clinical social work association

The National Voice of Clinical Social Work 

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  • September 08, 2022 6:53 PM | Anonymous

    As those of you who have attended the CSWA webinars on the Social Work Compact know, there is one more week to send your comments to the Council of State Governments on the draft document. Please visit to see information on the Social Work Compact.

    To see the whole draft document, please visit

    To send comments on the draft document, please visit

    The final date for sending comments is close of business on September 16, 2022.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice  
    Clinical Social Work Association

  • September 06, 2022 11:37 AM | Anonymous

    On August 5, 2022, the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) published data on pass rates for the Clinical Social Work Examination, which it oversees, as well as data on the other three levels of social work licensure (2022 ASWB Exam Pass Rate Analysis for Social Work Licensing Exams []). Publication of this initial data was long overdue. The noted disparities in pass rates, which vary by almost 40% for white and Black social workers were striking. Here CSWA provides historical context and suggestions for steps ahead.

    History of Clinical Social Work Licensure

    The clinical social work examination has been the national standard for independent clinical practice since 19­­­­­­­­­­­­­50 when ASWB (formerly AASWB) began creating examinations and states began licensing clinical social workers (formerly called psychiatric social workers), beginning with California. As clinical licensure became the norm over the next 54 years (the last state to achieve licensure was Michigan in 2004), the profession established a general standard for licensure based on four elements: 1) obtaining an MSW at an accredited school of social work; 2) having 2-3 years of supervised experience, post-MSW; 3) passing the ASWB Clinical Examination; and finally, 4) having a social work licensure law approved by each state legislature and overseen by each state’s Board of social work. All four areas have different oversight mechanisms and little connection to each other. Correspondingly, there are no two states that have the exact same standards.

    There is now a nationwide patchwork system which makes transferring licensure from one state to another problematic. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has overseen schools of social work, but the standards for doing the work that leads to an MSW are quite elusive. Similarly, specific standards for supervised experience vary widely across the states.

    Clearly, clinical social work is a young profession. LCSWs were approved to provide psychotherapy through Medicare in 1965, yet, there has been much fragmentation in the field. Efforts to standardize and integrate all parts of clinical social work were understandably set aside by stakeholder organizations in favor of creating licensure in all states and jurisdictions and achieving vendorship for clinical social workers.

    Next Steps

    There has been a widespread condemnation of ASWB for withholding information about the pass rates and/or being indifferent to the way that the clinical exam has yielded disparate pass rates for BIPOC and older clinical social workers. CSWA is in discussions with the new ASWB Executive Director, Stacey Hardy-Chandler, PhD, about the ways that ASWB, CSWA, and other stakeholders can work together to improve not only the clinical examination, but also the collective preparation of pre-licensed social workers to ensure an equitable exam experience. To this end, ASWB has also issued a statement about their intentions following the release of their report, which includes the following:

    • “Continuing to evaluate all aspects of the licensing exam development process, beginning with an in-depth review of item generation, and then implementing a comprehensive, user-centered investigation of test-takers’ experiences
    • Offering a collection of free resources designed for social work educators to help them understand the exams and candidate performance so they can better prepare their students for the exams and to increase access to exam resources
    • Bringing a greater diversity of voices into the exam creation process through the Social Work Workforce Coalition
    • Hosting community input sessions to expand the range of perspectives involved in the creation of the next iteration of the exams
    • Launching the Social Work Census, an in-depth survey of social workers, to better understand who today’s social work practitioners are and what they do”

    Need for the Clinical Examination

    CSWA is aware of strong opinions of many, including LCSWs, that the clinical examination should be eliminated. There are three key reasons that CSWA does not support this idea:

    1. In order to practice independently, LCSWs need to substantiate they have sufficient expertise to practice psychotherapy independently. The examination is a primary means of assessing that ability.

    2. Passing the examination is written in to each states’ and jurisdictions’ laws and regulations.

    3. The Social Work Compact, currently in development, which would allow LCSWs more flexibility to work in states with a multi-state license, will require LCSWs to pass a national examination.


    CSWA believes that ASWB is now poised to attend to the inherent inequities exposed in the ASWB Clinical Examination process. We hope to work with ASWB toward that goal and encourage others to do so as well. Additionally, CSWA will press forward to advocate for meaningful integration of our education programs and licensing boards, efforts that can significantly impact ways the clinical examination is approached and regarded.


    Kendra Roberson, PhD, LICSW, President
    Clinical Social Work Association

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice  
    Clinical Social Work Association

  • August 06, 2022 9:12 AM | Anonymous

    Earlier yesterday I sent you the BetterHelp statement which said that they were ending their connection to CareDash.

    Now I am pleased to send you the news that CareDash is backing off their harmful stance toward clinical social workers in private practice, as well. While there are still some problems to be resolved, CareDash has 1) stopped their deliberate confusion about LCSW availability; 2) removed their “book an appointment” option which directed potential patients away from LCSWs who were not part of the CareDash network; and 3) clarified that their information comes from the NPI list of clinicians and has nothing to do with the quality of those clinicians. To see the whole CareDash statement, click HERE.  

    I am fairly certain that the outstanding response of CSWA members to the demeaning policies of CareDash had a major impact on their decision to back off their original stance. Thanks to all of you for your great contributions to this effort.

    CSWA will continue to insist on the rights of all LCSWs in private practice to have access to all patients who want to see them without interference by any external organizations.

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice  
    Clinical Social Work Association

  • August 05, 2022 8:48 PM | Anonymous

    Here is a link to an article published today in Bloomberg Law today about the CareDash situation which mentions CSWA:

    Keep sending your complaints to your state consumer protection agencies and the FTC. The original post and template can be found HERE. 

    Let me know when you have sent them, as always.

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice  
    Clinical Social Work Association

  • July 19, 2022 2:22 PM | Anonymous


        July 16, 2022 was the roll-out date for ”9-8-8”, the new US network for people looking for help with suicidality or other emotional crises. This phone number is designed to be used for text or for telephone access to volunteers who will provide initial assistance to callers, then triage them to LCSWs and other licensed clinicians.

          Ultimately, 9-8-8 will become the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK); the new number will be easier to remember and access. This older hotline will remain in effect for an as yet undetermined period of time while 9-8-8 becomes fully operational. 

           There is no question of need: there has been an exponential increase in suicides and suicide attempts since the pandemic began almost three years ago. Here is what LCSWs should know about the implementation of this new system.


    The $400 million set aside in Federal funding for 9-8-8 is about half of what will be needed to fund the services in every state. So far, the only states that have provided the needed state funding are Colorado, Nevada, Virginia and Washington. Nine states have legislation in progress to provide this funding; 37 states have no plan to provide funding. CSWA encourages members to ask their state legislators to find the state funding for 9-8-8 so that it can be fully functional as soon as possible. To see what your state’s plan is for funding 9-8-8, go to

    Current Statistics

    How serious is the issue of suicide? Here are the number of suicides in the most recently recorded year, 2020:

    • In 2020, the U.S. had one death by suicide about every 11 minutes
    • Suicide was the leading cause of death for individuals between ages 10-34 in 2020
    • Over 100,000 individuals died from drug overdoses in the nine months from April 2020 to the end of the year

    While 2020 actually saw a decrease in suicides from 2019 overall (17.7%,, of grave concern is the fact that there was an increase for young adults and BIPOC communities of all ages in 2020 ( .

    More Information

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has prepared a toolkit to further explain the need for 988. For FAQs and Fact Sheets, go to Also feel free to contact me for more information.

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice
  • July 11, 2022 5:08 PM | Anonymous

    Dear CSWA,

    As you know, CSWA has been involved in the development of a Compact which would allow clinical social workers to practice in all states that join the Compact without having to become licensed in individual states. For the past 8 months, Laura Groshong, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice, and I have attended the Social Work Compact Technical Advisory Committee meetings monthly, sponsored by the Department of Defense and Council of State Governments.

    A document for the Compact has been created which is now available for review by the public, including CSWA members. I encourage all CSWA members to attend one of the two webinars which will be held on July 30 at noon ET and September 8 at 3 pm ET for more detailed information on the Compact. Keith Buckhout and Matt Shafer of the Council of State Governments will be available to explain the process and answer your questions. Registration for these webinars will be on the website shortly.

    Among the issues that will be addressed are:

    • What is an interstate compact?
    • How do states use interstate compacts?
    • How do states join a compact?
    • How many states are required for a compact to be in effect?
    • What are the benefits of a compact?
    • How do compacts preserve state sovereignty?
    • Where do states obtain legal authority to enter compacts?
    • How are compacts administered and enforced?
    • What are the steps in the compact development process?
    • How long can it take to implement a compact?
    • How are compacts funded?

    To review the document before the webinars, go to

    To submit comments or feedback on the draft, please fill out the online survey at

    Please let Laura know if you have any questions and watch for an email later this week from our new Administrator, Angela Katona, regarding how to sign up for one of the two webinars.

    Kendra Roberson, PhD, LICSW

    CSWA President

    Laura Groshong, LICSW

    CSWA Director, Policy and Practice

  • July 08, 2022 9:49 AM | Anonymous

    CSWA members have expressed concerns about the way that companies like Betterhelp are providing a kind of mental health treatment based on texting. The lack of direct contact is cause for concern. The asynchronous nature of Betterhelp limits emotional communication.

    A new article from California Healthline written by award-winning journalist Harris Meyer, has just come out and has echoed some of these concerns. The article, “Digital Mental Health Companies Draw Scrutiny and Growing Concerns”, can be found at

    Both Marlene Maheu, PhD, who presented a webinar on telemental health for CSWA, and Laura Groshong, CSWA Director, Policy and Practice, are quoted in the article.

  • June 07, 2022 1:48 PM | Anonymous

    Below is a Letter to Congress on gun violence that CSWA signed on to with 9 other national organizations which was published in USA Today this morning. ~Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice,, 6/7/22

  • May 25, 2022 1:36 PM | Anonymous

    The Clinical Social Work Journal (CSWJ) is pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue called: Life After the MSW. This special issue will be co-edited by the Editor in Chief of the journal, Melissa D. Grady, PhD and Kendra C. Roberson, PhD, the President of the Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA). In this issue we will be seeking manuscripts that offer readers a mix of historical/scholarly information about the topic, as well as concrete and practical information for soon to be and/or recent MSW graduates. The aim of this special issue is to offer practical advice to newer professionals in the field. We hope that the articles within this special issue can be used by faculty members and supervisors who are helping to train new social work practitioners, as well as by the graduates/students themselves. 

    Some examples of topics for this special issue could include, but are not limited to issues related to post-masters education, clinical supervision considerations, navigating and/or preparing for the licensure process, practicing clinical social work with a social justice lens, and potential career paths as a clinical social worker.

    Interested authors should submit an abstract of no more than 750 words describing the proposed manuscript. Those that are chosen will then be invited to submit full manuscripts that will be between 10-15 pages in length. 

    Each abstract should include the following:

    • Introduction of the topic AND its relevance to soon to be and/or recent MSW graduates
    • How the authors will provide practical information for the intended audience (e.g., bullet lists of areas to consider, tips for accessing information, resources that would be useful for further exploration, pros and cons of the issue, lists of questions that readers could consider for themselves)

    In addition to the above, full manuscripts will also require

    • Background information on the topic (e.g., historical background, any scholarly information on the topic)
    • Expanded practical information section as described above

    Deadlines for process:

    • Abstracts should be submitted by Oct 1, 2022
    • Invitations for full manuscripts will be sent out by Dec 31, 2022
    • Full manuscripts will be submitted by Mar 1, 2022
    For any questions, please contact Melissa D. Grady at or Kendra Roberson at
  • April 27, 2022 3:14 PM | Anonymous

    I have received a deluge of emails from you about the use of POS “10” for Medicare and other insurers.  This guidance that Medicare has provided about this policy is complicated.

    The current guidance from CMS is that:

    • POS “11” should be used until the end of the Public Health Emergency, timing of which is currently unknown, even though this is not what the POS “11” is for. 
    • And, as of April 4, 2022, there is some variation according to Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) about whether or not to move to POS “10” as initially stated by CMS. 
    • Check with YOUR MAC to clarify  which POS code is being accepted currently if the patient is being seen through telemental health in their home; for example, technically, if a patient is in their car, the POS code should be “02”. 
    • You can find your MAC contact information at the CSWA website under “Clinical Practice”.
    • The Medicare Modifier for POS codes is still 95. This may seem counterintuitive as 95 is supposed to be for telemental health but it is the only combination that currently works.

    Be sure to check with EACH private insurer for a patient to find out what combination of POS and Modifier are being requested so that claims will not be denied.

    I hope this resolves the confusion about POS codes.  Let me know if there are any other questions.

    POS Codes as of 4/1/22 – Medicare

    There has been some confusion about what Point of Service (POS) Codes should be used for Medicare and other insurers as of April 1, 2022. 

    As you know, there were changes to POS codes that were announced as of January 1, 2022 to be “available” for Medicare as of April 1, 2022.  POS “10”, a new POS code for telemental health services that are provided when the patient is in their home, and the LCSW is in their office or elsewhere.  Other POS Codes are “2” which is used when a patient is not in their own home and receiving telemental health services from an LCSW or “11” which is used when seeing a patient in the LCSW’s office.

    The Medicare modifier is 95 for any of the above codes.

    It appears that the POS 10 is now being used instead of POS 2 for Medicare for reimbursement.  All other insurers, public and private, should be contacted about the POS codes that are required for reimbursement of claims. The same goes for which modifier is being used – check with the individual insurer.

    For more information, go to  If you have other question, contact me at

PO Box 105
Granville, Ohio  43023

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