SB 0979 Licensing & Registration of Specific Social Workers
LR Number:L3513.01I Fiscal Note:3513-01
Committee:Financial and Governmental Operations
Last Action:03/18/96 - Referred S Financial & Governmental Operations Committee
Effective Date:August 28, 1996
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Current Bill Summary

SB 979 - This act makes numerous changes to the state laws regarding the licensing and certification of Social Workers. Changes in definitions in these sections include:

(1) "Clinical Social Worker", methods in diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional conditions and providing counseling and psychotherapy; (2) "Clinical Social Worker in Training", a person who has completed the educational requirements for licensure as a clinical social worker and who is engaged in a program of supervised clinical social work and who has registered such supervision with the Committee; (3) "Licensed Clinical Social Worker", any person who offers to render or supervises those who offer to render services; (4) "Supervised Clinical Social Worker Experience", supervised professional social work practice approved by the Committee; and (5) "Supervisor" a person qualified to provide supervised clinical social work experience.

The act also states that a person holding himself out to be a Clinical Social Worker or Licensed Social Worker who does not have a valid current license as a Clinical Social Worker is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

No provisions of the act prevent a graduate student who is enrolled in an accredited school of social work and is preparing for the practice of Clinical Social Work, or a graduate of such a school who is registered with the Committee, from engaging in clinical social work under acceptable supervision.

The act creates the seven member State Committee of Social Workers (Committee), in the Department of Economic Development. The Committee will approve any examination given to Social Workers and assist the Division of Professional Registration in carrying out the provisions of this act. The Committee shall consist of 4 licensed clinical social workers, 2 registered baccalaureate social workers and 1 voting public member. Each member of the Committee shall receive compensation set by the Committee not to exceed $50 for compensation for each day devoted to Committee business and shall be reimbursed for their actual expenses.

The Committee shall promulgate rules and regulations regarding the form and content of license and registration applications, fees required, the characteristics of "supervised clinical experience", the standards and methods to be used in assessing competency as a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed master social worker and a registered baccalaureate social worker. The Committee shall also establish continuing education requirements for registration and licensure renewal.

This act will also provide the State Committee of Social Workers with the power to subpoena witnesses, issue subpoenas duces tecum and require production of documents and records.

This act also creates licensure proceedings for "Master Social Work Practice" and "Baccalaureate Social Work Practice". A Master Social Work Practice is the application of methods, principles and techniques of case work, group work and client centered advocacy to persons, families and groups to enhance or restore their capacity for physical, social & economic functioning and community organization, administration, planning and evaluation with organizations and communities. It does not include clinical social work.

To apply for a Master Social Work Practice the applicant must have a Master's Degree in Social Work from a College or University program accredited by the Council of Social Work Education; satisfactorily completed an examination as determined by the Committee and be at least 18 years of age.

People who are licensed as clinical social workers and social workers employed by the state of Missouri while discharging their duties in that position will not have to obtain a license to practice as a "Master Social Work Practice".

A Master Social Work license shall be renewed every 24 months on forms provided by the Committee. Each applicant must provide proof of completion of continuing education requirements with the application for renewal.

A Baccalaureate Social Work Practice is the supervised application of case work, group work and client centered advocacy in an agency setting, but does not include clinical social work, counseling or psychotherapy.

No person shall use the title Registered Baccalaureate Social Worker, nor shall a person practice Baccalaureate Social Work unless the person is registered, unless the person is licensed as a clinical social worker or is license to practice any other profession or occupation which render services similar in nature to Baccalaureate Social Work and does not hold himself to be a Baccalaureate Social Worker.

The Committee shall establish applicant qualifications for Baccalaureate Social Worker registration, provide for time, content and procedures for examinations, determine which applicants have passed the exam and issue the registration certificate, and determine registration fees.

A Baccalaureate Social Work license shall be renewed every 24 months on forms provided by the Committee. Each applicant must provide proof of completion of continuing education requirements with the application for renewal.

No Baccalaureate Social Worker shall have an ownership interest in the agency where the registrant practices, nor shall establish a private, autonomous, independent practice in the State of Missouri.

The act changes the name of the Clinical Social Workers Fund to the State Social Workers' Fund. All revenues in the Clinical Social Workers Fund shall be transferred to the State Social Workers Fund on the effective date of the act. After such date, all revenues from licensing, registration or certification application fees and renewal fees shall be deposited into the State Social Workers Fund. Money in the fund shall not be transferred to General Revenue until the amount in the fund at the end of the biennium exceed three times the amount of appropriations and transfers from the State Social Workers' fund in the preceding fiscal year.