I support this petition because 1) it seeks to better provide clients, who are increasingly mobile by necessity, continuity of care across state lines (via the compact); 2) it puts us on par with the regulatory expectations of supervisees in counseling working towards their LPC; 3) it expands greater protections of the public in a time where more and more new social workers are needed in our communities to respond to and assist clients with challenging and difficult situations requiring clinical services; and, 4) it expresses our social work values of integrity and competence. These are all important.
Yet... also important... if our processes and tools used to confer licensure are unfair or biased - racially or otherwise - we as social workers have failed to uphold our social work values of social justice and the dignity and worth of the human person. There are significant questions right now about racial bias in standardized exams, the cost of clinical supervision, lack of access to effect exam preparation, what schools of social work sometimes teach versus what regulators might test, and perhaps other barriers. While some solutions appear underway, greater transparency is needed, many questions remain, and reform seems essential.
Our professional community could be so more united and stronger with better faith and trust in our licensure processes. We are social workers... helping solving problems is what we do. We can solve this.
I again support this petition, but there is more work to be done.
With highest respect to all who contributed in this town hall, Christopher Jenkins, LCSW