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Governor Cooper Issues Executive Order: Out-of-State LCSWs Can Treat Victims of Hurricane Florence

Tuesday, September 25, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Valerie Arendt
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(Raleigh, N.C.) - NASW-NC has been working with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s Office, the North Carolina Psychological Association, and the North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board to allow licensed out-of-state health care professionals, including Licensed Clinical Social Workers, to treat those impacted by Hurricane Florence.


On September 24, 2018, Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order temporarily allowing medical and behavioral health professionals who are licensed in other states to treat victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina.


Regarding Licensed Clinical Social Workers, the Executive Order says:


For the purposes of this Order only, a person is a licensed clinical social worker if that person demonstrates that he or she possesses expert qualification in the area of clinical social work, and provides or offers to provide clinical social work services, by whatever means of communication to persons, including the professional application of social work theory and methods to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of emotional and mental disorders, and is licensed to practice clinical social work in another Unites States State, District, or territory.


Section 3.

Only licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and licensed or certified substance abuse professionals who hold unrestricted licenses or certifications (as applicable) in good standing with the licensing board of the State, District, or territory of the United States where the individual practices their aforementioned profession (collectively, “Qualified Health Care Professionals”) shall be permitted to offer services to individuals in North Carolina under authority of this Order.


Unlicensed social workers can, and should, volunteer during times of disaster, they just cannot diagnose or treat emotional and mental disorders without a clinical social work license.


NC DHHS and NASW-NC discourages individuals from coming into the state to assist without volunteering with an organized group.


Here are volunteer opportunities for out-of-state behavioral health professionals:

Thank you to Governor Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for this temporary waiver to ensure those North Carolinians impacted by Hurricane Florence can receive the medical and mental health services they need following this traumatic event. We will continue to work with DHHS to ensure long-term solutions are made to support the mental health of individuals in these areas.


NASW-NC Hurricane Florence Updates:

DHHS State Health Director Hurricane Preparedness update

Hurricane Mental Health Volunteers: NASW Malpractice Holders are Covered

Hurricane Florence Resources for Social Workers

North Carolinians Needs You: Disaster Response Volunteer Opportunities

The National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter (NASW-NC) is a membership organization that promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW-NC also seeks to enhance the effective functioning and well-being of individuals, families and communities through its work and advocacy.


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