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News & Press: Updates for Members

NASW-NC Position on Recent Proposal to Consolidate Licensing Boards

Thursday, March 24, 2016   (3 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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Recent Proposal to Consolidate Licensing Boards

 

NASW-NC has been following the Occupational Licensing Board Subcommittee at the North Carolina General Assembly and their recent proposal to consolidate licensing boards in North Carolina. Conversations of consolidation have occurred over the past two years and NASW-NC has been meeting with legislators interested in the topic over the past two years to educate them on the licenses and certifications issued for social workers. This subcommittee was tasked with reviewing all occupational licensing boards in the state and coming up with recommendations for consolidation and possible elimination in an attempt to cut down on the number of licenses issued in the state.

 

Last week, the committee released their full report entitled Amend APA/Sunset Occupational Licensing Bds which can be found here. Prior to the report’s release, all committee members received a position on consolidation through our coalition work with the Professional Association Council. You can view the position statement here.

 

While the North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensing Board was not on the list of boards to be consolidated, the report still has major impacts on the social work profession and those with more than one license. The North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board and the North Carolina Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Board were both proposed to be consolidated with the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors.

 

Additionally, the following licensing requirements are listed for total elimination under the report:
Fee Based Pastoral Counselors
Recreational Counseling
Employee Assistance Professionals

 

Further, the report issued by the committee is asking all licensing boards to consider issuing only one license per board. This has harmful impacts on all professionals. Social Work issues two licenses: the LCSW and the LCSWA. We would not want to lose either license as both are important to the profession and clients served in our state.

 

NASW-NC will continue to work on this issue with the committee. The report is in a proposed bill that will most likely be introduced during the 2016 Legislative Short Session set to begin April 25th and we will advocate against the bill.

 

Thank you for your NASW-NC membership. Without your membership, this advocacy on your behalf would not be possible.

Comments...

Jonadab S. Franco says...
Posted Friday, April 01, 2016
This is very concerning. Thank you for sharing and keeping us informed on issues that will have a negative impact on our profession in North Carolina. Although I understand the argument that there is too much WASTE and we need to maintain a deficit-free budget, I am concerned that the legislature is acting impulsively and not considering all the options. With the current SURPLUS in the budget, what are their motives for still looking for more cuts? How come these cuts are attributed to the helping professionals or licensed professionals who are providing direct-care to our most vulnerable citizens? It is my fear that these policies will result in more health and economic disparities in North Carolina. Like we need another reason to GET-OUT-THE-VOTE in 2016. At this time, only ONE party is controlling the legislature and the executive branch of power. I think it is wise to say, "it is time to CHANGE that!"
Kay Castillo says...
Posted Thursday, March 31, 2016
Hi Marie- We completely agree with you!! We want to reaffirm that the Social Work Licensing and Certification Board is NOT being consolidated or eliminated under the legislation and we will continue to advocate for that. However, if you have another license like LMFT, LCAS, etc, then this DOES have an impact on you. We are working with legislators and our coalition partners to try to prevent any legislation from going through this session! Thanks for your concerns!
Marie Frechette says...
Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016
I believe that one of the strengths of North Carolina Social Workers is that we have our own licensing board. I would hate that to change. I have worked in states where there was consolidation and it was not productive. It was mixing apples and oranges. NASW in NC needs its own license to stand strong to advocate for the ones who have no voice, the disenfranchised of society. We have one of the worst elementary and high School systems in the nation, mostly due to the interference by legislators who know little about Education but a lot about thinking they do. I do not think it is wise to make us join with other professions in this licensing. It waters us all down, instead of promoting our Social Work Profession.

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