seven states have voted to approve the Compact, a Commission will be formed for the administration of the Compact. After the Commission is formed, additional states can still join the Compact.
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