|Action||Requirement for CACREP accreditation for educational programs|
|Comment Period||Ends 7/1/2015|
The current structure to licesure provides greater access to care for clients in need of mental health services. Limiting the accessibility to licensure through CACREP accredited only graduates will decrease the availability of quality mental health services professionals that provide a variety of services. While accredited education is valued, there are extremely high quality smaller education programs that train counselors and mental health professionals. There is no data to prove that only CACREP accredited education programs develop quality counselors. The Board's current requirements to meet preparation for LPC in Virginia provide a baseline of competency leading to supervised residency. Supervised residency reports quarterly determine the new counselor's growth, ethical practice, and quality of care beyond prerequisite course work and graduate training. I urge to Virginia Board of Counseling to oppose the petition and continue an inclusive practice in licensing a variety of mental health professionals to meet the varied needs of our communities. Further more, limiting licensure to CACREP only graduates will result in extinguishing the rights and tracks for licensure for valued and increasing evidenced based creative therapies. If there are not tracks to licensure in VA the Board will be participating in extinguishing professions that provide critical mental health services in all settings across the continuum of care. Please consider the broader context of mental Heath care in VA by opposing the petition and supporting all mental Heath care professionals who meet the baseline requirements to seek licensure.