Sarah O'Brien, LCSW, LCSW-C (MD), CCATP, CTMH
I DO SUPPORT!!!
I am in favor of the petition. Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Washington D. C are all contiguous to Virginia. During the Pandemic the mental health service delivery system was stressed. Partly due to the difficulty for li- censed Clinical Social Workers to easily cross state boundaries.
I, personally, chose to seek additional licensure in the state of Maryland during the pandemic due to a long-standing client relocating to Maryland due to a domestic violence situation. I had to terminate with another long-standing client during the pandemic as they relocated to North Carolina for spouse's military duty station, as trying to access licensure in more than two states is already difficult enough to track/maintain different requirements.
An interstate compact would make it less complicated for me to continue seeing such clients in neighboring states because requirements for licensure and licensure renewal are separate and different, and as a practitioner, it's cumbersome to maintain requirements for licensure in more than one state. Having the option to CHOOSE to participate in an interstate compact (but not required for all VA practitioners) would streamline the process/fees/CEU requirements/Licensing requirements/education requirements/supervision requirements allowing more practitioners to offer services in states contiguous to Virginia. Given the landscape today and scope of telehealth practice, this is a necessary shift for the social work profession.