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2018 Student Day at the Legislature - Talking Points
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Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners


Social workers in Texas have title protection – you cannot call yourself a social worker unless you have a degree from a CSWE accredited university and you’re licensed as one.  And to obtain a license, you must apply for one with the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (TSBSWE).  Unfortunately, the TSBSWE isn’t operating as well as it should.  It’s buried at the Health and Human Services Commission.  Which means it does not have a line item in the budget.  It’s understaffed.  And most importantly, its ineffectiveness makes it a challenge to practice as a licensed social worker at any level in Texas.



2017 STATS

  • There are over 25,000 licensed social workers in Texas
  • The TSBSWE took in $1,282,629 in fees
  • The operating budget for the TSBSWE was $500,168
  • The average length of time required for jurisdictional complaint resolution was 874 days


NASW/TX has heard from its members that the delays for license renewal are inordinately long; that it takes on average of an hour and a half wait time on the phone when contacting the board; that supervision plans often take over six months to be approved; and the issues at the TSBSWE are affecting the public’s safety and trust.


The TSBSWE is up for Sunset renewal in 2019, and this means we can offer input into the future of the board.  We’ve joined with our partners at the Texas Counseling Association, Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Texas Society for Clinical Social Work to develop a plan for a consolidated agency: the Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC), made up of members from our professions (and including the psychologists)


Each board would appoint one public and one professional member to serve on the 9-member Executive Council.  The Governor would appoint a public member to serve as chair and the Council would hire an executive director and additional staff for administrative and investigative functions. The Council would have review and approval authority over rules relating to scope of practice, standards of care, and ethics as written by the independent boards.  If the Council fails to approve a rule, it would return the rule to the board with an explanation for the denial.




NASW/TX Talking Points for Use in legislative Visits


The agency must possess the necessary public health, social work, and mental health expertise to fully understand scope of professional practice issues and to ensure that Texas has a properly educated and trained workforce.

  •  Sunset Commission should adopt the BHEC as recommended by NASW/TX, TCA, TAMFT & TSCSW
  • The board is not operating efficiently & effectively under HHSC
  • Each board must be independent under the BHEC
  • All boards must remain free standing, no consolidation, as there are too many differences
  • The TSBSWE must have more money to operate effectively

NASW/TX can focus on these efforts because of our members. Without NASW/TX leading the way, our board would have continued to languish at DSHS or worse yet, be overseen by an agency in state government that has no experience in managing professional boards. Our members as well as all licensees will benefit from this effort. We ask that you consider joining NASW/TX as students and future licensees, and that all members reach out to their colleagues to ask them to join their professional association so that NASW/TX can be actively involved in writing the legislation to enact this new agency.  Our primary goal is to ensure that our board operates in a way that is both effective and efficient.




Legislative Agenda Planning

Click here to see how NASW/Texas Board of Directors create a legislative agenda.



more Calendar

6/20/2019 » 6/22/2019
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