AN ACT TO MODIFY ASSOCIATE LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS CONSISTENT WITH THE EXAM POLICY OF THE ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORK BOARDS AND TO MAKE CERTAIN OTHER CHANGES TO THE SOCIAL WORKER CERTIFICATION AND LICENSURE ACT.
Amends GS 90B-3 which sets out the definitions for GS Chapter 90B, Social Worker Certification and Licensure Act, by adding and defining the terms applicant and supervision. Defines social work continuing education as training that, in accordance with the requirements established by the Board, (1) fosters the enhancement of generalized or specialized social work practice, values, skills, or knowledge and (2) includes an element addressing how the knowledge and skills may be applied to the practice of social work. Amends the definition of social worker to add a person who has earned a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree in social work from a social work program accredited by or in candidacy for accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education.
Amends GS 90B-4 as follows. Adds that a person who resides and practices social work in this state while credentialed in another must clearly amend reference to his or her credential to identify the state or jurisdiction where the credential is held. Adds that a person who resides and practices clinical social work in this state for not more than five days in a calendar year while credentialed in another must clearly amend reference to his or her credential to identify the state or jurisdiction where the credential is held.
Amends GS 90B-5 by amending the required qualifications for members of the North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board (Board).
Amends GS 90B-6 by amending the Board's powers to give the Board the power to adopt supervision standards. Extends the period of time that a licensed social worker is required to maintain records from three years to the longer of: (1) ten years from the date the social worker terminates service to the client and the client services record is closed or (2) the record retention period mandated by a third-party payee. Makes additional clarifying changes.
Amends GS 90B-7 by amending the qualifications for issuance of a certificate as a certified social worker, certified master social worker, or a certified social work manager, or a license as a licensed clinical social worker to require that the applicant have the specified type of degree in social work from a college or university social work program approved, accredited, or admitted to candidacy for accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education and that the applicant have passed the Board-approved qualifying exam (retains the additional work experience requirements for licensed clinical social workers and certified social work mangers). Allows issuance of an associate license in clinical social work to a person with a masters or doctoral degree in social work from a college or university with a social work program approved, accredited, or in candidacy for accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education and who desires to be licensed as a licensed clinical social worker. Removes requirement for passing the exam within two years for renewal of the associate license. Allows associate licensees who do not satisfy all requirements for licensed clinical social worker licensure within six years from the date of licensure issuance to apply for a new associate license, but requires passing the qualifying exam before the license can be issued. Supervision and experience hours acquired under an associate license expire six years from the date of initial associate license issuance, and expired supervision and experience hours do not apply toward future licensure.
Amends GS 90B-8 to allow granting reciprocal certificate or licenses without exam or by special exam and adds to the conditions that must be met for such issuance to require that the person be in good standing. Requires persons granted a temporary clinical social worker license to fulfill all requirements for licensure before the temporary license expires. Allows for issuance of a temporary license to a military or military spouse applicant.
Amends GS 90B-9 to make all certificates and licenses, except temporary licenses, effective upon date of issuance and requires renewal on or before the expiration date (was, on or before the second June 30 thereafter). Amends the process for renewal of certificates and licenses. Requires verification of compliance with current requirements before the Board may reinstate a suspended certificate or license. Makes organizational changes by moving old subsection d into new GS 90B-9.1, nonpracticing status. Adds that those on nonpracticing status are not subject to continuing education requirements and specifically prohibits those on nonpracticing status from referring to themselves as certified or licensed and prohibits engaging in social work practice that requires an active certificate or license. Requires proof that continuing education requirements are complete before reactivating a certificate or license.
Makes clarifying, conforming, and technical changes to GS 90B-10.
Amends GS 90B-11 to allow the Board to deny, suspend, or revoke an application, certificate, or license for conviction or entering of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, misrepresentation or fraud in dealing with the public, conduct otherwise relevant to fitness to practice social work, or any misdemeanor reflecting inability to practice social work with due regard to the health and safety of clients or patients (was, conviction or the entering of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a misdemeanor under GS Chapter 90B). Allows the Board to require applicants to submit criminal history record checks, including fingerprints, and substance abuse assessments. Adds that the Board may assess costs of disciplinary action against an applicant, certificate holder, or licensee who is in violation of the provisions of GS Chapter 90B or Board rules.
Effective January 1, 2021. Qualification for the certificate of Certified Social Work Manager, as amended, applies only to applications received on or after January 1, 2021.
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