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  8:04 pm
Commenter: Vickie Hawkins-Black

Opposition to the Proposed CEU Requirements for Clinical Supervision

I would like to express my concerns against the proposed change to the current educational requirements for clinical supervision.   Quite frankly, reducing the required hours, eliminating the initial 5-year professional experience, and removing the 5-year continuing education requirement for Social Work Supervisors would undermine the quality of supervision and potentially harm the people that we serve.

According to Tebes, et al., (2010), “training in supervisory competencies is essential to effective clinical practices and helps address the current national crisis in the behavioral health workforce”.  In an ever-changing landscape, it is imperative that social work supervisors have the ongoing education and skills to train the next generation of social workers to address the multi-faceted and complex issues in the communities that they serve.

According to the current regulations,

          "Supervision" means a professional relationship between a supervisor and supervisee             in which the supervisor directs, monitors and evaluates the supervisee's social work               practice while promoting development of the supervisee's knowledge, skills and                   abilities to provide social work services in an ethical and competent manner. 

How can professionalism, ethics and competence be demonstrated without adequate ongoing training?  By regulation, social workers are required to receive continuing education in order to maintain their license which means that they have met the “minimum standard of care”.  Continuing education for supervisors not only demonstrates a minimum standard but ensures supervisors receive ongoing education in supervision guidelines, techniques, and ethics.  Clinical supervision is the capstone activity that connects theory to practice and is viewed as the signature pedagogy of mental health professionals (Dollarhide & Granello, 2016; Barnett et al., 2007).

The proposed changes to the supervisor education requirements will undermine the profession, hinder supervisees and negatively impact the clients that we service.  Therefore, I urge you to withdraw this proposal, and instead offer continued support of the professionals that provide an invaluable service in our profession.


CommentID: 73438