Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Social Work
Regulations Governing the Practice of Social Work [18 VAC 140 ‑ 20]
Action Reduction in CE requirement for supervisors
Stage Fast-Track
Comment Period Ended on 7/24/2019
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7/10/19  12:40 pm
Commenter: Impact Youth Services, LLC

Opposition to changing the requirements for LCSW Supervision Training


I am deeply concerned about the Board’s proposal to weaken the training requirements for Social Work Supervisors as outlined in “Reduction of CE requirement for supervisors.” I implore you to reconsider this action. Reducing the required hours, eliminating the five-year timeframe for training prior to initial registration, and eliminating the five year continuing education requirement for Social Work Supervisors would undermine the quality of supervision for countless new practitioners, not only harming their professional education and robbing them of needed capability, but putting the people they serve at risk.

Social Work is a highly dynamic field; the knowledge base of the profession is continually expanding, and the population it serves becoming more complex. Some examples of changes in the last five years alone include:

· Greater awareness and understanding of the breadth and prominence of issues facing the LBGTQ+ community;

· New best practices with regard to sensitivities and trauma around issues of race, gender, and sexuality, as well as the ubiquity of sexual harassment and assault;

· Better understanding of the myriad and often hidden ways that white supremacy and white privilege impact minority populations;

· A rise in gun ownership and gun violence, posing increased physical risk to clients (through both violence and suicide) and social workers, as well as causing increased anxiety and trauma in communities overall.

It is imperative that novice social workers have the skills, abilities to bring evidence based practices and insights to the challenging, and dynamic issues they encounter on a daily basis. Their ability to navigate complex issues and mitigate harm in the midst of real-life situations depends largely on the knowledge and understanding of their supervisor and the quality of guidance they receive. Without a current continuing education requirement, a significant portion of supervisors will fall behind in the field and their supervisees will carry their outdated understandings forward.

The Social Work profession has tirelessly advocated for its rightful and now recognized position among other behavioral health science professions. As is stringently required in professional training for psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and social workers in jurisdictions across the country, best supervision practices and current evidence-based knowledge are requisite for competence in professional practice. There is ample, high quality and advanced supervisor training available (with new training developed as need the need arise) to ensure that no supervisor will need retake coursework merely to meet the requirement.

The proposed changes to the Supervisor training requirements will undermine the profession in Virginia, hurting supervisees and their clients. I ask that you please support the social work profession in our state by withdrawing this proposal.

Warm regards,

Debbie L. Cadet, PhD, MSW


CommentID: 73362