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Update on Social Work Compact - 5-7-24

May 07, 2024 4:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Update on Social Work Compact

May 7, 2024

by Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director of Policy and Practice

CSWA is delighted to let members know that the Social Work Compact is about to become a reality! There are now 12 states that have passed the Compact which means that the Commission that oversees the Compact will be created starting this fall. See the summary of the process this will involve below. If you live in a state that has joined the Compact, you may request that your Social Work Board consider you as a representative to the Commission. CSWA and other major social work stakeholders will have ex officio members if the Commission approves this option. Keep in mind that the process for joining the Compact will go through your home state; however, complaints may be filed in any state in which the LCSW is able to work through the Compact. 

Social Work Compact Implementation Timeline

On April 12th, 2024, the Social Work Licensure compact officially became enacted in seven states: Missouri, South Dakota, Washington, Utah, Kentucky, Virginia, and Kansas [in the past three weeks Vermont, Nebraska, Iowa, Georgia and Maine have also passed the Compact bill]. This marks a significant milestone in the development process as the compact specifies that it will come into effect upon enactment of the seventh member state. The social work compact allows eligible social workers to practice in all states that join the compact.

While the social work compact legislation specifies that the compact needs seven member states to become active, social workers cannot yet practice in other member states. The implementation process for the compact will take approximately 18-24 months before social workers can begin applying for multistate licenses. A timeline of this process can be found below:

State Commissioner Nominations – Summer 2024

Each new member state must appoint a commissioner to serve on the compact commission. The commissioner is selected by the state’s social work board and can be the current administrator of the social work board or their designee, a board member who is a social worker, or a public member of the board. Once all commissioners have been elected, the Social Work Compact Commission will convene for its first inaugural meeting.

Inaugural Commission Meeting – Fall 2024

At the inaugural meeting, the Commission will elect an executive committee, appoint officers, establish a subcommittee structure and approve the initial bylaws and rulemaking processes that will govern the compact. All compact commission meetings will be open to the public. The Council of State Governments (CSG) expects this inaugural meeting to happen early in the fall of 2024.

Establishing the Compact Data System - Ongoing throughout 2025

After the inaugural meeting, the compact commission will continue to work on operationalizing the compact, including acquiring a data system. The data system is a foundational piece of compact operations where member states communicate licensure information with each other and with the compact commission. CSG expects development of the data system to take approximately 10-12 months.

Once the data system is fully developed, states will be onboarded to the new system. It is expected that states will have varying timelines to onboard and will be largely dependent on the state’s current licensure infrastructure.

Additional Compact Commission Meetings – Ongoing throughout 2025

The compact commission will hold subsequent commission meetings throughout 2025 for additional rulemaking to establish a fee structure and application process, and further define compact participation requirements. The commission will also hire staff, select a secretariat organization, and take additional steps for the compact to move towards being fully operational.

Multistate License Applications Open – Target Date of Fall 2025

Once the data system is operational in states and the commission has finalized all necessary rulemaking, applications will be made available for social workers to apply for a multistate license. Once eligibility is confirmed by the home state, all fees are paid, and a social worker is granted a multistate license, they will be able to practice in all other member states of the compact without any further steps necessary. The Home State Licensing Authority shall issue a Multistate License that authorizes the applicant or Regulated Social Worker to practice in all Member States under a Multistate Authorization to Practice.

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